women

Five Things I Learned Dating a Girl

Dating this wonderful person pushed me to think about some things in new and challenging ways. Here are some of my favorite lessons that I learned when I dated a woman.

Decoding Sex in the Media: Why the Media Should Leave Kate Middleton's Baby Bump (And Everyone Else's) Alone

The implicit message behind OK!’s headline is clear: a new mother’s first concern should be her appearance.

This woman’s body just produced a tiny, squirming human being—we should celebrate it for this incredible feat! Instead, the media chooses to focus on presumed “flaws" of a person's body post-pregnancy, encouraging Kate—and women like her—to return (and immediately: do not pass go, do not collect $200) to the body she inhabited before she gave birth.

These types of headlines illustrate a disheartening phenomenon: the pervasive belief that a woman’s physical attractiveness (a trait dictated by an increasingly narrow beauty ideal) determines her value.

He Doesn't Want to Have Sex Anymore: How Can I Change His Mind?

cupcakewars77
asks:
My boyfriend for about two years now told me he doesn't feel like having sex. I told him I still do. He says all we ever do is have sex. That's not true. It's frustrating but I want sex and he doesn't. He is going to college this year and I won't see him as much because he will be so far way....

Who's Afraid of Sperm Cells?

Judging from the number of users I see experiencing pregnancy scares on the Scarleteen message boards, particularly from situations besides genital intercourse, you’d think sperm cells were some magical weapon of mass fertilization, powerfully wiggling their way through clothes/towels/fabric, and leaping off hands to impregnate every person around them within a 50 mile radius. Look out for scary sperm! Get outta the way! They're coming right for you! (pun intended)

As a volunteer for Scarleteen, I'm here to tell you none of this is physically possible. It just isn't. As a former laboratory technician at a fertility clinic, having worked directly with sperm and semen (and without having ever gotten pregnant doing so, no less!), I want to tell you why.

He's Queer, I'm Straight, and It's Great Except...

elinor
asks:
Help! I'm in a relationship with a man (I identify as a straight woman) who identifies as queer. He's mostly had sex with men in the past (there might have been 1 woman), but this is first heterosexual relationship. It's also my first relationship with a queer man. I really care for him, but I am struggling with checking my own heteronormative attitudes....

The Testing Diaries: Robin

Ten years ago, I knew about using lube, about making first-time intercourse comfortable, and about pregnancy prevention options, but it seems I didn’t know much about sexually transmitted infections.

My partner at the time — I’m still with him — offered to get tested for STIs before our first meeting in person.

I turned him down.

I think I must have decided that he didn't have an STI.

Someone told me once that I was more powerful than electricity. If that is true, which I highly doubt it is, I must be truly powerful indeed, to conduct blood and urine analyses over the phone or Internet, and with no scientific or medical training at that!

Off the Beaten Path

When I was growing up, I often turned to my mother for relationship advice. We had our differences, but we were close, and I valued her opinions. However, I also found myself grappling with many of the things she said, because in all of it one thing was clear: for her, the only kind of acceptable sexual relationships are monogamous, heterosexual, long-term commitments.

From the start, I had some questions about this concept. What if I did not want to sleep with men at all? What if I did not feel interested in the marriage-and-kids thing?

Like a Virgin: What Having Sex and First Time(s) Have Meant to Me

Figuring out who you are as a sexual being, and what your sexual experiences mean to you, in a world full of double standards and outdated definitions can be quite confusing. Here's my story of "losing my virginity" and finding my identity when it comes to sex.