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Condom Basics: A User's Manual

Using a condom is generally easier than it looks (especially if you can relax about it), but the first few times, it can be tricky, especially if you're nervous about knowing how to use one.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes!

(If that's a meaningless reference for you, have a click over. A little vintage Bowie, and with a sharp adultism callout, no less, is always good for the soul. And it's his 67th birthday today!)

Over the next few days, you'll notice some changes on the site. We are finally finishing the process of some design tweaks, and a pretty major reorganization of our static content on the site. Yippee! Myself, the volunteers, Casey, our badass developer, and Isabella Rotman, our snazzy artist-in-residence, have all had many conversations and brainstorming sessions to figure out the changes we wanted to make and felt best about when it comes to what we do, how we do it, what works best with our general ethos and the way we conceptualize comprehensive sex education, and how we want to grow from here, as well as what we feel will be most clear, comfortable useful for our users.

We hope everyone will be as excited about what we have come up with as we do!

Some sections we've had here for a long tim

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This Way, Not That Way: Avoiding One of the Most Common Condom Oops

One of the most common condom whoopsies we hear about from our users involves themselves or a partner going to put a condom on, then discovering they've put it on the wrong way.

Often, after doing that, they'll also report following that up with a second common oops, which is just flipping that same condom over and then putting it on the right way.

Condoms are highly effective safer sex tools to reduce the risk of transmitting or acquiring STIs, as well as a very effective method of contraception. But that effectiveness depends a whole lot on using them not just consistently, but properly. This isn't proper use.

If you can see the image here on the page, you'll notice the edge of the condom is rolled facing up. Like the brim of a hat. Or a rolled up sock or stocking before you put it on. Or, if you cuff your jeans, how the cuff looks when you look down at it.

Rolled up, towards you when you're looking at it, rather than rolled under or down, with the rolled-up rim facing away from you

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Scarleteen Live!

And on ice! (No, not on ice, sorry. That'd sure be fun, though.) "Scarleteen Live" is something we think is pretty exciting, even without ice skates and kooky costumes, but probably isn't quite as exciting as it sounds, either. There aren't even any song and dance numbers. (Yet.)

Here's what this is all about, for real.

Just below the Scarleteen 101 section on the left-hand sidebar over there, you should see something new today that looks like this:

Or, you'll see an image that looks like that one, but which says it's offline, and makes a sad-face because, as you know, someone not being online to help when you want is a bummer.

What's that all about?

That's our brand new, shiny, live site helpline. It's a web-based, real-time chat system our visitors can now use to be able to connect with one of our staff or volunteers directly for quick help.

What kind of help? If you're new to the site, and are having any trouble navigating, or have any kind of technical problem using the site, yo

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Lube 101: A Slick Little Primer

Meet our good friend, Lube. It can't create world peace, but it can make some kinds of sex more comfortable, masturbation or other sex you already enjoy even better, help prevent condoms from breaking and more.

All About Condoms

Want to watch and find out how to use male and female condoms best in English, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, ASL and more?

Condoms Breaking? Ur Probably Doin It Wrong.

As we've explained in the past, like here, with proper use, condoms actually break very rarely. The common mythology that condoms are flimsy and break all the time is just that: mythology, not reality. Different studies on latex condom breakage tend to reflect a breakage rate of around .4%, or only 4 breaks in every 1,000 uses. So, if you're having condoms break often, especially before you've even used them a few hundred times, it's not likely something is wrong with condoms, but that something is wrong with the way you're using them. That's not surprising, since a lot of people don't get good information about how to use condoms correctly, or ever see clear, slow demonstrations of proper use where they also get the chance to ask questions.

Since we've been having some users lately reporting patterns of breakage, we thought we'd take a few minutes to walk you through a review of some common issues that tend to make breakage more likely, so that those of you using condoms can avoid br

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Scarleteen By The Numbers: The Results of Our Demographics Survey

Every day, around 20,000 to 30,000 people come to Scarleteen online. We already know some basics about who our users are via backend site logs, Alexa, Google Analytics, the direct ways we engage with users daily and some demographics from years ago. This summer, we created a new demographics survey as part of a potential partnership with a fellow organization, and to get an additional, fresh source of information for ourselves.

Many of users mentioned they'd be curious about the survey results, one reason why we're sharing them with you here. Our supporters and potential supporters also often ask us about who our users are. In addition, we wanted to see these results too, to help us keep doing the best job we can. I'd like to share, then talk about some of the results with that aim.

We decided to limit our survey to 2,000 participants who completed it, a number that was manageable but also statistically significant. So, we cut the survey off once we had that number. We recruited for

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How to get birth control privately when you're a teen & keep condoms from breaking

kassidur asks:

Me and my boyfriend want to get me birth control pills, as we've had the condom break three times on us already, and we're really fearful of pregnancy. I've already seen on this site a question on how to get birth control, but I have more questions than were answered. I'm 16, as is my boyfriend. Neither of us are able to drive yet because we didn't get our permits at the correct time (though we can take a cab to get somewhere), my mom would be highly unsupportive of the fact me and him are having sex (and even more unsupportive of me being pregnant), but we don't want to stop or anything, we just want more ways to protect ourselves against pregnancy. So, I need a way to get birth control without my mom's know. In the question I've read, you guys said that the doctor would ask for my name, address, phone number, and social security number. By giving them any of these things, would my mom be able to know I had seen the doctor? One of my main fears of getting birth control is my mom finding out somehow. Also, I don’t know where my mom keeps my social security card, and I haven’t memorized the number, so how can I find it out? Can I not have to tell the doctor?

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