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spotlight on scarleteen

Spotlight on Scarleteen: Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine’s Day 2010!

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, generousl

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Spotlight on Scarleteen: New Years Resolutions

Happy New Year to you from all of us at Scarleteen!

Nearly a month into 2010, we hope your new year has been and continues to be happy, healthy, and all-around awesome. Have you set any New Year Resolutions this year? We have and would like to share them with you!

Over 1000 Scarleteen users are doing just that! Since December 19th and as of yesterday, 1001 visitors to the Scarleteen website have voted in the poll: Which of these is the best sexuality-based New Year's resolution for you? A lot of people will choose resolutions, such as exercising more, getting better grades, and quitting smoking. Those are all noteworthy goals, and big accomplishments when realized, but how about aiming to exercise safer sex all the time, acing a “quiz” of your own anatomy, and quitting bad body image and sexual shame? By setting a sexuality-related resolution, you’re focusing on an important part of you that often doesn’t get the attention (or praise!) it deserves.

THE RESULTS! We’re going to share t

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Spotlight on Scarleteen: Mary C.

If you're a regular reader of the Scarleteen blog, then you're probably already familiar with her fierce, fantastic, and, yes, frisky blog entries: Mary C. a.k.a. Mary Lingwall may be a relatively new arrival at Scarleteen, but she's already made quite a splash with some strong stories. Not afraid to push the envelope, Mary's posts are a mixture of fresh personal narrative, social commentary, and academic comparative that is tasty and easy to swallow-- just what the empowered sex-positive educator ordered!

In her first piece, "From Closeted to Comfortable", we accompany her on her journey from the closet as a reluctant masturbator to her dorm bathroom where she unabashedly washes her dildos while holding court with friends. However, that post is not just fun to read but even manages to connect the assiduous with the intense. Mary asserts that she can, indeed, feel comfortable with her whole self, sexual or not. She credits resources like Scarleteen for "reminding me that my sex

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Spotlight on Scarleteen: Message Board Bonanza

Have you been to the message boards lately?

If that's a yes, then you know about all the great content and discussions there are to join in on. If it's a no, then there's no better time than now to click over there, check things out, and add your piece!

The message boards provide a platform to not only address specific concerns but also post in threads about your experiences, share Scarleteen-related information from outside sources, and just chat with a purpose with some friendly folks from around the world.

Here are some discussions -- old and new -- that you may find interesting to read. You might even find yourself so inspired to join in, which is great because we'd love to have you!

Body, Soul, Sexuality

The best things YOU do for your body and soul!
Experiences With Therapy
Anxiety Busters
Starting college or university this Fall and looking for some support?
Birth Control Experiences (Quick Reference)

Partners, Parents, and Other People

Post-Breakup Helps
Meeting People Online

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Spotlight on Scarleteen: In Your Own Words

This Spotlight on Scarleteen blog entry focuses on a very special section of Scarleteen's main site: In Your Own Words features real, honest-to-goodness first-person narratives written for you, by you, on a range of sex and sexuality-related topics from A(bortion) to Z(aftig celebration.) Even if you have already seen this section before, it's worth stopping by again as new articles and perspectives are added regularly!

Here's a sampling of our current offerings, grouped by topic for your convenience! However, at this point we have 28-and-counting unique accounts by individual users, volunteers, and people on the 'net much like yourself.

Sexuality and Sex-Related Issues

It's Between God and Me So sure she'd "wait until marriage" for sex growing up, swgal found herself at odds with this aspect of her Christian upbringing once she had entered college. She shares how her spiritual and sexual journey intersect. At times they seems to clash or crash but ultimately she finds a way to take

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Spotlight on Scarleteen: Sex-Positive

When it comes to your average American sex education class, for all the talk about possible risks associated with sex, people seem to forget to mention all the positive aspects, the crazy-sexy-cool things that can make sex fun and enjoyable!

Obviously, sex must not be all bad if the vast majority of people have sex at some point in their adult lives; in fact, it must be pretty darn good. However, even in settings that offer comprehensive sex ed, the idea that sex can be fun and pleasurable often gets downplayed.

