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Sex Education is Important

This a guest post from Shay at The S Spot for the Scarleteen Blogathon

I do a lot of work in my real life with sex education and promoting safer-sex practices (i.e. getting people to use condoms). Some of you may even recall that The S Spot got it’s start as an educational sex column in a campus newspaper!

I feel that when you’re talking to someone about sex, you can’t just try to scare them with the facts about sexually transmitted infections, HIV, and how accidental pregnancy will “ruin your life”; but a lot of sex educators focus on just that.

I remember one time when I picked up my younger brother from school, I asked him about his day and he told me that there had been an assembly about sex ed. I asked him if he had learned anything interesting and if he had any questions about anything they talked about (figuring that he might be more comfortable talking to me, his older sibling rather than a “real” adult like mom or dad). He did have a few comments about funny things the tea

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"Dad, Do You and Mom Have Sex?"

This entry is from Omnipotent Poobah, and part of the Scarleteen Blogathon

At the risk of dating myself – at least not in the eHarmony sense – I am from the sex education dark ages.

In my day, Just Say No was Just Don’t Say Anything. Moms and Dads, more often than not, didn’t have “the talk” because of their own shocking lack of knowledge or because they were too embarrassed. Teen pregnancy and sexual diseases were relatively rare. And gay kids? Well, they simply didn’t exist.

Sex ed was limited to the 6th or 7th grade when all the girls were herded out of gym class to see a film about “that time of the month” while the boys played baseball…in the winter. Many of the girls emerged from the film visibly shaken and, so far as I know, none ever revealed the true nature of the film to the boys.

Of course, that left teens to their own sexual education. And teens, as they frequently do, thought they knew more about things than any adult could possibly know. In those days, they unfortunately

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Be a Scarleteen Superstar!

(It's much more fun if you do your best Mary Catherine Gallagher moves when you say it.)

Today we're starting our yearly fundraising appeal -- the shiny marketing term for "beg for cash" -- for Scarleteen with some righteous month-long festivities and extras.

We aim to publish an in-depth advice column every single day from now through November 15th. Myself and Scarleteen's assistant director, CJ Turett, will be burning the midnight oil with answers, but we also have the help of some fantastically talented people to help this month, like Jaclyn Friedman, Kate Bornstein, Susie Bright, Zaedryn Meade, Cory Silverberg, Petra Boynton, Justin Bish, Amanda Marcotte, Carol Queen, s.e.smith, Nona Willis Aronowitz and more! You can get started with Jaclyn Friedman's guest advice on getting sexual assault awareness started in your college right here.

All across the 'net there's also a month-long blogathon for us starting today, and we will be reprinting most of the entries right here on our own

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Meet the New Editor of Sexuality in Color!

My name is Pamela and I’m thrilled to join the Scarleteen family as Editor of the Sexuality in Color section!

A little bit about me – I am a Black woman living in the Midwest with two fantabulous sorta-beagles. I’ve blogged at my personal blog, AngryBlackBitch.com, for over five years. I’m also a contributor to Feministing and Shakespeare’s Sister and a staff writer for RH Reality Check.

Sexuality in Color will cover everything from coming out as a LGBTQ person of color, film and pop culture, reproductive health care and everything in between. The goal of the Sexuality in Color section is to discuss, debate and educate each other.

I look forward to getting to know Scarleteen readers and encourage y’all to send questions and comments to me at pamela@scarleteen.com. If you’d like to write a piece for the section, please contact me directly – we’re always looking for guest writers!

Thanks and let’s jump right in…

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Scarleteen Peer Sex Educator Training Announcement

Many people have been asking about when our next peer sex educator training will be, and I'm sorry to say that I'm coming in with my founder and executive director hat on to deliver some not-so-awesome news about it.

We have a very long waiting list for another session of our training. I was hoping to be able to do another round this spring or summer, but as of right now, it simply will not be possible to do until late fall, and may even need to stay on hold until 2011.

