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UK "Repeat" Abortion Rate for Teens Increases: What Does It Mean and What Can We Do?

Originally written for The Guardian, condensed version can be seen there.

In 2008, over 5,000 UK women under the age of 20 had an abortion that was not their first. As was made clear by the alarmist headlines following the publication of those numbers, this is a big concern for the public.

A woman’s reproductive life often spans 30+ years. Around 1/2 of all pregnancies in the US and UK are unplanned. Contraception isn’t used or used properly. It fails sometimes even in perfect use. Female fertility peaks between the ages of 19 and 24: the reason we tend to see the most abortions (and pregnancies) in that group is because it is the most fertile group having the most sex. (Piccinino, LJ, Mosher, WD. Trends in contraceptive method use in the United States: 1982-1994. 1998. Family Planning Perspectives. Vol. 30(1): 4-10 & 6, Table 1) The UK teen pregnancy rate is the highest in Western Europe: six times higher than the Netherlands, nearly three times higher than France and more than twice

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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 O

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He Can’t Orgasm … Is Diabetes to Blame?

Amber asks:

I just stumbled across your wonderful site totally by accident and am really hoping you will be able to help me with a problem which is keeping me awake at night. I’ve been sexually active since I was 16. Since then, all of my male sexual partners have ejaculated during sex, but my current boyfriend is having a problem. This is affecting our sex life as I feel I must be doing something wrong. He has tried to reassure me he often hasn't been able to orgasm in the past with other partners and that he enjoys sex with me nonetheless - that he doesn’t have to come to be satisfied. But I don't fully enjoy myself knowing that he won't reach orgasm; it doesn't seem fair.

I know you recently answered a question in the same vein but I think my query is different as he is diabetic. I have recently heard that diabetes can affect sex and am wondering if this is true. He doesn't seem aware of the connection and I don't want to mention it without getting the facts first. Please help me, I love him dearly and in all other aspects our relationship is fantastic...but it doesn't fell right for me to be getting all the sexual pleasure.

The Roundup of “I Get an Erection When …” Questions

Anonymous asks:

I get "NRB"s (no-reason boners) very often. Why do I get an erection when I'm not aroused?

That First Period Talk

Yesterday, after working my second job at the clinic, I was effectively kidnapped by my co-worker Gigi and her ten-year-old daughter Sophia, whom I adore. She calls herself Big Sophia around me, my pug (scroll down this page for a visual) being Little Sofia. We wound up driving from their place to my neighborhood for dinner, which is a pretty long haul. On the drive up, I sat in back with Sophia as she showed me how she plays cards on her Zune, shared her teen magazine with me, and put her headset on my ears to share her favorite music.

As I agreed that Paramore are, as she said, so super awesome and cool, I was reminded of my sense that when girls that age think you're the bomb, you really must be the bomb, and you very much feel as cool as the bands they like when they let you in. It's quite a gift.

At dinner, we sat together as she flipped through the magazine some more -- she still liked me even after insisting she hold my hand as we crossed a busy street, though she may well

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About That "Talk" with Your Parents...

Talking with your parents about sex can be really hard – even if your parents are really open and start the conversation themselves rather than you starting it – or even if your parents are totally supportive of your boyfriend or girlfriend and your sexual activities. Here are some tips and helps to make it easier on both of you.

Bored in the Bedroom

Anonymous asks:

I’ve been with the same partner for a few months. He is getting tired of doing the same old missionary position, as am I. He wants me to be on top, but I’m afraid he's not going to like it and I’m not going to be doing the right thing. Plus I’m super shy when it comes to things in the bedroom and am unsure of what to do. So help me, what do I do?

Why aren't you psychic?

HELP101 asks:

I'm 21 and me and my fiance have been sexually active for quite a while now. He says that sex isn't boring, BUT (and the but is never good) he wants to be able to say "Wow, she is a freak!" when we get done. I don't know what he is looking for, but I'm up to try anything. He says he won't tell me exactly what he wants me to do because then it won't be a surprise when I do it. I just don't want sex to get boring between us, so I need some advice.

Be a Blabbermouth! The Whys, Whats and Hows of Talking About Sex With a Partner

Open, honest communication with your partners is key to healthy, beneficial and satisfying sexual experiences. Need some help learning how to make it happen and keep it flowing?

We fool around, but then I feel bad. What should I do?

Anonymous asks:

I'm totally confused about my relationship, where it's going, I mean. I'm 14 years old and I have a 16 year old boyfriend, he's turning 17 in a few months. Since he's older, I know he has more sexual feelings and things like that, but I don't think I understand completely. We always fool around...kind of sexually...but not completely. We haven't had sex yet, and I think he might want to. I really don't know if I'm ready, mentally. I think it might ruin the relationship, I don't know what to tell him, or what to do when we start fooling around again. I mean, I enjoy it, but don't know how far to go with it, or where to stop. I feel like I need to talk to him, but no words come out. Whenever we "fool around" he asks like, "Is this okay?" or "Do you want me to stop?" I always let him do whatever, I don't mind at the time. But later on I really regret it, and wish I would have said something. What should I do?

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.