vagina

What Are Menstrual Cups?

Looking for an alternative to tampons or pads? A user asks about menstrual cups, and we give her -- and you -- the scoop.

Spotlight on Scarleteen: Mary C.

If you're a regular reader of the Scarleteen blog, then you're probably already familiar with her fierce, fantastic, and, yes, frisky blog entries: Mary C. a.k.a. Mary Lingwall may be a relatively new arrival at Scarleteen, but she's already made quite a splash with some strong stories. Not afraid to push the envelope, Mary's posts are a mixture of fresh personal narrative, social commentary, and academic comparative that is tasty and easy to swallow-- just what the empowered sex-positive educator ordered!

In her first piece, "From Closeted to Comfortable", we accompany her on her journey from the closet as a reluctant masturbator to her dorm bathroom where she unabashedly washes her dildos while holding court with friends. However, that post is not just fun to read but even manages to connect the assiduous with the intense. Mary asserts that she can, indeed, feel comfortable with her whole self, sexual or not. She credits resources like Scarleteen for "reminding me that my sex life is not my defining characteristic and that being kinky doesn’t equate to being degenerate." Then, in "Vajayjays," "Lady Parts" & "Aunt Flow", Mary takes Oprah to task for pussyfooting around using the correct terminology for female genitalia. Indeed, if "even Oprah... who has recently been one of the most beneficially outspoken contenders in the push for medically accurate, full-body sexual education for adolescents... can't say the word "vagina" without becoming uncomfortable", then is it any wonder that it's so hard for legions of girls and young women to do the same? In her most recent entry, Mary explores the intersection between "Feminism and Facials", or how even in the sex-positive feminist blogosphere, certain sexual acts can make people cringe or cry out with contempt; Mary provides an excellent overview on the topic, summarizing many of the pieces out there and stating her opinion, then ultimately leaving it up to the readers to decide where they stand.

Mary is not just a thought-provoking but also a prolific writer. In addition to occasionally blogging at Scarleteen, Mary is a junior Plan II Honors and History major at the University of Texas at Austin, where she can also be found reaching out to her peers as a Healthy Sexuality Peer Educator for UT’s health services, chairing Campus Coalition for Sexual Literacy, and writing for the Daily Texan. While she's currently on hiatus from Scarleteen, hardly surprisingly considering all the great things on her plate, you don't have to wait to read new material if you head over to her DT sex column "Hump Day” or check out her personal journal at Pink Lip Pariah.

I absolutely adore each of those pieces of hers here at Scarleteen and eagerly anticipate the topics Mary will cover in the future; I am also proud to share this recent interview with Scarleteen right now.

Without any further ado, here she is!

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....

"Vajayjays", "Lady Parts" & "Aunt Flow"

When I was in about 5th grade my mom got me an American Girls book about puberty and the transition from girlhood to womanhood. It told me all about shaving, choosing fingernail polish, and eating well. And on one special page it told me about my period and how to put a tampon in. Me and my girlfriends each had our own copies and we referenced it like the Bible. I was one of the last of my friends to get my period and I remember wanting one so badly, complaining to my mother about my feeling left out.

Is intercourse a violence or a violation?

stullis
asks:
I've been with my girlfriend for nearly six months now. I've always had a bit of a problem having sex with people (keeping it up) but this problem has never occurred between me and her. However, lately I've begun to feel very guilty about the physical action of having sex....

Is it safe for him to taste my menstrual blood?

theredmarker
asks:
I know having your partner finger you during your period is perfectly safe (while a little messy), but I do have another concern: my boyfriend often puts that finger in his mouth to taste the fluid after he's done fingering. So I was wondering, is it safe to do that while on your period? Like, are there any health risks involved with ingesting the blood?...

Did my previous masturbation de-virginize me?

yesman
asks:
I am 15 and when I was 14 I started becoming very interested in masturbating. I actually used objects and penetrated them inside my vagina. After a while i realized how stupid I was being so I stopped with the masturbating. I've been dating my boyfriend for about 4 months and we are so comfortable with each other....

Let's Get Metaphysical: The Etiquette of Entry

From both our personal experiences of our own varied sex lives, and in our work in sexuality with many other people, it seems pretty clear that really letting someone into an internal space in your body, or going into someone else's insides -- which we know might sound a little gross, but that is what's going on with this stuff -- is a fairly big deal for many people. So, what might make sexual entry different from other sexual activities?

I didn't feel a thing with fingering: is there something wrong with me?

Anonymous
asks:
I am 15 years old, and my boyfriend I went farther in our relationship. It was both of are first times doing anything with someone else's private parts. When he was fingering me, he used one finger for a time and I really didn't feel it, it felt boring. He then did it with two and when I told him I still couldn't really feel it, he was shocked....