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When Sex is Just a @#*&!ing Bummer

Sometimes sex is amazing. Other times, it's nice. Then there are the times it sucks. How do you deal, and what's the hidden value in not-at-all-awesome sex?

The Scarleteen Concierge: No Lines, No Waiting

Help us help you help yourself (now try saying that ten times fast).

Sexuality: WTF Is It, Anyway?

The term "sexuality" can be used a lot like the word "sex." They're both terms we say and hear a lot, but which often aren't clearly defined. We take for granted everyone knows what sexuality means, a heck of an assumption to make with something that covers so many important things and can feel as murky as Lake Erie. So: what's it all about?

What's Sex?

It's obviously important if you're here for information that you know what we mean when we talk about sex, so we thought we'd make it clear.

With Pleasure: A View of Whole Sexual Anatomy for Every Body

Usually sexual anatomy is taught through the lens of reproduction, so it’s only about penises and vaginas, testes and uteri. Seen through the lens of of pleasure, sexual anatomy looks different.

Birth Control Bingo

Newly updated, our big 25-page guide to birth control options provides in-depth info on contraceptive choices to help you find your BC BFF.

All About S.E.X.: The Scarleteen Book!

Get your hands on S.E.X.: the in-depth and inclusive young adult sexuality guide by Heather Corinna! Check out reviews, the table of contents and a myriad of places you can get your very own copy of the sexuality primer for every body.

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


On submission and speaking up

BrooklynnL asks:

I am a trained Submissive. I have only ever been in relationships with Dominants who know exactly how to be sexually/emotionally involved with a Sub. I am extremely into bondage/spanking/biting/ect., and the Doms that I have been involved with know exactly how to effectively provide that for me in a sexual relationship. I don't think I can even HAVE an orgasm without the aforementioned activities.
But recently I met this AMAZING guy that I have totally fallen for. He is perfect in every way and is just a total dream. He is pretty dominant, but I know he isn't a dom. We have been dating for almost 4 months now, and I haven't told him about my sexual past. We have been having sex but it isn't at all satisfying to me. I've been faking all of my orgasms, and have been putting up with the "Vanilla" sex since we've started dating. I'm afraid to tell him about my sexual preferences. I'm scared that hell think its disgusting or weird and run away. Or even worse, he'll stay but not be able to provide the things I need in a sexual relationship which will completely ruin our entire relationship all together. How do I effectively communicate to him my sexual needs and tell him that I've been hiding this from him? It's really hard for me to even think about doing that because as a Submissive I have always been with Dominants who always know exactly what I want and provide for my needs. Help!

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.