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Hooking Up Can Be Awkward - Until It's Great

Hello! I’ve been a big fan of Scarleteen for a while now. I’ll be fully honest: I love Scarleteen!

So, it’s truly an honor, thrill, and excitement to get to call Scarleteen a new home for my writing. Hey, they say home is where the heart is! While here, I’ll be mostly writing about that magnificent phenomenon we call consent. And I can’t wait to share with, hear from, and learn with you!

In my experience, getting to the heart of consent has usually involved paying close attention to detail. For example, I host consent workshops professionally, and at one point during past workshops, when the audience is generally settled and feeling comfortable opening up, I have asked, “Who here has ever had something silly and awkward happen during a hookup? Even slightly awkward.” (When I say hooking up, I'm referring to sexual activity.) Hands have shot straight up and we all ended up getting a good laugh out of it. It just goes to show how awkward connecting with sex can be, whether you're in be

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A Faking Farewell

Confused Teen asks:

I've been in a relationship with my current boyfriend for a year now, and we've been having sexual intercourse for around 8 months. Throughout this time, I have NEVER reached an orgasm through sex, but because I thought I was the weird abnormal one, and was afraid of how my boyfriend may react, I since have faked it every single time which we have had sex. Sex is alright, but I now just want to tell him. But how do I explain to him that this isn't his fault without him being hurt and upset? Please help me because I really don't know what to do!

Whoa, There! How to Slow Down When You're Moving Too Fast

Is your sex life or sexual relationship feeling like someone pressed the fast-forward button and now it's spinning out of control? Evaluate whether things are moving too fast for you or a partner, and then get some help on pulling back the reins and slowing things down to a more comfortable pace.

How can I stick to the promise I've made to myself to wait?

IthilienDude asks:

I'm a Christian, and I have decided to save myself till marriage. I'm perfectly fine with that. My boyfriend is fine with that too (we've been together a month), and respects my decision. However, like any celibate person would admit, sometimes I get these truly surreal urges for sex: I catch myself thinking that maybe even a little bit of touching while kissing would be fine, or I just think about what it would be like if we ever got married and ended up sleeping together. I have said nothing to my boyfriend, in case he misconstrues it as an invitation, but it has recently been very, very difficult to resist, especially with all these hormones making me want sex. I want to stay true to my decision to stay premaritally celibate, and I will pride myself on not being tempted, however my urges make the battle all the harder sometimes. Any suggestions?

How can I talk about sex without pressuring her?

DaltonTopiary asks:

I'm 17. I love my girlfriend. Really. Real love. Love as in "I want to marry you. I want to respect you. I want to commit my life to you." We brought up the topic of sex a few months ago, but it didn't go any farther than "How do you feel about it?" From that little talk we concluded that it was something we both wanted to do.

That was nearly three months ago and I want to talk about it. Nothing dirty or anything, I just want to know how important (or how un-important) it is to her. I want to know that she wants to have sex with me because she loves me, not because she feels she has to. The problem is...I don't know what to say or what to do to bring it up to her. I fear she might think that I'm trying to tell her that I am waiting and begging for sex, which I am not. I'll wait for her forever. Any advice?

Under Pressure!

Destiny123 asks:

I'm 16 years old. The blade has been calling my name for 5 years now. It scared my parents to where they placed me in a mental facility 4 years back. It was the hardest time of my life. I was in 6th grade at the time. I was scared I wanted to end it all. Now I love my life honestly I have no reason for the blade anymore. My older brother has set an amazing path for me. Not doing any drugs, does great in school, has a great girlfriend. He's a perfect guy and the best older brother...I feel like I've let him down. This isn't just a habit, it's an addiction. Just the feeling of holding my razor g
ives me the feeling that the pains almost gone. I have a problem and I feel like I need help from a professional. Like I said...That period of time was the hardest in my life and I don't want my parents to go back to thinking I'm still depressed and suicidal, which I'm not. The main reason I think I do this is because of all the pressure I feel. It builds up inside me. My dad constantly makes me feel like I can't do anything right, I'm a star athlete for my high school crosscounty, varsity girls basketball team, and track causing me to feel like I have to win. People say it's easy not to cheat on your boyfriend/girlfriend. That's true if no one wants to have sex with you. I love my boyfriend we've been together since I was 12 and its a constant battle not to cheat on him. My parents are homophobic which is sad because I'm bisexual and they don't know because the fear kills my inside to tell them. I've never had a girlfriend but I've known I was bisexual since I was in elementary school. All of this is unbearable for me to take sometimes...and I give in and let the razor bite through my skin. Is there anything I can do to help with my cutting relapse without having to make my parents go through that again?

