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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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Scarleteens of Yesteryear

Scarleteen (then Pink Slip): 1998Scarleteen (then Pink Slip): 1998
As we're rolling out some redesign we've been working (and working to fund) over the last year or so, we thought we'd celebrate by sharing some of our history.

Mind, it's probably more fun for our readers than it is for me, since showing designs from times when the tech to do design blew, and one's (notice how I avoid saying my?) skills were less honed is a bit like streaking naked through a busy city street, or winding up at the ER after an accident when wearing the rattiest undies in your drawer.

Thank goodness, I came to web design with some solid design skills already -- though some not-at-all-solid coding skills, I pretty much had to learn that by the seat of my pants -- so I was better equipped than a lot of people making sites, but that still doesn't mean everything was awesome, and that I don't shudder a little bit to see some of my designs of yore.

However, I've at least resisted the attempt to embarrass myself less by showing screenshots

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Scarleteen Superstars: Joey, Karyn, Alice and Sarah

And here's the second part of our volunteer profiles (part one is here) so all of you can better get to know some of the people we're so lucky to have on Team Scarleteen!

Karyn

Age: 27
Where do you live? Melbourne, Australia
What year did you first find Scarleteen? 2004

What made you want to volunteer? I went through high school and the first couple years of university completely clueless about pretty much everything to do with sex and relationships. When I finally found Scarleteen and had my own questions answered so brilliantly, with so much information and so much obvious care, I knew I had to help out.

Biggest personal sexual epiphany (so far)? Learning to say "no", without any guilt, without feeling I'm letting a partner down, without second-guessing myself.

Best thing you ever learned from a Scarleteen user/users: That I can learn from them, really - I'm not always going to be the "expert". When I first started volunteering, I was so worried that it meant I'd have to know *every

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Scarleteen Superstars: Ray, Kat, Véronique, Steph and Jacob

Our volunteers are a huge part of Scarleteen, and I call them superstars with very good reason. They're all incredible.

They play a big part in providing our direct services at our message boards and through our text-in answer service. They are our invaluable collective editorial board: even when volunteers aren't part of writing a piece, every piece we publish goes past at least some of them and their input is priceless. They're an equal part of all conversations about how we run things here, collectively informing and making decisions about how we manage and administrate the site and organization. They are a strong support circle: for all of us as a staff, for each other, for our users. They are a brilliant hivemind: our backend chat channel for staff and volunteers has had some amazing, inspired conversation about the issues we address here at Scarleteen. Most of our volunteers also started out at Scarleteen as users, so they come in with a lot of knowledge about being a user here,

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Scarleteen Direct Service Response Time Changes

Just a quick update about a change starting at Scarleteen, for those who use our direct services.

With both our message boards and text service, we have told our users for many years now that they can expect a reply from a staff member or volunteer within 24 hours, though most have usually received replies more quickly than that, often even within minutes at certain times of day.

We need to make an adjustment to that timetable. Starting today, users of our direct services should be prepared for a window of waiting as long as potentially 48 hours (but more realistically, a few hours rather than within minutes).

Over the last year, we've been more short-handed with volunteers than usual. Some of our core volunteers have been winding up working more hours than volunteers should be expected to work. Per usual, our very modest budget also does not allow us to hire additional staff. Being shorthanded here is often especially typical during the summer months. Alas, that also happens to be th

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Our Volunteers: To Sex::Tech or Bust!

I'm writing today to make a modest funding ask of our allies and our readers capable of financial contributions on behalf of our volunteers.

What we're looking to do is to raise enough funds for all of our volunteers, who are able, to fly to San Francisco this April and attend the sex::tech conference together.

Doing so would allow them to appear on a panel we're giving composed of young adult peer online educators, in which they can talk about being educators and engage in a discussion with attendees which will, I expect, influence both attendees and the volunteers positively. I feel it's very important for them to be able to experience some outside, in-person recognition for the fantastic work they've done over the years and want that for them very much. This will also allow as many of us as possible to meet in person and do some important brainstorming about Scarleteen as a website and an organization. Many of them have never met in person, despite sometimes talking online for

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Meet Scarleteen's New Assistant Director!

I'm thrilled to announce that beginning in May, Scarleteen will be welcoming CJ Turett as our part-time assistant director. We've never had an official assistant director before, but have wanted one for quite some time, and I can't conceive of a better person for the job. I am particularly delighted to bring someone into a position of leadership here who is a younger activist: part of serving younger people well involves making them an integral part of the organizations who serve them, which absolutely should include positions of leadership.

CJ is a has a master's degree in human sexuality education from Widener University and is currently pursuing an Ed.D. He has worked previously as a community educator at a domestic violence and sexual assault survivor service organization, as an HIV/AIDS and LGBT case manager for the Mazzoni Center, and most recently as the education coordinator for Answer and their Sex, Etc. website. He has lectured on numerous LGBT health and well-being issues o

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Spotlight on Scarleteen: New Years Resolutions

Happy New Year to you from all of us at Scarleteen!

Nearly a month into 2010, we hope your new year has been and continues to be happy, healthy, and all-around awesome. Have you set any New Year Resolutions this year? We have and would like to share them with you!

Over 1000 Scarleteen users are doing just that! Since December 19th and as of yesterday, 1001 visitors to the Scarleteen website have voted in the poll: Which of these is the best sexuality-based New Year's resolution for you? A lot of people will choose resolutions, such as exercising more, getting better grades, and quitting smoking. Those are all noteworthy goals, and big accomplishments when realized, but how about aiming to exercise safer sex all the time, acing a “quiz” of your own anatomy, and quitting bad body image and sexual shame? By setting a sexuality-related resolution, you’re focusing on an important part of you that often doesn’t get the attention (or praise!) it deserves.

THE RESULTS! We’re going to share t

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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

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Spotlight on Scarleteen: In Your Own Words

This Spotlight on Scarleteen blog entry focuses on a very special section of Scarleteen's main site: In Your Own Words features real, honest-to-goodness first-person narratives written for you, by you, on a range of sex and sexuality-related topics from A(bortion) to Z(aftig celebration.) Even if you have already seen this section before, it's worth stopping by again as new articles and perspectives are added regularly!

Here's a sampling of our current offerings, grouped by topic for your convenience! However, at this point we have 28-and-counting unique accounts by individual users, volunteers, and people on the 'net much like yourself.

Sexuality and Sex-Related Issues

It's Between God and Me So sure she'd "wait until marriage" for sex growing up, swgal found herself at odds with this aspect of her Christian upbringing once she had entered college. She shares how her spiritual and sexual journey intersect. At times they seems to clash or crash but ultimately she finds a way to take

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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.