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Am I normal? Who cares?

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 change

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It's Blog for Choice Day 2010!

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 informat

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How can we have sex if he finishes before we even get started?

snapplefact asks:

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.

From Us to You: Some Volunteer Aunties Talk Body Image

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 right

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How can I help my trans partner with a medical transition?

myself5 asks:

Okay, so I'm a female high school junior. There's this girl (sweet, geeky, smart, funny, the works) that I may soon be starting a sexual relationship with. She's trans and just started taking hormones. Currently she's male, but eventually, her "outie" will become an "innie," so to speak. I've heard mixed things about this surgery, and I don't know if she'll be able to feel things the same way afterward. She's very sexual, and obviously I want to be able to do stuff with her, so this is a big concern. What will the aftermath of the surgery be like? What are the risks of the procedure? What can I do to help her get through this?

GimpGirl Community

Where women with disabilities come together to share their lives, experiences, problems and successes, in a safe space that focuses more on the women they are, and less on what disabilities they have.

Did rape ruin my vagina forever?

Adrienne7777 asks:

I was raped about seven months ago and my vagina hasn't felt the same ever since: it has felt more open. My boyfriend and I just started having sex about a month ago. I asked him if I felt loose, because ever since the incident I haven't felt good about my vagina. He said that I am definitely not tight. I looked at my vagina with a mirror and noticed that the opening isn't completely closed. I tried inserting a small dildo and standing up but the dildo fell out. I can easily insert one finger with little resistance. I have tried doing kegels but still feel like my vagina is open and loose. I cry about this and feel really self conscious. Is it possible that because when I was raped the rapist was really rough with me that my vagina is broken forever? Thank you.

Is my boyfriend going off me, or is this about his friend's death?

kirsty asks:

Me and my boyfriend have been together 6 months. I'm 14 and he's 15, and we are sexually active. But lately he doesn't text me the same as he used to, I have to ask him for hugs and kisses whereas he used to give me them all of the time, and it seems that he's avoiding me. His friend died last week: I don't know if that's the reason, but I love him so much, I don't want to lose him. Is he going to dump me?

Preventing Teen Pregnancy: Three Words Most Likely to Make My Blood Boil

I hate, hate, hate that phrase. Nearly everywhere I go or look as a young adult sexuality educator anymore, I run into it incessantly.

Let me be clear: I don't hate doing all that we can, to help people of every age to avoid pregnancies or parenting they do not want or do not feel ready for. I'm so glad to do that, and it's a big part of my job at Scarleteen and elsewhere when I work as a sexuality and contraception educator and activist.

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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.