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Beyond the Birds and Bees

An online resource where readers can share stories of how information about sexuality was taught within the family of origin. Looks at the various methods folks have employed from the effective to the funny to the tragic.

Is it really illegal to sell me condoms?

ADistantPlanet asks:

This may be a bit of a strange question, but my attempts at researching this question have yielded very few results. I'm 16 years old, and the other day, I went into a gas station near my home in Michigan to buy some condoms. I'm on the Pill, but I use condoms every time with my boyfriend due to my paranoia of pregnancy. When I brought the condoms to the counter, the woman behind it informed me that there is a law that forbids the selling of condoms to those under 18. This didn't really sound plausible to me, considering that the age of consent in Michigan is 16 and it would be rather counterproductive to ban condoms for 2 years, however, the woman vehemently refused to sell them to me. Is there any sort of law (in Michigan or a national law) that forbids stores from selling condoms (or pregnancy tests, etc.) to minors?

International Map of Abortion Law

The Center for Reproductive Rights provides this in-depth map of abortion laws around the world.

MASC magazine

Masc magazine is a space for young men to explore how masculinity affects their lives. Masc is curious about how ideas of manhood are shaped by one's experiences and environment. Masc encourages expression and connection on a range of men's issues such as gender, stereotypes, sexuality and health. Masc helps men imagine their own ideals and ways to make them real.

Is something wrong with me because I like BDSM? Can I like it and still be a feminist?

alice42 asks:

For as long as I can remember, I have been turned on my imagining my own pain and humiliation. I am going out with someone for the first time now, and we've been together for almost eight months. Recently we've started experimenting with very mild SM-type things--tying each other up, biting, spanking. I love it, and so does he. But is this normal? Should I be worried that this turns me on more than anything else we've done together? Is there something wrong with me? (I've never been abused). And can I still be a feminist if I get off on being dominated by men?

Feminists with Female Sexual Dysfunction

A blog written by, for, and from the perspective of feminists with female sexual dysfunction.

How do I deal with the results of a medical trauma or abuse?

malia asks:

Hi, I'm sixteen and about four months ago I was treated at the hospital for severe anemia due to over excessive menstruation. While I was there, I had to have a pelvic exam done, and I'm already really shy, and I've never been touched like that or even have had a boyfriend. So the doctor (who was a man) was about to do it, but I was so scared he had to physically spread my legs apart. Then he put the speculum in and did whatever, but he had to push through the hymen, and it hurt pretty badly. It seemed like he didn't care at all how I was doing, or anything. Now I cringe when people mention sex or anything like it because it reminds me of him and the pain and embarrassment. How am I ever going to trust a man enough again to let him get close, and how can I block this event out of my head?

Age of Consent Clarification

kwmal93 asks:

Hi, my boyfriend and I both live in Florida and have been dating for a little over 7 months now. We are sexually active. I'm 16 and he's 20, can he get in trouble for being with me ?

Is it appropriate to offer a blessing to someone pregnant from a rape?

doctors_daughter asks:

I'd like to direct this question to Hanne Blank. I am Chassidishe, (I know, I shouldn't be on the internet) but needed to find something out that I can't ask my Rav (or anyone on Askmoses for that matter, especially since I know quite a few of their scholars). Does a person say Mazal Tov to an unwed mother? Jewish, maybe not frum, or even worse, a teen mother (again Jewish, VERY FRUM...)? I recently found out that my friend, age 14, was pushed against her will to have intercourse with one of her brother's "frum" friends (age 20ish). She is now pregnant, and doesn't know how to handle it. She is not sure how to tell her mother. Does one say B"sha'ah Tova to her? I don't want to say the wrong thing, and want to help her in her time of need. I have a non-frum friend who is a teen mom going through her third pregnancy. Her parents disowned her. I now am convincing my mom to take her in with her kids. Should I start asking her about taking my other friend in now? I know that the mother would probably disown her if she found out.

Societal and Familial Disapproval of an Age-Disparate Relationship

ccangl asks:

I'm 21 years old and my boyfriend is 52. The age difference does not matter to me or to him but it bothers me that our families do not approve of the relationship. We love each other and even want to get married. Our sex life is great, we are on the same level spiritually and have lot in common. I just need some advice dealing with peoples' reactions to our relationship (family, friends and even strangers!). As far as family goes, his family does not tolerate me, they think I have some kind of conspiracy to hurt him. They think I'm going to use him and break his heart, they cannot believe that I truly love him. My family (especially my mom) is more understanding, he spends time at my house, etc. My biggest concern is that we will not be able to be happy (if we get married) because people disapprove of our relationship. I'm used to people looking at us and wondering if we're a couple or not but it bothers me when they try to make us feel bad by giving us the "look." How can we tell people to get off our backs about our relationship without being rude? Thanks for your help.

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.