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self-esteem

Sexuality: WTF Is It, Anyway?

The term "sexuality" can be used a lot like the word "sex." They're both terms we say and hear a lot, but which often aren't clearly defined. We take for granted everyone knows what sexuality means, a heck of an assumption to make with something that covers so many important things and can feel as murky as Lake Erie. So: what's it all about?

Parental Controls

Noodle asks:

I have been in a monogamous relationship with someone my age for two years. We have been sexually active for a year now. My parents are religious and conservative, and believe strongly that there is no place for sex outside of marriage and I shouldn't be committed to my boyfriend until I have graduated college, which I am attending now. I have a very close relationship with my parents and didn't want to have to keep up a facade of chastity, so I told my mom that my boyfriend and I have been having sex. She was very upset and it launched a 3 month ordeal of restructuring boundaries for my boyfriend and I and reestablishing trust with me. My parents insist they still like my boyfriend as a person, but they no longer want us to have anything to do with one another. My boyfriend and I go to different schools and are apart for months at a time. We were originally planning to visit one another, but my mother says that if he visits it will permanently damage their relationship with him and my relationship with them. Over winter break, we were not allowed to ride in the same car together unless there was an adult chaperoning us, and my parents made sure we spent just as much time with them as with his family. It was horrible, and my mental health really suffered. I want to be able to go back to having a free, adult relationship with my boyfriend, but I also want my parents to approve of him again. I am dreading going home, but I really want to be able to see my love again. Any advice would be very welcome.

What’s In A No?



What's so scary about asking when someone else may say no? Rejection. Read on to dial down the fear factor and learn to accept no like a pro.

Jealousy: Making Friends With a Green-Eyed Monster

How to tame those scary, growly feelings and use them for good.

Unlearning Unlovability

I hid my fears and insecurities by desexualizing myself. Now I'm on the path of uncovering ways to unlearn ugliness as an identity.

Be Your Own Superhero: Learning How and When to Stand Up for Ourselves

Feel like being able to clearly set boundaries, stick to them, and assert yourself must require superpowers? Nope! You've already got all the goods: here's how to develop and use them!

How Do I Let Go of Feeling Sexually Unattractive?

Porphyria asks:

I had sex for the first time shortly after turning 20 (about a year ago), but I wish I had done it sooner. I know I had been ready and willing at age 16 or so -- the problem was just that no one was interested in me that way, but in the other girls around me. It still hurts, in a bizarre and surprising way. I feel like being a virgin for so long was not my choice; I feel like the decision was made for me by other people who decided I wasn't attractive enough to be with. To this day I still wonder if I'm intensely sexually unattractive, and if the occurrence at age 20 was just a fluke that will not repeat itself. How can I let go of this? How can I cope with late loss of virginity and stop seeing it as a personal failure to pass muster in terms of attractiveness?

Labia, Singular: Is This Normal?

jwondering asks:

I only have one labia minora. One is not smaller than the other, I only have ONE. It doesn't hurt, but I'm scared guys will be turned off by it. Is it normal?

A Guy's Guide to Body Image

Though people don't talk about it as much, guys worry about their bodies too. This article for teens talks about body image concerns and recommends ways to cope and feel good about the body you've got!

The Rainbow Connection: Orientation for Everyone

Everyone has a sexual orientation and a sexual identity. Here are some basics and not-so-basics about what orientation is, some of the ways we can talk about it, how to figure yours out, and finding support.

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.