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sex education

Spiritual Youth for Reproductive Freedom

Of faith and pro-choice? SYRF educates, organizes and empowers youth and young adults to put their faith into action and advocate for pro-choice social justice.

Letting Go of the Wrong Stuff to Get a Hold on the Right Stuff

Kyra asks:

I am 22 years old and have been with my one and only boyfriend for over 2 1/2 years now. I love him very much and we get along well, but our sexual life has always had problems. These are the main issues: 1) I cannot orgasm except through the use of a vibrator, 2) I'm often not interested in sex/don't really feel anything enjoyable from sex, and 3) I never initiate anything, which makes my boyfriend very frustrated. We've been having sex for about 2 years now, and these issues are as much of a problem as they were when we first started. Regarding the problem #1 (no orgasm except with vibrator), my boyfriend has tried everything. He will pleasure me for long periods of time, try to make me feel sexy, but NOTHING happens--I don't even come close to orgasming (in fact, I usually just get sore from the contact). I've tried to pleasure myself, but this is even worse--I hate the feeling of masturbating and don't derive any pleasure from it. When we discovered that I CAN orgasm via a vibrator, we were both thrilled; however, it usually takes me a good 15-25 minutes to orgasm from the vibrator (on the highest setting), and the orgasm usually lasts only a few seconds--it just feels like a lot of work for barely any result to me. Because I'm not interested in sex very often and I cannot orgasm via penetration or manual stimulation, my boyfriend believes I'm not sexually attracted to him and is quite upset. I don't know what to do and it is ruining our relationship. I am religious and come from a home schooled background where sex was not talked about much, and so I often feel awkward when my boyfriend tries to discuss it with me (and going to a sex therapist is out of the question).

What Is Healthy Sexual Development?

Depending on your view, the answer to that question might seem really obvious or very tricky and hazy.

This is a subject that's talked about all the time, however, when it is, there's often little to no clear definition about what healthy sexual development is. Many easy assumptions get made, and ideas about what's healthy for all people are often based in or around personal agendas, ideas and personal experiences of sexuality, rather than being based in broader viewpoints, truly informed and comprehensive ideas about all that human sexuality and development involves and real awareness of possible personal or cultural bias.

We think this question is very, very tricky and that the answers aren't at all obvious or easy: sexuality is incredibly complex, especially given its incredible diversity, not just among a global population, but even within any one person's lifetime. Our cultures also are often sexually unhealthy in many ways, and so ideas about healthy sexual development, deeply i

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How I Learned About Lube

When it comes to sex and sexuality, I was a very, very, very late bloomer.

Raised in a Pentecostal Christian home where sex and sexuality were rarely discussed beyond, "No sex until you are married," as a teen I assumed I would not have sex until my early- to mid-twenties, after I had finished undergrad.

I assumed any boys/men I met would share my religious beliefs about sex. I assumed my values would never change. And I assumed my husband and I would know how to sexually please one another, in spite of having no sexual experience before our wedding night (which, of course, would be a night of unbridled passion and ecstasy).

Sacrificing a little sexual pleasure in my teens and early twenties would be a small price to pay to have a church-sanctioned outlet for my sex drive before I was past 25, 30 at the latest. Besides, I had heard so many stories about the pain and bleeding of first intercourse, and the mere thought of being an unwed mother (does anyone even use that term anymore?

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How Do We Best Define Sex?

When we're quality sex educators; when we are or aim to be inclusive, forward-thinking and do sex education in ways that can or do serve diverse populations, we will tend to define sex very broadly, far more so than people who don't work in sex education often tend to, even if and when their experiences with sex and sexuality have been broad. Often, the longer we work as sexuality educators, and the longer we also just live and experience our own sexual lives, the more expansive the definition becomes. If we live and/or work on the margins, like if we or people we serve are queer, gender-variant, culturally diverse, have disabilities, the diversity in our definitions of what sex can be will become even greater. I'd say that for me, at this point, I'd love to be able to define sex by simply saying "Sex could earnestly be absolutely anything for a given person." While I think that's ultimately the most accurate way to define it, something like that is also not going to be very useful

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Where do I even get started in educating myself about sex?

aguynamedrourke asks:

I'm a 19-year-old virgin and I don't know enough about sex, period. I went to Catholic and Christian schools with terrible sex-ed classes (I learned the basic biology but virtually nothing about actual sex, condoms, safe sex, or anything like that). I looked at your list of books to read and I've browsed through the questions, but I still don't know where to start. I know a lot about gender but very little about sex. What kinds of books should this straight pro-feminist college freshman read?

That Guy

Anyone who knows me or who knows anything about me usually knows that my pre-teen and teen years were incredibly difficult. I dealt with neglect and abuse in my family, starting from about the time I was 10. I was sexually assaulted twice before I even became a teenager. I was queer. I was suicidal and was a self-injurer. I struggled to find safe shelter sometimes. Few people seemed to notice, even though after I gave up trying to use my words, I still used my eyes to try and tell them constantly. The one adult I could count on over time to be unilaterally supportive of me had (still has) serious mental illness. I had to take more adult responsibility at the end of my teen years than anyone else I knew. Like many adolescents, I constantly heard directly or got indirect messages from adults who talked about how awful teenagers were, how awful I was, how difficult, how impossible, how loathesome. Four days after my sixteenth birthday, the first real-deal big-love-me-lover I had, who tre

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Legit or Unfit? Finding Safe, Sound Sex Educators & Support Online

How can you separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to sex educators, sex education services and online sexuality spaces for young people online? We walk you through it so you can be more sure that wherever you're talking, you're getting good information in a space that's safe for you.

One Teenager in Ten

This is a guest entry from The Gaytheist Gospel Hour as part of the blog carnival to support Scarleteen.

Preface: I was recently asked to participate in a blogathon to support Scarleteen, an online sex education forum for teens. I was flattered. I was humbled. I was a little queasy and had to breathe in a bag for a minute or 12. I decided to contribute the story of how I survived homophobic bullying thanks a single library book. I’m living proof that progressive sex education (no matter how small-scale) makes an enormous difference in the lives of the very young. It’s my hope that all who read my sarcastic, satirically-tinged autobiographical account will consider making an enormous difference by supporting Scarleteen.

"In this life, things are much harder than in the afterworld/ In this life, you’re on your own!" —Prince

High school is a laugh riot. It’s a jolly funhouse where the unpopular and the unusual are punished for their crimes against conformity with a topsy-turvy

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Some More Scarleteen Blog Carnival Highlights

We're just getting caught up with the myriad of fantastic blog entries that are part of the blog carnival that's been going on over the last three weeks as an effort to help cultivate support for Scarleteen. We've been reprinting some entries here at our blog, and will keep up with that, but here are a handful we can link right to for you to take a look at:

From Cory Silverberg at About.Com:

Scarleteen does sex education from a social justice model. Whether it's an article on the site, a response in the forums, or a request for more information in order to refer a youth out, they acknowledge the multiple ways that youth are systemically denied basic rights and access to sex education and sexual health. It's not unusual for a question about, say contraception or sexual pleasure, to elicit an answer that accessibly and seamlessness weaves information about race, class, and gender, in with information about how to go about choosing and accessing contraception, or negotiating with a part

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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.