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-turvyRead more...
I'm 16 years old. The blade has been calling my name for 5 years now. It scared my parents to where they placed me in a mental facility 4 years back. It was the hardest time of my life. I was in 6th grade at the time. I was scared I wanted to end it all. Now I love my life honestly I have no reason for the blade anymore. My older brother has set an amazing path for me. Not doing any drugs, does great in school, has a great girlfriend. He's a perfect guy and the best older brother...I feel like I've let him down. This isn't just a habit, it's an addiction. Just the feeling of holding my razor gives me the feeling that the pains almost gone. I have a problem and I feel like I need help from a professional. Like I said...That period of time was the hardest in my life and I don't want my parents to go back to thinking I'm still depressed and suicidal, which I'm not. The main reason I think I do this is because of all the pressure I feel. It builds up inside me. My dad constantly makes me feel like I can't do anything right, I'm a star athlete for my high school crosscounty, varsity girls basketball team, and track causing me to feel like I have to win. People say it's easy not to cheat on your boyfriend/girlfriend. That's true if no one wants to have sex with you. I love my boyfriend we've been together since I was 12 and its a constant battle not to cheat on him. My parents are homophobic which is sad because I'm bisexual and they don't know because the fear kills my inside to tell them. I've never had a girlfriend but I've known I was bisexual since I was in elementary school. All of this is unbearable for me to take sometimes...and I give in and let the razor bite through my skin. Is there anything I can do to help with my cutting relapse without having to make my parents go though that again?
Sex ed. We hear that word a lot, but who really knows what sex ed is? It’s short for “sexual education,” but what’s that?
According to my handy dandy dictionary, sex education is: “education about human sexual anatomy, reproduction, and intercourse and other human sexual behavior.” Lots of words, but it’s pretty much learning about the human body and its reproduction. Pretty much straightforward, right? Wrong.
I know how un-straightforward sex ed is, probably more than any other blogger you read. That’s because I attended health class, every day, for 20 weeks less than a year ago.
Every single morning at 7:40am I was in Mr. Hanson’s (he requested I not use his real name) class for 46 minutes. Monday-Friday from December all the way to February, I had to sit in this class. This was a chance for New York State and Pittsford CentraRead more...
Me and my boyfriend have been together for 9 months. I'm 17 and he's 22. Everything is going great! We never really fight and my family likes him, too, which is rare. Only problem is he travels a lot for work, he will be gone for 2 weeks at at time. I don't mind, but he asked me to help make his trip better...he wanted me to take nude pictures of myself. I said I would but only because I do love and care about him a lot and thought it would be good for the both of us. But I HATE pictures as it is...I tried to take them for him but I HATE every picture I take and it makes me feel even more self-conscious than I do already. I would rather walk around naked for him all day then take pictures of myself. I know it sounds stupid, but it's just really hard for me. I trust him and know he wouldn't do anything with those pictures but it's hard explaining to him why I don't like pictures, he doesn't get it...should I just suck it up and take em?
I throw around the words “fear” and “silence” often when it comes to sex ed. They’re loaded terms, perhaps, but these words best describe my experiences with sex education: my emotional reaction and everyone else’s approach, respectively. These words describe what I feel is not often expressed in the sex education debate.
True, it’s hard to use the “Little Mary Sue is scared” argument to a bunch of adult policymakers who believe that a child will “get over” whatever scare tactics they might use in sex education. I have indeed heard it argued that it is okay to use fear in sex education because, well, incurable STIs are out there right now. You can see the logic: if children grow out of believing in the boogeyman, then certainly they will grow out of being told that condoms have pores that let HIV through, right? At least by the time that they areRead more...
When I was 10 or so, I discovered the wonders of the internet. It was back in the mid-90s, before most people had access, but my father was a computer scientist, and I was rocking out on Mosaic, way before IE or Eathlink or Netscape or AOL made their brands so popular. I didn’t use it for much, as there wasn’t that much info out there pertaining to me, but I did have an email, and learned how to search.
Around the late 90s, I was in my “oh em gee, want to learn everything possible about puberty and sex” and after my parents exhausted the info available at the local library, I was lucky enough to discover Scarleteen.
It was still quite young back then, but it was knowledge, and that was something I was desperately hungry for. More importantly, it was more than just information; it was interactive. I could learn from older teens, from educators, from people my age. I became obsRead more...
This is a guest entry from Dangerous Lilly for the month-long blogathon to help raise awareness and financial support for Scarleteen!
At 15, I was still scared of boys, sort of.
Sure I’d “date” them, and yeah I’d make out with them, but everything else? Terrified. It was because I knew next to nothing about boys, sex, *whispers* penises, and all that good stuff. You learned about sex in one of three places: 6th/7th grade so-called-sex-ed lectures; your equally uninformed friends; your parents (so. mortifying.).
Oh, ’92. So good, so innocent, so…awkward. Way back in 1992, SimCity still had copyright codes hidden in black & white pixelated jumbles in a booklet that required a piece of see-through red plastic to enable viewing of text – without it, you were struck with natural disasters every 10 minutes. Oregan Trail was still fun, sorta, if you didn’t mind the thyphoid. The internet? Did not exist as far as we were concerned. We still used the freaking 30-some volume encyclopedia in haRead more...
I was just wondering...can a girl have sex if she has undergone genital mutilation? Because I know a girl who has, and she said it was a TYPE 1 circumcision and that she couldn't have sex EVER. Also, is there any way she will ever be able to reverse the mutilation? What limitations will she face, compared to a person who hasn't been mutilated? Thanks a lot for your answer!
Ugh! I’ve got the worst cold today. And here I am writing an entry for the Scarleteen Sex-Ed Blog Carnival. Instead of feeling like an all-American male sexpert I feel roughly as sexy as room-temperature jello.
But that’s actually a perfect hook for this post! When you’re sick, a track coach or personal trainer might be able to give you some good advice, but really, the best person to talk to is a doctor. Similarly, when you’re trying to start a business it’s fascinating to talk to an accountant or patent lawyer. But you’ll get much better advice from your local Small Business Administration. Well, it’s the same thing with sexperts vs sex educators.
Why? Fitness experts and doctors, accountants and small-business consultants, sexperts and sex educators all have or employ very different skill sets. One set is great when you’re already on your feet and ready to run, the otherRead more...
This guest post is from Anita Wagner at Practical Polyamory, and is part of the month-long blogathon to help raise funds for Scarleteen!
When I was recently asked to write a blog post for the Scarleteen blogathon, I had no hesitation about agreeing. I had the pleasure of meeting and having lunch with Scarleteen founder and comprehensive teen sex ed resource Heather Corinna during a trip to the northwest in summer 2009. Let there be no doubt, Heather is one of my all time heroes for the work she does to make sure teens get comprehensive sex education information. I care about this subject very deeply, as the following story will illustrate.
I grew up in an area that is pretty much to this day an exceedingly conservative part of the United States. When I came of age, good parents zealously guarded their daughters' virtue by attempting to control the what, where, when, and most importantly, who, of their daughters' social lives. Sex ed, after a fashion, was taught in health and hygRead more...