Disability

On Identifying Identities

Teenagerhood should be a time of dreams and expansion. We should be allowed to open our inner selves up and absorb as much light and life as we possibly can. We should be, but other people are often too often invested in what they think we should be to let us be what we are.

Let's Get Metaphysical: The Etiquette of Entry

From both our personal experiences of our own varied sex lives, and in our work in sexuality with many other people, it seems pretty clear that really letting someone into an internal space in your body, or going into someone else's insides -- which we know might sound a little gross, but that is what's going on with this stuff -- is a fairly big deal for many people. So, what might make sexual entry different from other sexual activities?

Self-Injury & Relationships

What is self harm? How does it -- and can it -- fit into a loving relationship? Will I ever be comfortable with my scars? One self-injurer speaks her pain and her peace.

Is it my fault?

It's common for teens to have a mentality of "that won't happen to me". Well, what if it does? How does one cope when their trust and belief system is shattered by sexual assault?

Blinders Off: Getting a Good Look at Abuse and Assault

A basic lowdown on interpersonal abuse and assault: what all the terms mean, why strangers are the least of our worries, what a cycle of abuse looks like, how you can start seeing abuse for what it is, where it is, and how to protect yourself and others and make abuse stop.

Too Young for Sexual Pain?

I Googled the hell out of my problem until I came upon a curious condition called vulvodynia -- or more specifically, vulvar vestibulitis syndrome. Something clicked, the symptoms there... that was me, those stories were me! I brushed it off again as my mind being overactive and diagnosing myself with something that didn't exist – isn't that what hypochondriacs do, cruise the Web looking for obscure problems with big names for every little symptom?

Reciprocity, Reloaded

I’m going to suggest you look at reciprocity in sex -- the idea that one person gives something, so the other should get something of equal value back -- in a different way than you might be used to. (Excerpted and adapted from S.E.X., the Scarleteen book.)

Seven Ways to Love Your Body

This is not another diet guide. It will not show you how to lose ten pounds by Thanksgiving. It will not introduce you to a new set of "miracle ab crunches" or rave about the latest liposuction advances. And there will be no butt pads, silicone, or fat-free recipes to share.

The FBI Files: Vaginismus

Some people experience great pain or discomfort with vaginal sex or other kinds of vaginal entry that's not about hymens, lack of arousal or lubrication, or rough partners, but about a health condition known as vaginismus.

Advice from an Abuse Survivor

Never believe: "I love you, it will never happen again." It will happen again. The tears don't matter, the bruises don't matter, the broken bones and ER visits and warnings from friends and relatives don't matter. Those scars that we bury deep inside us, the mental and emotional scars that we try to pretend don't exist -- they don't matter. It will happen, again and again and again, unless someone puts a stop to it.