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sex ed

I Want To Be a Sex Educator. Er, How do I do That?

heavyboots asks:

I will be a junior in high school next year, and because I've been lucky to stumble on a lot of really great sex-positive resources, I've learned I have a pretty strong interest in sexuality--as in, studying it/doing something in it as a career. However, getting information about this field is much more difficult than, say, engineering or law. What are jobs within this field, what are areas in college/majors you'd advise, and what are some ways I can get involved now, as a minor? My areas of interest are not really in the medical field--I'm more interested in counseling, giving advice, activism, and education

Also, do you have any advice for telling people about my interest? Right now the only person who knows is my boyfriend, because it's really difficult for me to trust most other people to not equivocate wanting to study sexuality with being obsessed with having sex. Esp my parents, who are politically liberal in every way except in their parenting. They ask me what I want to do with my life really often, and it's kinda stressful to not be able to talk to them.

Glyde Condoms Supports Scarleteen!

We've got two new budding partnerships with condom distributors and resellers we're really excited about.

While ultimately, we would prefer Scarleteen be a place where there is no advertising, having a little bit, from carefully chosen companies or organizations, is one of the things that can help keep us financially supported. And in this case, we are delighted to be doing advertising with ethical companies who produce or sell things most of our readers very much need now, or will need soon: condoms and other barriers that can help prevent sexually transmitted infections and diseases and unwanted pregnancies, and help free up some worries so everyone can feel more relaxed in their sexual lives. We're proud to be working with these companies, and could not be more glad to have ways to direct our users not only to barriers, but to great barriers, made well, that protect their health and also support them in finding pleasure in their sexual lives.

Today we want to introduce you to one

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May Day 2014: Scarleteen Strikes (Or, With Your Help, We Don't.)


UPDATE! We -- and you! -- did it!  WE SO TOTALLY DID IT! We met the minimum goal we needed to to avoid a strike and having to shut down any of our services.  We can't thank the 1,000+ of you enough who have helped us do this, and who have made it possible for all the young people who need and use our services to keep on using them without interruption.

Better still? A generous donor who wants Scarleteen to have more than the minimum to work with, and do what they can to get us past surviving and into thriving has offered up a $10,000 match for all donations given from April 15th to May 1st! So, anything you give now through May 1st will be matched, dollar for dollar, for up to $10,000 worth. If we can meet that whole match, that would shuttle us well out of our current crisis and into a better position financially than we have ever been.  Thanks so much to everone who has already given to support us; thanks to you in advance for your gift, too!

UPDATE THE SECOND (now with extra aweso

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Happy 15th Birthday, Scarleteen!

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 d

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I want to give my boyfriend oral sex, but he's embarrassed and won't let me. What should I do?

Emma1913 asks:

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?

Giving the Gift of Excellent Sexuality Education and Support

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-per

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Sex, Etc.

A for-teens, by-teens site dealing with birth control and pregnancy, STDs and testing, relationship matters, LGBTQ issues, and sexual politics. Sex, Etc. also publishes a teen-written magazine which accepts reader contributions.

Why Does Friendship Matter to a Sex Ed Organization?

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 super

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The Cutting Room Floor: Ms. Magazine/Future of Feminism

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

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Scarleteens of Yesteryear

Scarleteen (then Pink Slip): 1998Scarleteen (then Pink Slip): 1998
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 screenshots

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