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I had sex for the first time shortly after turning 20 (about a year ago), but I wish I had done it sooner. I know I had been ready and willing at age 16 or so -- the problem was just that no one was interested in me that way, but in the other girls around me. It still hurts, in a bizarre and surprising way. I feel like being a virgin for so long was not my choice; I feel like the decision was made for me by other people who decided I wasn't attractive enough to be with. To this day I still wonder if I'm intensely sexually unattractive, and if the occurrence at age 20 was just a fluke that will not repeat itself. How can I let go of this? How can I cope with late loss of virginity and stop seeing it as a personal failure to pass muster in terms of attractiveness?
This blog post is part of a series here at Scarleteen profiling young people worldwide who are activists in some way in the fields of sexuality, sex education and sexual health.
Steph Herold might be best known for starting the website IAmDrTiller.com, but since getting that project up and running in 2009, she's also started the blog AbortionGang.org, written for RH Reality Check, and put together the Safe Abortion Project and the tumblr I Had An Abortion. She currently sits on the board of the New York Abortion Access Fund, and just finished a master's degree in public health. You can find her on twitter @StephHerold and read more about her work at stephherold.com.
When you started the I Am Dr Tiller Project as a response to the murder of Dr George Tiller in Wichita, Kansas, you were working at an abortion clinic. What got you interested in the issue of abortion and abortion care in the first place?
I grew up in a progressive home in the liberal suburbs of Washington, DC. Abortion wRead more...
The guy I'm sleeping with really wants to have PIV sex with me, but he won't wear a condom because he's Roman Catholic. Everything else we've done has been amazing and I really want to do it, but I'm terrified of getting pregnant and I've already had a scare that I haven't told him about. I'm on the pill now, but I know that it isn't 100% effective. Would it be really wrong to try and get him to change his mind about condoms? I'm religious too and I'd hate to make him do anything that would go against his faith, but the idea of getting pregnant scares me so much that I have nightmares about it, and since we're not really together I don't know what he'd do.
Today is my birthday.
If you've been a reader here for more than a year or two, you might have noticed that some years, I ask for something for my birthday here, and not usually something that's a thing, like a pony, a fire hoop, a scooter with a sidecar for my little dog, or a life-sized Fozzie Bear I could tell bad jokes to while going wokka-wokka (though I'd oh-so-gladly accept all of those things, for the record).
If and when I have a birthday where I blow out candles, the wish I make when I do is usually something around positive social change, and often positive social change in regard to sexuality. In a word, what I usually really, really want for my birthday is for people to have happier, healthier sexual lives, to feel better about sex and whatever their sexualities are, and to be more accepting and supportive of the diverse sexualities of all people.
One of the very biggest problems we have in most of our cultures and communities around sex and sexuality is silence, secrecyRead more...
My boyfriend and I, both 18, are very comfortable with each other. We took things slow, somewhat due to my discomfort in the religious section and partly to make it more genuine. Skip forward a bit and we are delving into the world of sexual activity. I want to steer clear of PIV sex for pregnancy reasons and virginity reasons. But the other day we were exploring each others' bodies and before we knew it we were having anal sex. Thankfully my boyfriend used much lotion in the absence of lube and took it very slow. We both enjoyed it and were even able to switch positions once or twice with little to no difficulty. My question for the staff of Scarleteen is simply this, is there something I'm missing? From word of mouth anal is supposedly unpleasant, unsafe, and should be avoided; but my boyfriend and I really enjoyed ourselves. We want take a day and just explore the possibilities but is there such thing as too much or things that I should be wary about before we even consider more anal sex? Thanks.
I'm transgender. My girlfriend has supported me from the time we got together, celebrating my "transliness", even finding tips to help me transition easier. When I got my packer, she laughed at it and asked me to take it off. I felt humiliated, but did so. Ever since then, she begs me to take it off if we start to become intimate. (The term there is "if"; our intimacy has been on a steady decline ever since then.) Now that I'm on testosterone, she's shying away even more. It seems that being able to afford a decent quality binder has really halted anything. She's even refusing to kiss me more than once or lay against me. A few nights ago she said that something was bothering her and to not get offended. She admitted that she is a lesbian, and only got with me originally because I was female bodied. She says that she's fallen completely in love with me, but is no longer sexually attracted to me unless I take my packer and/or binder off. She coaxes the binder off by offering a back massage. (Seeing as I have pulled every muscle in my back and slipped 2 discs, I can't refuse.) I have absolutely no idea what to do. I'm humiliated. She says that she will always love me, but is sexually frustrated. She doesn't want to leave me because she loves me, but would rather have sex with a girl. Any advice or..?