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You probably already know I'm the founder and executive director of Scarleteen. (If not, hello! Lovely meeting you.) You might not know that on Sunday I'm turning 40.
I don't normally ask the internet for birthday prezzies, but 40 is a big freaking birthday. When I was the age of most of the young people I counsel now, I had it in my head I wouldn't live past 36. I've become the adult I didn't even think I would be around to be. When someone asked me what I wanted last week for my birthday, what I felt I really wanted, in my heart of hearts, was the kind of world I'd truly prefer to live in and want for young people, particularly around sexuality, their bodies and their relationships. I want the world I've been working very hard to try and create. Big birthdays deserve big gifts, right?
Of course, no one can just snap their fingers and give that to me. But there is something small each of you can do to plant some seeds for it, and I'm going to go ahead and be a noodge and ask you forRead 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?
Am I/is he/is she/is this/are we normal?
Am I/is he/is she/is this/are we normal?
As anyone who works in sex education or sexuality can tell you, when it comes to the questions people ask us, variations on the theme of "Am I normal?" reign supreme.
I just spent a half hour going through our advice question queue, doing a search on each page for the word "normal." At the moment, we have around 55 pages of unanswered questions. There's five to fifteen questions on each page. I found only two pages where there was not at least one question with the term "normal" in it; where the heart of the question wasn't "Am I -- or is he, she or ze -- normal?"
Some questions about normality are really about health. That's a little different. Of course, from my view, that's also less about normal and more about healthy. If, for instance, someone has delayed puberty but no health issues they need to address causing it, then it doesn't really matter if it's normal because that person is healthy and not in need of healthcare or lifestyle changeRead more...
We're glad this day has rolled around again, and always glad to have the opportunity to keeping talking about the essential human right of reproductive choice. Perhaps obviously, we're less glad that any of us still have to work so hard to support reproductive choice and justice, or to need to explain that it should simply be self-evident.
This year we'd like to highlight some of the many articles, blog entries and advice answers we have at Scarleteen on abortion, other reproductive choices and reproductive justice. The Blog for Choice question this year is "What does Trust Women mean to you? The links below reflect that well.
But in a word, to us, it means exactly that: that as individuals who are members of a collective, and as an organization, we trust women.
Women aren't our only readership or userbase here at Scarleteen, but female-bodied and/or female-identified people make up a majority of our users. We give the sexuality information we do in the way we do, including informatRead more...
I have an amazing boyfriend. He's thoughtful, considerate and sweet - not to mention super cute - everything I've ever wanted. He likes me a lot, too, and he's always telling me how much he likes me and how beautiful I am and all that good stuff. The problem is, I think he likes me a little TOO much. We haven't had sex yet, but I don't know if we can! The problem is that he appears to be a premature ejaculator. When we mess around, he comes unbelievably quickly - and he doesn't even get hard first. He keeps telling me he's really nervous because he's never been with anyone as great as me before, which is really nice, but I'm getting REALLY frustrated. I want to have sex with him but how can I do that if I can hardly touch his penis without it going soft, or worse? I don't know what to do.
I know it's only so much consolation to you right now, but the older I get, the more I notice how much easier having a positive body image becomes. I know that's clearly not the case for all older women: after all, plenty of women my age and older are getting sliced, diced and Botoxed to within an inch of their lives. However, it's also not just me. I often notice that women I'm friends with also seem to have a good handle and perspective on their body image, despite the diversity of our bodies. Usually a much better one then they had when they were your age.
But you know, what I wish I knew then that I do know now is that most of my body image is totally up to me. Just like it is now, so it was when I was in my teens: I have control over how positive or negative it is. And that's something you'll find many older women wish they had known back when. You don't have to wait until you're in your 30's, 40's or beyond to get to a better place with yours. You can start doing that rightRead more...