I like to run the organization as transparently as possible, so I'll briefly explain what's up with the holdup. Long story short, there are three major factors right now which are the issue.

With the waiting list being so long, we want to train a larger group in than last time. But even with the small group that we had last year, it was clear that doing the training mostly on my own was very difficult, and I feel that shortchanged our trainees. So, I need some pro-bono help from a handful of other qualified educators

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Meet Scarleteen's New Assistant Director!

I'm thrilled to announce that beginning in May, Scarleteen will be welcoming CJ Turett as our part-time assistant director. We've never had an official assistant director before, but have wanted one for quite some time, and I can't conceive of a better person for the job. I am particularly delighted to bring someone into a position of leadership here who is a younger activist: part of serving younger people well involves making them an integral part of the organizations who serve them, which absolutely should include positions of leadership.

CJ is a has a master's degree in human sexuality education from Widener University and is currently pursuing an Ed.D. He has worked previously as a community educator at a domestic violence and sexual assault survivor service organization, as an HIV/AIDS and LGBT case manager for the Mazzoni Center, and most recently as the education coordinator for Answer and their Sex, Etc. website. He has lectured on numerous LGBT health and well-being issues o

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Help Lift Sex Ed to a Higher Plane: Support Scarleteen!

You probably know Scarleteen has been the premier online sexuality resource for young people worldwide since 1998. We have consistently provided free inclusive, comprehensive and positive sex education, information and support to millions for longer than anyone else online. We built the online model for teen and young adult sex education and have remained online for nearly eleven years to sustain, refine and expand it.

What you might not know is that Scarleteen is the highest ranked online young adult sexuality resource but also the least funded and that the youth who need us most are also the least able to donate. You might not know that we have done all we have with a budget lower than the median annual household income in the U.S. You might not know we have provided the services we have to millions without any federal, state or local funding and that we are fully independent media which depends on public support to survive and grow.

You also might not know Scarleteen is primarily

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We Want Your Texts!

(I know, George Michael jokes are probably lost on a lot of you, but I just couldn't help myself.)

We're excited to tell you that we've got a brand spankin' new way for you to get quick answers to your questions even when you're not near a computer. You can now text us! Hooray!

To ask Scarleteen a question via text, just text 66746 and start your question with the keyword ASKST.

We'll pick up the line as quickly as possible just like we do at the message boards to help you or your friends out fast. We can even go back and forth: if you have more questions after asking one (or we didn't answer you as well as you'd have liked), just respond with more and we can continue the conversation.

There is no additional fee for texting us: the cost is the same as whatever it costs you to text anyone else. Your privacy is also completely protected: we can't and won't ever see or get your name or your phone number. Our service will instead assign you a totally random user ID. Your answers will com

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Spotlight on Scarleteen: Message Board Bonanza

Have you been to the message boards lately?

If that's a yes, then you know about all the great content and discussions there are to join in on. If it's a no, then there's no better time than now to click over there, check things out, and add your piece!

The message boards provide a platform to not only address specific concerns but also post in threads about your experiences, share Scarleteen-related information from outside sources, and just chat with a purpose with some friendly folks from around the world.

Here are some discussions -- old and new -- that you may find interesting to read. You might even find yourself so inspired to join in, which is great because we'd love to have you!

Body, Soul, Sexuality

The best things YOU do for your body and soul!
Experiences With Therapy
Anxiety Busters
Starting college or university this Fall and looking for some support?
Birth Control Experiences (Quick Reference)

Partners, Parents, and Other People

Post-Breakup Helps
Meeting People O

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Want to be a peer sex educator?

In case it isn't obvious from the message boards and our peer-written content on the site, peer-based sex education and support is really important to and at Scarleteen. While I love my job as a sex educator who is an older adult, and think there's a lot of value in my doing this work, at the same time I feel like there's an extra power and a special kind of support with peer-to-peer education and interaction that I can't do.

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