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We're so very excited to kick off this series today which features some of the 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. The book is an educational resource which was created to debunk society’s artificial and unrealistic standards for normalcy and beauty with the vulva, and to help people really get a sense of not only what vulvas can look like, in all their diversity (and without our pal Photoshop in the mix), but the diverse ways people who have them can feel about them. Sixty women are represented in the book, each with two large, true colour photographs. The photos are paired with in-her-own-words stories of each woman’s experience of the shaping forces of her sexuality; the stories range from heart-wrenching to celebratory, from angry to sensual. Women from a variety of ethnicities, ages spanning from 19 into their sixties, and all walks of life are repRead more...
If you’ve been reading Scarleteen for a while, you might already know that for many years now, we've heard from a good deal of young women who are deeply ashamed of and disgusted by these parts of their own bodies.
Some have feelings so negative that they are afraid to show loving partners their vulvas, or worry a lot about partners they haven't even met yet and that unknown person's reaction to the appearance of their vulva. Others don't get sexual healthcare they need because they don't want a doctor to see their vulvas: in other words, for some, distress about vulval appearance may be putting not just their emotional health and self-esteem, but physical health at risk. Some are so fearful, disgusted or negative they won't even use a mirror to get a better look at their vulvas alone, or won't touch their own vulvas because their feelings of disgust are so strong. Some even find it hard to feel comfortable around other women in non-sexual ways or to hear other women talk about theiRead more...
What do you call it when you're sexually attracted to men (I'm a girl), but you can also appreciate female beauty? I'm straight and would not want a woman as a sexual partner. However, it's not unusual when I see a beautiful woman to think "damn, she's smokin'" the same way I might think "wow, he's a hunk" when I see an attractive guy. I also realize I have the capacity for 'girl crushes'--usually when I find another women admirable, not even in a sexual way or anything. I might admire her for her skill, personality, or expertise, as well as her physical beauty. What's up with that?
I'm a 19 year old lesbian ("Lipstick") and my girl friend is a "Dyke" and I know she has had previous partners and well so have I but never a Dyke. I'm scared of what may happen when we actually do have sex. What if I do something she's not comfortable with? Matter of fact what do I do if I do? I'm scared that I'll completely blow it and ruin our sexual relationship.
My best friend just came out to me and I came out to him... now he wants to have sexual relations, what do I do?
It all happened a week ago. He told me he was bi, I told him that I am gay. After an awkward conversation he told me that he wanted to have sex with me minus an actual relationship and he told me that he prefers women but likes men as well. This is all troubling to me because I don't have any interest in him as a partner and telling me that he likes women is a big turn off. But the guy has never had a relationship with a man or woman. I kind of feel bad for him, he has had a lonely life. I have had several relationships both platonic and sexual. I would like to find a way to tell him that I am not his guy without hurting his feelings. We have been friends for 6 years now and the only reason why I haven't told him that I was gay before this point is because of his families very conservative views.
On a side note, What is the best way to tell girls who are infatuated with you that you are gay without offending them? For whatever reason, people have a hard time actually believing that I am gay. Thank you for your help!
My early childhood consisted of Legos and Hot Wheels. In junior high, I listened to more metal than pop, wore hoodies and Vans shoes, black nail polish and eyeliner. Nowadays, I've been getting more interested in piercings and tattoos. I've never felt like a girl for the most part, but I've never considered getting some sort of sex change or anything either. I've only been attracted to guys, as friends and romantically. Because of my hardcore tomboyishness, guys never ask me out/respond favorably when I flirt. In high school, everyone assumed I was a lesbian. I said no, since I don't like girls.
Since I feel more like a guy, but like guys, would that make me transgendered somehow?
I had a favorite line, in high school, when debating people on the subject of abortion. It was "Hey, that thing in your stomach's not gonna come out a toaster, right? It's a baby!"
Oh, I thought I was really, super clever with that one. Because I loved talking about the babies. I talked about the babies at the high school Young Republicans Club--not only was I the president, but also the founder. I talked about the babies at Club 412, the evangelical punk teen hang-out in Fort Worth I frequented with my friends. I talked about the babies in class. I cried about the babies while I strummed my guitar. I wrote songs about the babies, imagining myself as a broken, murderous whore who regretted her abortions.
I didn't have an opinion one way or the other on abortion until I started hanging out with right-wing punk rock kids in high school. Then, somebody -- probably one of the older teenage punk rock boys I would later fend off in the back of a car or behind the chapel at church camp -- haRead more...
I am going on a graduation-required 28 day backpacking trip. It is likely that this will happen to fall around my period. What is the best way to work with your period when backpacking? Pads are out of the question, as they are not so great for letting your pelvic area "breathe" during exercise. Tampons...meh. I don't really want to have to carry the new ones in with me (extra weight), or the used ones out with me, like you have to do with all garbage. I thought a menstrual cup would be good, as it can be worn for a long time and there is no garbage involved--however, cleaning the cup might be complicated because polluting is a no-no out in the elements. Maybe I could use wipes of some sort? Are there wipes that don't have body-upsetting chemicals? It would be nice to not have to deal with this for just one month--are there any sorts of short term forms of menstrual suppressors that I could use just one time without huge side effects?
The people in charge of the whole thing don't seem very educated about other options, and simply reassure all of the girls that they can use tampons and carry around all the garbage.
Earlier this week, in the context of another conversation, one of our users at Scarleteen mentioned that her feelings on abortion had changed to a negative when she learned that her mother's pregnancy had been unplanned, and that her mother considered abortion. She said that upset her, because she really liked existing. She did say she was still pro-choice, but her sentiment bothered me all the same. Some of why it bothered me was political, and also about the work that I do and have done. But in thinking about it, I came to the conclusion that the ways it bothered me most were intensely personal.
The truth is, I envy her. A lot. I envy she was able to have a discussion in which her mother made clear she had the right to choose and she chose to remain pregnant and parent her. She wasn't forced, she wasn't pressured, she didn't do what she did because it was the only thing she could do without risking her life, her health, being locked away or hidden or committing a crime. She chose. SRead more...