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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.

We first started having these conversations when I was around 14 years old, which was also when I first started to question my sexuality. 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?

A few years later, after two failed relationships (with the same wonderful person) and a lot of angst, I was fairly certain about two things: 1. I was pretty darn queer and 2. I wasn't cut out for monogamous, long-term relationships at the time. I did not feel comfortable within a relationship, no matter how awesom

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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who you are as a sexual being, and what your sexual experiences mean to you, in a world full of double standards and outdated definitions can be quite confusing.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.

He says what I wear is slutty: what should I do?

c10el asks:

My boyfriend sometimes tells me what I wear is "slutty." I've tried to explain to him that I find this possessive, sexist and objectifying but he can't understand why. When I give up on that argument and try to just tell him that the only thing that should matter to him is that I feel good wearing it, he responds that he doesn't understand why I need to dress "slutty" to feel good. How can I articulate my feelings to him in a clearer way? Should I just compromise and not wear the offending articles (it really is only one or two things in my closet).

I'm scared to touch my own vagina: why?

birthdaycake123 asks:

Hey. I'm 14 and I've never fingered myself. I've done other things, but the thought of fingering myself just seems gross. A couple times, I've tried to, but then I get to thinking about how gross vaginas are, and I chicken out. I know this is irrational, but do you have any advice on getting over this? Thanks.

Does sex have to involve penetration? The idea of it makes me totally sick.

whydoihavetohaveanaccount asks:

Okay so I'm pretty sure I'm lesbian and the reason for this is that when I read something naughty straight stuff makes me sick. When I read lesbian erotica I like it... until they start penetrating each other, but everything else excites me and I know I want to have sex. If you are having sex with a girl does there have to be penetration? Is it unusual to not want it? I mean just the thought of it makes me sick.

Rape is Rape: Lebanon Edition

In Lebanon (or at least, in Beirut) the joke is that it is equally likely to see a woman in a mini skirt as it is to see a woman in a hijab.

In Lebanon (or at least, in Beirut), European tourists feel at ease that the Lebanese still speak a post-colonial French, and let Beirut be called the Paris of the Middle East.

In Lebanon (or at least, in Beirut), tourists and Lebanese alike flock to the beaches and the nightclubs, openly drinking alcohol, smoking hookahs, and belly dancing to both popular western and Arabic music, creating a strange moment that many see as cultural influence, and many others see as cultural infiltration.

Still—despite the post-colonial familiarity and acceptability of Lebanese culture—Lebanese women remain in many ways decorative objects, openly ignored, slighted or discriminated against in legislation. In Lebanon, a woman cannot pass on her Lebanese nationality to her children. In Lebanon, a woman is not protected from domestic abuse—because the law does not re

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I want to wait until marriage for sex, but I'm worried no one else will.

Hoult O_o asks:

Due to moral and possibly religious reasons, I want to wait 'til I am married before I have sex. But as a woman, I am worried that many men will not wait for this length of time and also will not be virgins by the point of marriage.

I'll Show You Mine: Blink

This is our final installment of stories and photographs from I'll Show You Mine, a book by Wrenna Robertson and photographer Katie Huisman, and by all of the women featured in the book, collectively. To find out more about the book, Wrenna, and why we think this is such an important project, check out our interview with her here. Or, you can visit the website for the book to find out and more and get a copy for yourself.

If you'd like to ask the person whose body and words are featured in each entry any questions or have a conversation with her, most of the subjects have agreed to make themselves available here in the comments for discussions with our readers. As mentioned in Wrenna's interview, so many people never get the opportunity to talk about genitals in an honest, open and safe way with others, so we encourage you to avail yourselves of the opportunity, and are so grateful to the women involved for making this kind of conversation available to Scarleteen readers.

We're also

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I'll Show You Mine: Laure

This is the seventh installment of stories and photographs from I'll Show You Mine, a book by Wrenna Robertson and photographer Katie Huisman, and by all of the women featured in the book, collectively. To find out more about the book, Wrenna, and why we think this is such an important project, check out our interview with her here. Or, you can visit the website for the book to find out and more and get a copy for yourself.

If you'd like to ask the person whose body and words are featured in each entry any questions or have a conversation with her, most of the subjects have agreed to make themselves available here in the comments for discussions with our readers. As mentioned in Wrenna's interview, so many people never get the opportunity to talk about genitals in an honest, open and safe way with others, so we encourage you to avail yourselves of the opportunity, and are so grateful to the women involved for making this kind of conversation available to Scarleteen readers.

We're als

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She just won't stop pressuring me for sex and babies.

marshmallowthreat1 asks:

I'm in an on again-off again type relationship with my "girlfriend." We get along and everything, but on some things we don't see eye to eye. We've had sex before, and that's kind of the problem. She keeps pressuring me into having sex! You don't really hear it this way with guys, but it's the truth. She knows what she wants, and she wants it now! It's not that I don't want to have sex with her, or that I don't LIKE having sex with her, but sometimes I just enjoy romance. Or just hanging out. Sex isn't everything. And another thing: she want's a baby! She's nineteen, and I'm eighteen. I've reminded her that neither of us drive or have jobs. I just graduated high school (at the time I was still IN school) but still, I can't change her mind. So I don't really know what to say. How can i get through to her that sex isn't everything, and that we're definitely not ready for a baby?

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