Relationships

When Sex is Just a @#*&!ing Bummer

Sometimes sex is amazing. Other times, it's nice. Then there are the times it sucks. How do you deal, and what's the hidden value in not-at-all-awesome sex?

The Scarleteen Safety Plan

If you're in an abusive relationship, to make abuse stop you've got to get away and stay away. Here's help to do that safely, and to be as safe as you can before leaving.

Ready or Not? The Scarleteen Sex Readiness Checklist

Thinking about partnered sex? Do yourself a favor and look through our checklist to get a good idea about the readiness of you and your partner -- it's more complicated and demanding than many people think, and knowing what you need to get ready can help assure that your sexual experiences with a partner will be as great for both of you as possible.

It's Never Too Late To Start To Date

Being autistic, some things just haven’t come as naturally for me as they seem to for other people. Unfortunately, these have included hallmarks of American life often used to symbolize being “an adult” like driving on my own or getting my first paid job. But human beings are not on a strict timetable to do all the same things at the same time. This is just as true of dating like anything else. Just because you (or I) haven’t been actively dating when a lot of other people in your life have doesn’t make you (or me) a failure. You’re just on your own timetable. So am I.

Hi, Bi Guy: Dating Guys For The First Time

If you’re a bisexual guy and you haven’t been with other guys yet, the idea might seem a little daunting, for a number of reasons. The reality doesn’t have to be so tricky, however, despite the worries you might have.

Friends or Lovers? The Complexities of Queer Love

Relationships, like gender and sexuality, don’t fit into a binary. The phrase queer platonic, which comes from the asexual community, means a deep and meaningful intimate relationship which isn’t based on sex. You can have this with anyone – no matter their gender or sexuality. Perhaps if the term were more normalised (I hadn’t heard of it before researching this article), more people would be comfortable with such a relationship.

Love and Asperger's: An Interview with Kate McNulty, LCSW

Two smart, insightful and autistic people who like talking about relationships walk into an interview. What comes out is this fantastically rich conversation between Scarleteen columnist Douglas Laman and Love and Asperger's author and therapist Kate McNulty.

My One and Only

The number of people you choose to sleep with isn’t the crux of sexual liberation. People who choose to have sex with fewer (or no) people shouldn’t be ashamed, and neither should people who choose to have multiple partners. It’s all about the choice - having the agency to sleep with as many or as few people as you please. It doesn’t make you naïve or boring or a slut or a whore; it’s just a choice that you’ve made, and that in itself is sexually liberating.

Under Pressure: Apps Can Perpetuate Unrealistic Sexual Expectations

Dating apps are part and parcel of modern life. Those marketed to the LGBTQ+ community are particularly handy if you don’t have a conventional way to meet others with whom you identify. But I feel like spending so much time using apps twisted my perception of what a whole relationship should look like. 

Hi, Bi Guy: Coming Out to Your Girlfriend

Even when you're with a supportive partner, coming out as a bisexual guy to a girlfriend or another kind of woman partner isn't always easy and might feel awfully intimidating. Adam England has some support, help and solidarity to spare.

Connecting with LGBTQ+ Elders

There’s this feeling of smallness - that your world is confined to secrets you tell in your diary, or to the few people you know in real life that are brave (or perhaps foolish) enough to come out - that I identify as a part of my theory on queer orphanhood. You spend so much time contemplating your identity that you don’t have time to wonder about people out there. There’s a kind of spiritual displacement in being queer and young.

Testing, Testing: All About Getting Tested for STIs

What does STI testing involve? How do you do it? Where? When? What do you do with your results? We answer all these questions and more to help demystify testing so you can take care of you and yours with less stress and more confidence.

How to Make New Relationships, Add New People to Pods and Have Sex More Safely During the Pandemic

It really sucks that during something that can make us feel lonelier than ever, the most dangerous thing is being close to other people. It is still safest to limit our up-close-and-personal contact, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still safely seek out and experience intimacy with new people, nor that there aren’t things you can do to make it safer if you do decide to get physically close to someone. Here are some basics to get you started.

How Do I Tell If Someone Is Into Me?

You can read a book. You can read a map. But reading people, that’s difficult in any situation. Reading people to figure out if they’re actually into you romantically or sexually is even more difficult. Douglas Laman is here to give fellow autistic readers a little help.

Dating During the Pandemic: Tips for Young People Who Are Living at Home

If you are a teen or young adult who lives at home during COVID-19, and are dating or sexually active with a partner, navigating this part of your life -- with your partner, with parents or guardians -- is complicated. A lot of households and families are having to negotiate what the new dating normal looks like. Here are some ideas to help make those discussions smoother.

Learning How to Love Through Friendships

For as long as I can remember, I have worked on cultivating strong and meaningful friendships. It’s through these friendships that I have discovered what I hope to get out of romantic relationships. My friendships teach me the importance of trust, communication, and commitment.

Navigating Dating Beyond the Binary

When it comes to sex and dating beyond the binary, not only are we given no blueprint, no representation, and no guide whatsoever, but we’re also working against the heteronormative messages we’ve all been indoctrinated with by media and culture from birth. Here are five ways I’ve learned to safely and creatively navigate dating spaces as a nonbinary person.

Being Single During Lockdown: A Surprisingly Empowering Experience

Freedom is one of the most wonderful parts of being single. But for me, it’s too easy to get trapped in that. My instinct is to throw myself into new experiences and new people. Instead of embracing freedom, I’ve come to realise that this is me running from it. This is why lockdown has been a strangely empowering experience for me.

Staying Seen: Being Bi in Relationships with Straight People

When you identify as queer but enter into relationships with heterosexual people, or those with of a different gender to your own, it can feel odd to consolidate these two parts of your identity. You’re not straight, but society can perceive you that way – where do you fit in, exactly? 

Hookup Culture and the Impact of COVID-19: An interview with Lisa Wade, PhD

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, many higher learning students are having to put their sexual lives on hold. To talk about casual sex in college life and the effects COVID-19 might be having on it, Scarleteen spoke with sociologist Lisa Wade, PhD, visiting scholar at Tulane University and author of the groundbreaking "American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex On Campus."

Seven Things to Do If You’re Alone During COVID-19

Being single or otherwise on your own during the pandemic can be challenging, but it doesn't have to be awful or without benefit to you. There are probably lots of things you can do right now to help yourself cope and make the most of this time.  Here are seven ideas to get you started.