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Figuring Out How to be a Lesbian Safer Sexpert

When I started having sex with girls, there was no one cheering, especially not encouraging me to have safer sex. But over the last few years, I’ve finally begun to feel confident with safer sex, and it’s improved my sex life a million percent. I wish I’d gotten comfortable with it sooner.

The Testing Diaries: Allie

Do you feel anxious about the idea of getting tested for sexually transmitted infections and diseases? Some of our readers certainly do.

Some never had adequate sex-education and did not realize that sexual activity with a partner -- and not just anal or vaginal intercourse -- can pose STI risks in the first place. Some are not sure where to go for testing or how to ask for it. Others feel uncomfortable discussing STIs with a partner or potential partner. We get it: this stuff can be hard, and it is usually not the kind of thing where someone just takes us by the hand and leads us through.

This is why we're doing this series at Scarleteen. In it, some of our volunteers share their own stories of how they deal with different aspects of STI testing and reproductive healthcare.

The health center at my university is pretty awesome.

It provides free STI testing days throughout the year. Instead of making an appointment, students and non-students alike can just walk in, check in, and wait

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STI Testing, Safer Sex Social How-Tos, Fresh Starts and a Bittervention

frenchiemathwhiz asks:

Heather: I have a question about STD testing, but it's together with a lot of other stuff, so I'm giving you some of the whole story.

My long-term boyfriend just broke up with me, seemingly out of the blue. We were together for several of the most tumultuous years of our lives—we dealt with so much stuff, I can't even describe it. We lived together, we lived apart, we did long-distance, we came back, we kept going. We stayed together through moves, parents condemning our relationship, changing universities, changing friends, changing careers. I feel really stupid being broken up about it; my personal philosophy has always been: no mourning over guys. Only stupid women do that. (Obviously there's some of my own internalized misogyny in there, but I'm also being practical. A woman mourning a man comes off as pathetic; a man mourning a women is soulful and sad. That's just the way it is.) But I did (bleech, sounds so gross) really trust him. I let him in my, like, inner circle of trust.

He just broke up with me because apparently he HAS to sleep with this other girl, and he couldn't even wait until he was going to see me in a few weeks. He started hanging out with this group of party guys and I kept saying it was changing him. He kept denying it—until it did. He just got his first job and then started freaking out: he started to get into drugs, to do all this stuff.

After Contraception or Commitment, Why You Still Gotta Rock Safer Sex

We sometimes deal with a tough situation in direct service: a user comes in, and reports having contracted an STI; a user who also isn't a first-time user of our site or services, and who, in a previous conversation with us about pregnancy risks, blew off also talking about STIs and safer sex and turned down help we offered to them to reduce their STI risks, not just pregnancy risks.

When this happens, a person like this will usually be very upset about having contracted an STI, often angry, and even mystified about how this happened to them. Of course, we're rarely mystified and also are not usually surprised this happened, since we already identified risks of STIs when we were talking with them in the past, which is why we brought the importance of safer sex up with them in the first place.

This is one of those things where there's no joy or pride in being right: it stinks to be right about someone getting any kind of illness and being unhappy. Even though the majority of STIs are t

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National HIV and STD Testing Resources

For those in the USA, find HIV and STD testing centers near you, as well as sites to receive vaccines for certain STDs. Site also provides information about HIV and STDs and can help guide your testing decisions.

Sex, Etc.

A for-teens, by-teens site dealing with birth control and pregnancy, STDs and testing, relationship matters, LGBTQ issues, and sexual politics. Sex, Etc. also publishes a teen-written magazine which accepts reader contributions.

The Testing Diaries: Jacob

Do you feel anxious about the idea of getting tested for sexually transmitted infections and diseases? Some of our readers certainly do.

Some never had adequate sex-education and did not realize that sexual activity with a partner -- and not just anal or vaginal intercourse -- can pose STI risks in the first place. Some are not sure where to go for testing or how to ask for it. Others feel uncomfortable discussing STIs with a partner or potential partner. We get it: this stuff can be hard, and it is usually not the kind of thing where someone just takes us by the hand and leads us through.

This is why we're doing this series at Scarleteen. In it, some of our volunteers share their own stories of how they deal with different aspects of STI testing and reproductive healthcare.

7:10pm Before the Test:

I was going to be taking my STI test with a friend today, with the idea we would both get tested and I could've written in the style of a comedy bromance movie like "Dude. Where's My Car?"

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The Testing Diaries: Joey

Do you feel anxious about the idea of getting tested for sexually transmitted infections and diseases? Some of our readers certainly do.

Some never had adequate sex-education and did not realize that sexual activity with a partner -- and not just anal or vaginal intercourse -- can pose STI risks in the first place. Some are not sure where to go for testing or how to ask for it. Others feel uncomfortable discussing STIs with a partner or potential partner. We get it: this stuff can be hard, and it is usually not the kind of thing where someone just takes us by the hand and leads us through.

This is why we're starting this new series at Scarleteen's blog. In it, some of Scarleteen's volunteers will share their own stories of how they deal with different aspects of STI testing and reproductive healthcare.

I was tested for the first time seven years ago, shortly after I had my first sexual experiences. Things did not go according to plan: though I'd insisted on condom use, the person I

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I feel dirty and irresponsible because of genital herpes

fairies asks:

I'm 20 and have been with my partner for about two and a half years. We have a great relationship and are happy together. However, two years ago, when we first started sleeping together, I contracted genital herpes, even though we used condoms. I was a virgin before I slept with him so I knew it had come from him. I was angry and upset but he kept telling me he had tested clean at his last STI check and couldn't understand that he must have it. When we went to the GUM clinic (together) they confirmed that I had herpes but told me that they don't test for herpes unless there are symptoms present. Therefore when my boyfriend had his previous check-up (symptom free) he tested clean for everything they test for and then went on to sleep with me. My boyfriend was upset that I was blaming him and was tested again for everything they test for to prove to me he wasn't lying when he told me he was clean. He was negative for everything they tested him for....except like last time, they didn't test for Herpes and told him they didn't test for it unless there were symptoms, which there wasn't. He says he doesn't remember ever having symptoms hence why he's never had a physical check for it. I KNOW I didn't do anything wrong, and neither did my boyfriend, but I feel so bad about myself. I feel like I should have done something before we slept together, but I don't know what. I asked him to make sure he was clean: he did. We had no idea that they didn't do standard tests for herpes.

How do I stop feeling dirty and like I was irresponsible?

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