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As an independent organization without state, federal, institutional, foundational or corporate funding, whose services have always been provided to millions each year at absolutely no cost -- not low-cost, not sliding-scale, but for free -- sustaining ourselves has always been a challenge. For a very long time now, almost our whole history, we've made clear that we can't sustain ourselves, and all our services, at only the meager level of support we've had to work with.
The kind of work we do is unsupported. Sexuality, sexual health and relationship education for young people, including additionally marginalized young people, like those who are LGBQA, transgender or otherwise gender nonconforming, those in or working to heal from abuse, those with disabilities, or of color and/or in cultures or communities deeply unsupportive of sexuality or sexual health outside very limited parameters, is unsupported. That is particularly so when our larger aim is happiness, autonomy and pleasureRead more...
We are 15 years old today. FIFTEEN! (In internet years, that's like being 500.)
We debuted online on December 15th, 1998 and here we are, still rolling, and wanting to keep on rolling some more, in 2013.
I can't thank our donors and supporters, all our volunteers past and present, and the tens of millions of users who have been the heart and soul of what we do, with them and for them, enough for being part of this grand experiment in sexuality education and emerging technologies. So much of Scarleteen is a community, and we have been blessed with a large, deeply diverse and incredible group over the years, one which has challenged, inspired, moved and motivated all of us, myself very much included. As the founder and executive director of Scarleteen, all of you have benefitted my own life, and been part of something I gladly consider the core of my life's work.
We intend to keep at what we do for at least another fifteen years if we can, experimenting and innovating, exploring and dRead more...
I'm 13 and so is my boyfriend. I know we shouldn't be doing this kind of stuff at this age but just a couple weeks ago we started getting a little more "touchy" and one thing led to another and he started "eating me out".
Well I want to give him a blowjob but he's scared that I won't like "it" because he thinks it's small and he's embarrassed. What should I do? Also, is it normal to start having sexual intercourse at 16 or 17?
If you're someone who takes part in end-of-year giving, we'd like to ask you to consider giving to Scarleteen.
As you may already know, Scarleteen was one of the first online resources for young people about sex and sexuality, and remains the leading, most visited online resource expressly created and maintained for young people to get extensive and excellent sex and sexuality information, education and support.
We provide opt-in, youth-driven content and direct services every year through articles that don't shortcut, but give young people the depth they ask for, advice columns done with the aim of support and education, not entertainment; a staffed SMS service and fully moderated message boards available seven days a week, 24 hours a day, where young people talk to real people with the skills to do so well, not templates, machines or some random yahoo on Yahoo; an ever-growing database of referrals to direct, in-person services and to other credible websites or organizations; in-perRead more...
It struck me today that folks might sometimes wonder why, with an organization focused on sexuality, sexual health, and sexual relationships, we spend quite a bit of time talking about friendship. We do it in articles and blogs, and we talk with users often in our direct services about their friendships.
What's that got to do with what we do?
A lot. Perhaps far more than you'd think.
For starters, we strongly feel that friendship is at the core of any and every excellent, happy, healthy relationship, whether we're talking about a friendship that doesn't have any romance or sex in it at all, or we're talking about romantic relationships, sexual relationships or both. We think a sound friendship also has an awful lot to do with healthy family relationships, mentorships, and pretty much any ongoing human interaction we could possibly have.
Our relationships with people will also tend to be fluid through our lives. Friends can become lovers, lovers can become friends or family. Our superRead more...
As we've done in the past -- like here and here -- today we've got a the whole of a short interview that was excerpted in small part for a piece over at Ms. Magazine yesterday, Future of Feminism: Sex Education As a Human Right.
Given some of the content and certainly some of the comments on another (just a note: a lot of the comments there are really rough, and there is intense transmisogyny afoot) of those pieces, one that I saw right after I'd sent this interview back to the author, I feel like the second half of this interview is particularly important, and I was sorry to see it didn't make the cut.
Q: How would you define feminist sex education?
A: I consider that a work in progress, ever-evolving, but you can see how I do that currently here:
Feminist sex education:
• Emphasizes -- for all sexes and genders, not just one or two -- autonomy, personal responsibility, full and active consent, sexuality in the holistic context of a whole, well-rounded life and healthy, equitable r
As we're rolling out some redesign we've been working (and working to fund) over the last year or so, we thought we'd celebrate by sharing some of our history.
Mind, it's probably more fun for our readers than it is for me, since showing designs from times when the tech to do design blew, and one's (notice how I avoid saying my?) skills were less honed is a bit like streaking naked through a busy city street, or winding up at the ER after an accident when wearing the rattiest undies in your drawer.
Thank goodness, I came to web design with some solid design skills already -- though some not-at-all-solid coding skills, I pretty much had to learn that by the seat of my pants -- so I was better equipped than a lot of people making sites, but that still doesn't mean everything was awesome, and that I don't shudder a little bit to see some of my designs of yore.
However, I've at least resisted the attempt to embarrass myself less by showing screenshotsRead more...
Last December, we began our end-of-year fundraising for Scarleteen with a goal to raise the minimum we needed from online donors for 2012, $35,000, a very modest ask compared to other organizations or projects of or near our tenure and level of service.
Unfortunately, we still have not yet been able to raise even half of that sum. As of today, we have raised almost $15,000. We're so very grateful to the 135 individuals who donated generously to help us get to that sum, but that total just won't do. We run our organization and services far more cost-efficiently than similar organizations or groups, and can stretch a dollar like nobody's business, but that can only get us so far.
We need that minimum of 35K for this year -- which, combined with a private grant and existing donors, still giv us only $80,000 to do everything we do -- in order to sustain and maintain our services and those who provide them, create new content and tools, and to keep our organization afloat.
We don't like tRead more...
You probably heard that Siri, the digital assistant on the iPhone 4S, could help someone find Viagra or a sexual escort, but not a family planning clinic, a local pharmacy to get a birth control prescription filled or an abortion provider. Whether that was intended or a glitch, it was understandably very upsetting. At Scarleteen, people can get easy help finding those important services and more through our SMS service, our fully moderated message boards, our growing Find-a-Doc database and, of course, our exhaustive information about contraception, abortion and other reproductive choices, sexual healthcare and so many other sexuality and sexual health topics.
Some people sure paid a lot of money for a tool that didn’t serve them or others well. Scarleteen users get those services and much more for free. We give teens and young adults real people to talk with, for nearly 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, when the thousands of pages of in-depth, thoughtful informaRead more...