Let’s Talk about Six, Baby

This guest post from the wonderful Anne Semans at the Moms in Babeland blog is part of our month-long fundraising effort for Scarleteen. Thanks, Anne!

One day about 20 years ago I was walking down Haight Street with my 6-year-old niece. This was long before I had kids, but well after I started selling sex toys for a living. It was San Francisco in the early Nineties, and Salt n’ Pepa’s song “Let’s Talk About Sex” was blasting out onto the city streets. My niece looked up at me and asked what the song was about.

My moment had arrived! It was my big opportunity to be the “cool aunt” and to seize on a teachable moment to explain the biology without any moralizing or stereotyping.

I nervously launched into a monologue about sex being an intimate act between two adults that brings them pleasure, and how sometimes but not always it can result in a baby being conceived, and that it can be between two women, two men, or one of each.

Finally I paused and asked her if that answered her quest

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Everything is amazing...except the sex

SENRobinson asks:

I have been seeing this "perfect" guy for the past month or so. We are incredibly compatible, it's unreal. Recently though we had sex, prior to doing so we had some explicit conversations and I thought everything was, well...just talking about being with him was a real turn on. Naturally I was extremely comfortable talking about sex with him because he makes me feel extremely comfortable. Anyways, we had sex a few times and for some reason I don't feel at all compatible with him in the bedroom. Is this even possible?! It just seems as if it doesn't go over smoothly at all, something ALWAYS goes wrong! Should I give up or work at it--since he is so amazing in every other category! The issue has nothing to do with his size or performance, because he is great in those areas. It's just frustrating because there is always a bump in the road, and I've never been in a situation like this.

I'm In the (Friend) Zone

Anonymous asks:

I'm a male high school student and, frankly, also a cliche. I'm the basic "friend" and I really don't want to be that. I have a lot of guy friends and a lot of girl friends, but no girlfriend. This may sound stupid, but I don't want this to be a foreshadowing of the rest of my life to come. I've never really had a girlfriend, and don't get me wrong, my friends are great. Some of the girls I can imagine going out with, but I guess I fear rejection, ruining a friendship, or one leading to another. I also fear of being in the "friend zone" (I know I made a reference to "Just Friends"). It's not as much about sex or anything, just someone to have, to hold, and to love. Love. Geez, I'm 16 and already talking about love. I'm convinced that I was born the age of 26 or something like that. I have these "crushes" (I guess that's the appropriate word) that go on and off with different girls and I'm just so confused of how to approach these situations. I made it a rule for myself not to ask anyone out until I could drive myself, which, in February I'll be able to do. Did I do this to myself? Crap. Anyways, I should wrap this up before I ramble on forever. What should I do?

"Dad, Do You and Mom Have Sex?"

This entry is from Omnipotent Poobah, and part of the Scarleteen Blogathon

At the risk of dating myself – at least not in the eHarmony sense – I am from the sex education dark ages.

In my day, Just Say No was Just Don’t Say Anything. Moms and Dads, more often than not, didn’t have “the talk” because of their own shocking lack of knowledge or because they were too embarrassed. Teen pregnancy and sexual diseases were relatively rare. And gay kids? Well, they simply didn’t exist.

Sex ed was limited to the 6th or 7th grade when all the girls were herded out of gym class to see a film about “that time of the month” while the boys played baseball…in the winter. Many of the girls emerged from the film visibly shaken and, so far as I know, none ever revealed the true nature of the film to the boys.

Of course, that left teens to their own sexual education. And teens, as they frequently do, thought they knew more about things than any adult could possibly know. In those days, they unfortunately

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