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I was watching a debate about sex education today, one rife with a lot of ludicrous statements, but the statement that quality sex education could not possibly help prevent sexual abuse stuck with me. It was all the more infuriating as someone who knows too well that a lack of knowledge about bodies and sex, and a lack of information about sexual consent and autonomy are some of the hugest reasons why sexual abuse is so prevalent.
Now, this is hardly a new form of cluelessness (nor is it exclusive to Canada: we've all but made an art form of it stateside). I've addressed this issue before, at Scarleteen and in some talks and interviews I have given over the years, and also in a piece a little while back for the Guardian in the United Kingdom.
Hopefully it's obvious the reason I, as a sexuality educator and activist, and Scarleteen, as an organization, provide sex education isn't just about preventing unwanted or negative outcomes, like unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted infectiRead more...
If you're gay, lesbian or bisexual (LGB) and also of color, you don't need us to tell you how challenging that can be, nor that a lot of people -- especially those who aren't of color or who aren't queer -- don't realize, see or acknowledge much of what you've gone through or what you deal with. We're rolling out a new blog series today we hope can help counter that compound invisibility.
Even if you're not of color and queer, not LGB or not of color, we think it's critically important to cultivate an awareness of what it means to be not just a member of one of those groups, but of both. If you are queer and of color, what we're hoping this new series can do is help illuminate some of your own diversity, allow you to feel less isolated and know you're not alone. Queer youth (and queer people on the whole) are often isolated, and that isolation hurts and can do and does very real damage. LGB young people who are also oppressed, marginalized and rendered doubly invisible because of raceRead more...
I don't feel anything at all when I touch myself. It just feels like nothing inside and doesn't arouse me at all. The only way I can masturbate is by rubbing the palm of my hand on my clit. When my boyfriend and I are together, he likes to finger me. But like I said before, I don't feel anything. It gets pretty awkward when he's just fingering me and it's not feeling like anything and it just drags on forever, while he has no idea. What should I do?!
Yesterday, I had my hair cut.
As the stylist called my name, she asked if I would like a shampoo. I politely declined. She then noticed how thick my hair is and she said she was going to take me back to the sink to wet it. And being incredibly used to this, I readily agreed and followed.
But just as she had finished wetting my hair and I expected her to turn the water off, she started squirting stuff on my head.
I froze. I’m not great with confrontation, especially with strangers, and have difficultly forming exactly what I want to say in just a short moment. She kept rubbing my head, then squirting some more, rubbing and squirting, rubbing and squirting.
The salon smell was all around me, and finally when she’d finished rinsing, only to squirt yet more stuff on my head, I blurted out “so what’s all this stuff you’re putting on my head?”
“You don’t use conditioner?” she asked incredulously.
Once she’d finished lecturing me on why I should use conditioner, I opened my mouth again to saRead more...
I'm 16. I've gone through 8 sexual partners in the last year. And 5 of them only in these past 3 months. I've only had one boyfriend in my life. I cheated on him. Twice.
I feel like I'm easy, maybe I am. I will tell myself that I won't have sex with a guy, and then I end up doing it anyways. In that moment I truly do want nothing more than to get it on. I am juggling two 'sex buddies' one of whom is a friend and the other is more of a stranger I sleep with. I suppose it wouldn't be such a bad thing except I only get sex when they want it. Frankly I'm a little fed up with this routine. I get horny too, but apparently that doesn't count. I enjoy sex, and I'm not afraid to say that. I can achieve an orgasm almost every time I have sex. But as soon as were finished I feel like shit. I don't really know why this is. I have inquired that maybe I use sex as a tool to make myself feel wanted and cared for. Or that I'm guilty to have maybe abused sex. Or simply that I am fucking... and not making love. I don't know what to do or what this is about. I don't know if you can console me, but any efforts and advice would be appreciated.
My current partner recently got a vasectomy. Because we're also monogamous, well-past six months of monogamy and barrier use, and both are current with our STI testing -- the combination of things and time period I know massively reduces our STI risks -- that means we're not using condoms right now.
This is very unusual for me: in around 25 years of sexual experiences and many partnerships, the vast majority of the times I have had male partners, including long-term partners, there have been condoms. As someone who wants to be able to enjoy her sex life as much as possible, who knows preventing infection is part of that, and also as someone who can't use most other methods of birth control, condoms have been my BFFs.
I've never found them to be the drag some people frame them as. Rather, I often find myself perplexed by folks who frame them that way, even though I know as a sex educator that more often than not, the folks who do frame them that way either a) haven't even used them orRead more...
I tried several times to leave a comment at the National Campaign's blog on this, but alas, it wouldn't let me. I'm pretty savvy with web forms, so it's probably just some kind of temporary technical snag over there. Since it wouldn't let me do so there, I'm doing it here.
After hearing complaints about the video at sex::tech from audience members at one of my own panels, a video I had not seen myself, then getting an email the following morning with some of those complaints CC'd to me, I had a private conversation with Larry Swiader, in his role there as a representative of the NC, about the reactions the video got (which I did look at before our conversation, and was not a fan of myself). This was a conversation where I was primarily trying to help support someone new in the field facing an intense swell of reactivity, however valid. I know how challenging working in sex education can be, especially when you're new to it, and I also know how overwhelming it can be to face en-massRead more...
I am 23. I started having sex with my boyfriend of 7 months at age 17. I was raised Christian, have stayed in the church until now but am seriously questioning what I believe. Ever since I first started having sex I have never been completely ok with it, always wondering whether I was doing something wrong or whether it was even ok. I would often feel extremely guilty once I reached the point of orgasm because it was like that was the time that I realized that I had given in to my desires and have done something wrong-again. (I had/have these same guilt feelings whenever I masturbate which I remember from age 12.) After the high school boyfriend I had sex with someone else a few years later but that one doesn't affect me nearly as much. A few years after that I met my now spouse. We started having sex after a few months and I always questioned whether what we were doing was ok or not, but I still wanted sex and I still enjoyed it. We got married a year ago and now I just cant enjoy sex at all. I just don't want to. When we do have sex it does feel good but not great and I feel like I am being punished for having sex before marriage. I also had a lot of pain starting close to when we got married and I eventually learned I had trich. So I don't know if I am now terrified of that happening again too? (even though we were both treated and I am supposedly cured) I have a great partner: he isn't pressuring me to get better and really wants me to be truly wanting sex otherwise he doesn't want it either. But I know he is getting anxious. How can I let go of the guilt that I have had for half my life? How can I enjoy sex again? What is wrong with me? I've discussed the spirituality aspects with several ministers and none of them think God is punishing me or that I have done anything wrong. I am also currently in counseling and we have talked at length about this sex issue and she is stumped too. I am ready to let go of this and move on but I just can't. Where should I go from here? Or should I just realize that there is no more sex in this life for me?
The Fourteenth of February is a day that can conjure up various feelings, depending on the person and the context. Often people fall into two V-Day camps: those who delight in the sweet celebration and those who wish it were February 14th that happens only once every four years.
However, for all the Hallmark-Holiday haters and loathsome lonely-hearts, I love Valentine’s Day in all its kitschy, cuddly, glittery glory. I don’t see it as a day reserved for couples, clichés and commercialization; instead I see it as a celebration of love for family, friends, pets, partners, and… ourselves. After all, as empowered drag queen diva RuPaul says so well himself on his reality show: “If you don't love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love somebody else?”
Of course, Scarleteen’s here to give you some love in the form of information whether you’re flying solo, dancing a pas de deux or ballin' with your buds today. So, hand me a virtual pink-iced cupcake, geneRead more...