safety

Summering Safe and Sound

Here in the hemisphere I live in, we're into the swing of summer. Ah, summer, my personal favorite season. I love the sun, the warmth, everything blooming, the energy, the spirit of the season.

It's also the time of year when we tend to see the most new users coming to us because they're in a crisis or a panic, or are just really, really feeling down in the dumps. We know that the idea of summer as a happy, carefree time for all young people doesn't square with the reality that for plenty, it's not, whether that's about tough stuff happening, or about having experiences that aren't negative, but are just super-challenging. With that in mind, here are a few tips and things to think about as you get into (or grapple with) your summer groove:

I worry that because I'm a man, I am going to sexually abuse someone.

aplanacanalpanama
asks:
My mom was a victim of incest as a girl and has used it to invalidate my emotions. I blame the incest, not my mom, but it still hurts. But I can't help but feel like I, as a man, am dirty to be sexual. I can't draw a line in my head between good sex and bad sex. I am a virgin because when I get close to sex, the girl will start reminding me of my mom or my sister....

Three on Getting to the Bottom of Things

Ariana11
asks:
So my boyfriend of 9 months was asking me about anal sex. We only ever done oral sex, so when he brought up anal I was a little scared. We both decided to at least see if it could work. We were at his house and I got on my knees and he slowly went in. At first if hurt then it didn't. All in all we only did this for about 7 seconds then we stopped....

What Is Healthy Sexual Development?

Depending on your view, the answer to that question might seem really obvious or very tricky and hazy.

At a recent conference I was part of in London, Alan McKee presented a talk which included a piece published in the International Journal of Sexual Health (2010, 22(1), Healthy sexual development: a multidisciplinary framework for research. What McKee and his colleagues determined to be the core parts of healthy sexual development had me jumping up and down in my seat with joy (literally: I may have disturbed my fellow attendees with my bouncing). It summed up the things we try to support, encourage and inform our users with and keep core at Scarleteen so well, and so much of what I think -- after many years of thinking hard about and working with these issues, and being fully and broadly immersed in them with a very diverse population -- truly is central to healthy sexual development.

I'm delighted to have permission to excerpt and reprint this framework here.

How to See Coercion Clearly Through Love Glasses

helovesme31
asks:
I have a boyfriend been dating for about a year next week. We are deeply and truly in love even though we're not even 16. People say you can't really be in love at our age, but I believe you can be. Recently, I said no to sex, so I guess I pushed all the wrong buttons and this is what he said: "I'm so [f-word]ing tired, I don't want to climb a ladder....

He wants to take his anger out on my body: that's not okay, right?

bludragonfly7
asks:
My ex-boyfriend and I are working through a very hard situation where in his perspective I cheated on him so I'm trying to fix things and gain his trust again. There has been a lot of pain and distrust between us lately but we are finally getting to a healthier, better place. However, he said something that really disturbed me the other day and I need someone else's perspective....

How can I keep from getting upset when he ignores my no?

Elizabeth1
asks:
I'm 15 and my bf told me about a week ago that he thought I should be loosing my virginity and a few days ago I did. I was ok with this and only said once that if it was ok with him I'd like to stop (the way he was looking at me was creeping me out), but it wasn't ok with him so he kept going....

Legit or Unfit? Finding Safe, Sound Sex Educators & Support Online

How can you separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to sex educators, sex education services and online sexuality spaces for young people online? We walk you through it so you can be more sure that wherever you're talking, you're getting good information in a space that's safe for you.

My boyfriend wants naked pictures of me: should I do it?

MelissaDV
asks:
Me and my boyfriend have been together for 9 months. I'm 17 and he's 22. Everything is going great! We never really fight and my family likes him, too, which is rare. Only problem is he travels a lot for work, he will be gone for 2 weeks at at time. I don't mind, but he asked me to help make his trip better...he wanted me to take nude pictures of myself....

I'm a girl, he's a guy, and we're dating...but I think he's gay.

Anonymous
asks:
I am dating this guy and I think he is gay. He had dated many girls recently but he has a 'gay' personality. He is very friendly, uses make-up and when I and my friends are around him we feel like he is a sister. My friends thinks I could do better but I am not sure if I should break up with him or not and he is emotional so I don't know how to tell him if I am going to break up with him....