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Finding Elmo: Getting My Kid & Myself Out Of Domestic Violence

I was in an abusive relationship. Here's what finally got me to leave and the story of my journey in getting myself, my child and my heart and head out for good.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Feeling unhappy in or unsure about your relationship? Having problems you don't know how to work through, or don't even know if you should? We'll talk you through making these choices, including how-to's on conflict resolution and doing breakups better.

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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One Teenager in Ten

This is a guest entry from The Gaytheist Gospel Hour as part of the blog carnival to support Scarleteen.

Preface: I was recently asked to participate in a blogathon to support Scarleteen, an online sex education forum for teens. I was flattered. I was humbled. I was a little queasy and had to breathe in a bag for a minute or 12. I decided to contribute the story of how I survived homophobic bullying thanks a single library book. I’m living proof that progressive sex education (no matter how small-scale) makes an enormous difference in the lives of the very young. It’s my hope that all who read my sarcastic, satirically-tinged autobiographical account will consider making an enormous difference by supporting Scarleteen.

"In this life, things are much harder than in the afterworld/ In this life, you’re on your own!" —Prince

High school is a laugh riot. It’s a jolly funhouse where the unpopular and the unusual are punished for their crimes against conformity with a topsy-turvy

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Accentuating the (Sex) Positive: Discovering Scarleteen

This is an entry from Arianna at Fearfree, one of the many wonderful guest posts in the month-long blog carnival to help support Scarleteen!

I throw around the words “fear” and “silence” often when it comes to sex ed. They’re loaded terms, perhaps, but these words best describe my experiences with sex education: my emotional reaction and everyone else’s approach, respectively. These words describe what I feel is not often expressed in the sex education debate.

True, it’s hard to use the “Little Mary Sue is scared” argument to a bunch of adult policymakers who believe that a child will “get over” whatever scare tactics they might use in sex education. I have indeed heard it argued that it is okay to use fear in sex education because, well, incurable STIs are out there right now. You can see the logic: if children grow out of believing in the boogeyman, then certainly they will grow out of being told that condoms have pores that let HIV through, right? At least by the time that they are

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How are we supposed to know what’s wrong if we don’t know what’s right?

Sade is 17 and works as a youth activist for YWCHAC, a program for and by young women of color that helps foster their development in advocacy training while providing them with the skills to be effective peer-educators to youth on the subject of sexual health. Their mission is to address the increasing rates of HIV infection in young women of color ages 13-24. Sade does a lot of community outreach and events that help develop partnerships with individuals and organizations that have similar goals, events like annual sexual health summits, safer sex education parties, advocacy and STD (STI) workshops, and other community projects.

I got the chance to ask Sade about what she does, why she does it, and what she thinks about some of the issues that impact HIV and young women. I've shortcut my own questions to give her words the spotlight, because she's got some phenomenal things to say that so many people really, really need to listen to.

On what she wants people to know about young wome

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(More Than) a Few Words On Being 13 and 100% Ready for Sex

vergin_13confussd asks:

Im 13 and a vigin and my boyfriend is 13 and not a vigin, and we're 100% ready 2 have sex, but the problem is that hes in south carolina and im in minnsota. Wen I lived in sc he went 2 my skool and we never talked. But there was a girl that would always say bad stuff about him, like hes slept wit every girl in the skool and hes such a bad guy, blah blah blah. so 1 day i messaged him on myspace and i gave him my number 2 txt me. i wanted 2 hear his side of the story. we got 2 no each other and we fell in love. im just worried that hes not done with his cheating ways, n that after we have sex hes gunna leave me. 1 of his ex's says that hes telling her that he doesnt love me and that he wuld cheat on me, but it depends on who. and that hes jus using me. idk wat 2 believe anymore!! i love him with all my heart and we believe were soulmates!!! ive never felt like this b4. and he says the same thing. my question is: how do ik he is gunna change and not leave me? and how do ik hes not jus tellin me wat i wanna hear? he says that im gunna b perfect in bed, but im jus so worried that im not gunna b as gudas he hopes. how do ik i'll b good? i really need 2 no!! im desperatly confused and dk wt 2 do!!!! my mom says he means wat he says 2me and that she's been threw sumthin like this. my heart says to stay with him and my gut says that stay with him but yor gunna get hurt. i jus dk. i really need help!! Thanks Heather!!!

A Birth Control Pill Five by Five

Sensei Martini asks:

I want to begin taking the birth control pill for the first time. Is it possible for me to start taking my first birth control pill on the SECOND day of my period? I won't be having unprotected sex. But if I start taking the birth control pill on the 2nd day is it less affective? And also after taking the birth control pill for a series of time, when is it 95% affective? It obviously doesn't begin on the first day I start right?

Sound Counsel: A Conversation With Lynn Ponton

Considering counseling or think you or a friend might benefit from some therapy? Here's a basic introduction and a shared conversation with adolescent therapist and author Dr. Lynn Ponton to clue you in on what to expect from the couch.

You should wait for sex, but if you can't....

This is one of a long line of common phrases in sex education and sexuality messaging people, including people I think of us allies, use that I deeply dislike, like "preventing teen pregnancy." Let me explain why, working backwards.

"You should wait for sex, but if you can't..."

That's usually followed by "then you should have sex using safer sex and contraception." Or -- and usually addressing both those things -- "then you should at least be responsible."

In some respect, that's fine. Now, not everyone needs contraception, either because they don't have a partner with a radically different reproductive system than them or they're not having the kinds of sex that can create a pregnancy, so that doesn't always make sense. But for people choosing to have any kind of sex, we're 100% on board with the sentiment that all of us -- no matter our age -- should be engaging in sexual practices supportive of safeguarding everyone's best health, and in alignment with whether we do or don't want

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