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50 Shades of BS - How to tell the Difference Between Kink and Abuse

Most of us who work or volunteer here at Scarleteen are bookworms, and are also really interested in following popular culture to see what's happening, especially in terms of frank conversations about sex, sexuality, desire and fantasies. When a lot of people started talking about 50 Shades of Grey, we started paying attention. And when a bunch of media outlets started falling over each other to either hail the book for making BDSM mainstream and celebrating female sexuality or condemn it for those same reasons, we got curious.

As a woman who often enjoys being sexually submissive and as someone who has moved in kink circles, I set out many times to start reading the book, but shied away from it again and again. BDSM, in all its variations and manifestations, has a pretty bad rep: a lot of the time when we meet characters in books or on TV who engage in BDSM, they are either leather-clad outsiders (who are also often involved in sex work - think Lady Heather from CSI Las Vegas), or de

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Five Things I Learned Dating a Girl

Dating this wonderful person pushed me to think about some things in new and challenging ways. Here are some of my favorite lessons that I learned when I dated a woman.

Should my boyfriend and I work towards partnered orgasms, when mutual masturbation is working for us so far? And if so, how?

girlwhocrossedgap asks:

I am a 19 year old woman in a relationship with my awesome boyfriend. We are pretty much satisfied in our sex life, mostly because of all the cuddles and love. There is a question that I have, though. Usually we go at it (and do many types of sex) for a couple of hours, and then when we are ready to finish things, we both touch ourselves until we climax. (And give ourselves a great show.) I was wondering if there is supposed to be a point in the relationship where we transition from mutually masturbating to making each other come? I feel like this is something he wants since he keeps telling me to keep going until either I come or he comes. However, it is then frustrating because I know it doesn't happen. Are there some techniques you can give to help us maybe transition from mutual masturbation to partnered orgasms? Thank you :)

Decoding Sex in the Media: There are No Blurred Lines When it Comes to Consent

For many young people, Robin Thicke’s hit single "Blurred Lines" has become the anthem of the summer. Recently topping the Billboard Hot 100 list and rising to the position of most-downloaded song on iTunes, “Blurred Lines” seems to be thumping out of every stereo speaker on the planet. And for good reason -- it’s a very catchy song, with a strong beat and ostensibly fun lyrics. It also comes along with a controversial video full of naked women, which has no doubt amped up its notoriety. Like many artists before him, Thicke sings about a complex topic -- sex -- but he makes the mistake of ignoring a crucial underlying issue: consent.

Throughout the song, Thicke addresses a woman he perceives as a potential sex partner, continuously making assumptions about her sexual intentions. He sings that he’s “gon’ take [have sex with]” her, repeatedly insisting, “I know you want it”. (He also calls said woman a bitch, an animal, and refers to himself as pimping.)

In the middle of the chorus, Th

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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?

I want to try masturbating, but I'm afraid it will hurt.

insanity98 asks:

I'm 15 years old. The only sexual things I've done are kiss and give a handjob. I want to start masturbating but I'm very scared. I have an EXTREME fear of pain: I can't even get shots without hysterics. Pain scares me more than the average person, and it's getting in the way of my sexual pleasure.

I've never fingered myself and I don't know how. I've looked at diagrams and at myself but I'm just not sure where my vagina opening is. I've never used a tampon, due to pain fears. When I tried fingering, I was very tight. I've read some answers here that said that a reason for vaginal discomfort when trying to insert objects could be that you're anticipating pain. So, how do I finger myself? What do I do since I'm so tight? Will my fear of pain get in the way of masturbation and, in the future, sex? How can I calm myself down enough so I won't be so scared and insertion will be easier? Please help me. I'm very scared. Thank you.

He Doesn't Want to Have Sex Anymore: How Can I Change His Mind?

cupcakewars77 asks:

My boyfriend for about two years now told me he doesn't feel like having sex. I told him I still do. He says all we ever do is have sex. That's not true. It's frustrating but I want sex and he doesn't. He is going to college this year and I won't see him as much because he will be so far way. Whenever we are to "fool around" he gets all serous and say I don't feel like having sex or no it doesn't feel right even though I am on the pill and we always use perfection. Always. Am I doing something wrong? Is there a way to even get him to have sex with me? I am confused and stressed out. It's been months and I feel like he is pulling away. Help!

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