Not unsurprisingly, a lot of people are having unfulfilling, displeasurable, guilt-ridden and downright bad sex. Fortunately, there is a lot of support out there to help people overcome all the negativity. As important as these services may be, if sex ed were more sex-positive, I would imagine we could vastly reduce the need for repairs and revisions: We would know what a positive sexual relationship looks like and not settle for any less. We'd know how to reduce the risk of

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Spotlight on Scarleteen: Karyn

If you've ever come to the Scarleteen message boards in a jam or just happen to like reading up on expert sex ed advice, then chances are you already know Karyn a.k.a. Karybu from her compassionate, knowledgeable, and very personalized responses in Ask Scarleteen or Emergencies and Crises. In fact, since 2004, Karyn has been lending her ear and dolling out advice at Scarleteen. Since then, Karyn has earned her college degree, turned her volunteer work here into an awesome career and moved halfway across the world for love, but she still finds time to return to her beloved online home-away-from-home, Scarleteen.

As caring and compassionate as Karyn is, there's so much more to this multifaceted "child of the universe", as she once so fittingly called her personal thread on the boards. To continue a theme of alliteration, some other choice "c" words that come to mind to describe Karyn include Canadian, coffee-loving, committed, curious, and creative.

A Canadian citizen who currently cal

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Spotlight on Scarleteen: Be Prepared, not Scared!

Soup’s on!

Head chef at Scarleteen Heather Corinna has cooked up yet another tasty new article for you: Chicken Soup for the Pregnancy Symptom Freakout's Soul.

  • The Soup de jour: If you want to just dig in right away, please click here.
  • Hors d'oeuvres If you’d prefer more to hear a partial list of ingredients before ordering, please read below.
The Recipe for Distress:

Who: You (or your girlfriend or your best friend or your sister or that random woman over there...)

What: Are concerned / worried / scared / convinced and freaked out that you might be pregnant.

Where: The fear can strike anywhere: In the school cafeteria, on the bus ride home, at a friend’s sleepover, during softball practice, etc.

When: Anytime after having some sort of sexual activity.

Why: You used some form of reliable birth control properly but you just have a hunch you could/should/would be pregnant.

How: You notice one or more of these symptoms: A missed, lighter, or shorter menstrual period than usual; brea

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Spotlight on Scarleteen: Two new articles!

If you’re a regular at the main site, you may have already seen these two new articles: An Immodest Proposal by Heather Corinna and Let's Get Metaphysical: The Etiquette of Entry by CJ Turett and Heather Corinna. But if you haven’t gotten a chance to check them out yet, there’s a brief introduction to both.

Once upon a time, revisited and revamped.

Heather Corinna’s article, An Immodest Proposal, excerpted from the 2008 anthology, Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and A World Without Rape, is a modern-day fractured fairy tale about first-time sex-- revisited and revamped!

If Heather were to moonlight as a song lyricist, instead of saying a half-hearted “Oops!”, pop princess Britney Spears would be singing, “Yea, I did it again… and can’t wait to do it again and again!” In her Proposal, Heather conjures up an ideal sexual world that is not just free of rape and violence against women, but one where women and girls are free to express desire and initiate fulfilling sexual e

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Spotlight on Scarleteen: Favorite Articles

Happy New Year to you!

We hope your 2009 is happy, healthy, and downright fantastic. These may be hard times, but there’s still so much to be grateful for and glad about— plus, there’s no better time than now for you to take action and make a difference!

I’m sure you have a lot of positive things to look forward to –- friends, family, school, work, hobbies, and more. If you’re not feeling too hot about what’s to come, that’s a great reason to begin brainstorming ideas. You can start right here at Scarleteen: With over ten years of providing comprehensive, inclusive and original sex education to millions of young adults under its belt, you know you can turn to Scarleteen for new articles, new blog entries, new discussions, and more in 2009. (As always, your support is greatly appreciated-- you're what keeps us around!)

Something old, something new, something you

Let’s take a step back to review some of the oldies-but-goodies at the site. In this Spotlight on Scarleteen blog entry, we

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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.