Skip to main content


Human Reproduction: A Seafarer's Guide

How a pregnancy happens is a lot more complicated and a whole lot more interesting than just a sperm cell and an egg cell running into each other. Here's our map to the way there...or not.

Ready or Not? The Scarleteen Sex Readiness Checklist

Thinking about partnered sex? Do yourself a favor and look through our checklist to get a good idea about the readiness of you and your partner -- it's more complicated and demanding than many people think, and knowing what you need to get ready can help assure that your sexual experiences with a partner will be as great for both of you as possible.

You Don't Need Your Moms' Permission to Have Sex.

Juliaaa8 asks:

I'm 18 years old and have been with my boyfriend for a little over 4 years. We're best friends and were so in love. The first time we had sex I was 16 and my mom found out and I was grounded and unable to see him for about a month and a half. We're both in college now and still together and he's coming down soon to visit me! We haven't had sex since that one time and since then my mom has made me ask her if I feel like I'm ready but every time I seem to ask her she shuts it down and makes me feel bad for wanting it. I really want to have sex with him when he comes down to see me and I'm scared to ask my mom. But I really want to explore my sexuality more and figure myself out more with him. How should I deal with this?

Scarleteen Confidential: Ten Questions with Dr. Karen Rayne about Parenting, Sex, and Communication

This is part of our series for parents or guardians. To find out more about the series, click here. For our top five guiding principles for parents or guardians click here; for a list of resources, click here. To see all posts in the series, click the Scarleteen Confidential tag above, or follow the series on Tumblr at

You've probably seen all kinds of adults writing about teens and sex. Some of that writing is well-researched and thoughtful. Some --- most, sadly -- is hysterical and full of fearmongering and shoddy (or no) research. I was lucky enough to interview an author who belongs solidly in the first category.

Dr Karen Rayne has spent the past ten years actively and thoughtfully supporting parents and teens in their conversations about sex and sexuality, and she's released a new book called Breaking the Hush Factor: Ten Tips for Talking to Teenagers about Sex, which we think is accessible, compassionate, and incredibly useful. Keeping with the


Hours of Intercourse? Nope. (And also: Ow.)

kayla17 asks:

Me and my boyfriend are both 17. Today we started sex but it only lasts 3 minutes. How can we make it last 1 or 2 hours?

The Problem Is Not Your Performance, It's Your Boyfriend

Meme28 asks:

My boyfriend REALLY wants to have sex with me. We're both 17. I don't want to because I'm afraid to be naked around him. I have given him oral sex. But he hasn't done anything but kiss me. Though, last night he caught me in the shower and asked if he could come in and I reluctantly agreed. We had sex, but after he told me that because I was a virgin I failed my first time. He also told me that my breasts are to small and my performance was terrible. He later told me he was sorry, and we had sex again. But he told me after that time I was horrible overall. I don't know if I'm that bad. I'm really nervous when he touches my breasts or vagina. Could this be affecting my performance? Any answers would help.

You Can't Test for Virginity

Tammyluvgurl asks:

Hello I'm 13 and don't plan on having sex but my mother says that when I'm 16-18 she is going to get me checked to see if I'm still a virgin because I'm religious and we believe in no sex till marriage. Even though I don't plan on having sex, does masturbation affect the test the doctors going to take? And how do they take this test? Because I don't want to masturbate and find out the doctor says I'm not a virgin. Is there even a way for the doctors to test it (because my mom could be bluffing)?

P.S. me and my moms relationship is good so she would trust me if I told her I didn't have sex plus if I did she would be understanding.

Scarleteen Confidential: How “Men Suck” Messes Everybody Up

This is part of our series for parents or guardians. To find out more about the series, click here. For our top five guiding principles for parents or guardians, click here; for a list of resources, click here. To see all posts in the series, click the Scarleteen Confidential tag here at Scarleteen, or follow the series on Tumblr at

Messages parents or guardians have given our users about gender come up frequently, and often problematically. We often see the negative impacts of crummy ways some of their parents frame and talk about gender. As feminists and queer activists, we address gender stereotyping often in our content and conversations around women and gender nonconforming people of many stripes (or polka dots, whichever one prefers), and we know the weight of it all too well. But gender stereotyping is not just everybody’s problem, it’s a problem for everybody, and that includes for men, and the problems, for everybody, many gender stereotypes


My Friends Think It's Gross When I Talk About Sex

Freckle Face asks:

I"m 17 and I need some advice about my friends. We've known each other for years, one since toddler hood and the other two since middle school. They all talk about losing their virginity (or just having sex in general) all the time. When we go to college next year, when her boyfriend comes home for the summer, and on and on. However, whenever I say anything regarding something like that, they act like it's the grossest thing they've ever heard. It's like I don't get to have sexual thoughts like other people. All my other friends are perfectly fine with me commenting on those kinds of things, but my "best" friends aren't. Is that normal or do they not want me to talk about that for some reason?

Getting Married When We (May) Want Different Things from Sex

greentea23 asks:

I am 23 and I am getting married this fall. I have never had sex before because I have been waiting for marriage. My fiance is not a virgin. We have different views on the purpose of sex. His goals are intimacy and pleasure. I have a lifelong history of feeling guilty about any kind of physical pleasure and therefore trying to avoid it altogether. I really do not care whether I ever have an orgasm. I actually do not know what I think the point of sex is. How can we start a sexual relationship when our goals for sex are so different?

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.