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.

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.

This Isn’t Going to Be Your Forever

Because of the global COVID-19 pandemic, in many households, the strains of closed schools, lost jobs, health issues, and close quarters mean that tensions are high, tempers are short, and privacy has become a luxury. If you’re a young queer person who is now isolated with trans- or homophobic family members, you probably know that better than anyone. Here are a few ideas to help you stay as physically and emotionally safe as possible during these difficult days.

Body Talk: Listening To and Learning From Your Chronic Pain

For those of us with chronic pain, living our lives with other people -- be that with sex or something else -- can be tricky. Why was I often having such a hard time communicating such basic things? I realized that some of the survival strategies I used to get through the day were coming back to bite me. Over time, I developed some strategies for re-learning how to listen to myself.

How To Actually Date Yourself

Last summer, when I was half a year into being newly single and telling myself and my friends that I was “just doing me” or “dating myself,” I realized: I wasn’t actually dating myself if I wasn’t putting in the work.  Since then, I’ve been working on developing tangible strategies for dating myself. I am sharing these strategies with you, hoping that they may help illuminate the beautiful, confusing, nearsighted path back towards yourself. 

Self-Care and Social Distance

Some tips and a lot of support for thinking through how you might best care for yourself in this new era of social distance.

A Brief Guide to Consenting with a Nonverbal Partner

What if a partner is nonverbal due to disability? Here are some tips on how to seek and obtain consent and how to generally communicate during sex with a nonverbal partner, so sex can be safe, satisfying and fun for everyone involved.

The Unholy Din of First Dates for Someone With Autism (And How To Avoid It)

The options for people on the Autism spectrum looking to go out on a date are few.  This lack of options can help to compound problems people on the Autism spectrum already have with dating. Navigating social hurdles, like avoiding over-talking, while being on a date is, on its own, a plenty daunting prospect. Realizing that the options for a backdrop to a date are exceedingly limited is just adding salt to the wounds. Together, these challenges can make a person feel like the prospect of going out on a date at all is far more trouble than it’s worth.

Well, F*ck Me! It's a Scarleteen Zine!

Say hello to our new zine, F*ck Me! It's a (free!) flight of super-helpful fancy that can help you -- or your intimate companions, your platonic friends, your students, the people who come into your clinic, your younger brother, your favorite cousin, and maybe even your parents -- identify the basics of what you really want and need when it comes to sex with others, and give you a foundation for clear, candid, and meaningful sexual communication.

Ethical Horniness, Or How To Find A Partner In An Enthusiastic Consent World

The news is full of the wrong ways to try to have sex. Forever we’ve seen high profile men – almost always men – chasing people for sex, abusively. For the last few years, some high-profile men have been held at least a little accountable for it, which means it is not always swept under the rug anymore. But now that the abuse is more visible, if you stare into that abyss long enough, it might start to stare back at you. You could end up lying on your bed wondering if being a guy while being horny is somehow inherently tainted and gross. Most of us want to find someone or a few someones, for relationships or hookups, but right now, looking at some of that foulness, it might feel like trying to find a partner is a minefield of red flags because men’s sexuality is inextricably abusive. It isn't.

Becoming Out: a totally non-exhaustive, step by step guide to coming out

We hope every time you open up to someone about your truth they respond with love and kindness. But we also want to make sure you're prepared in case they don't, and give you some practical strategies and tools to look after yourself if that’s what happens. With that in mind, here's a new, totally non-exhaustive, step by step guide to coming out.

Embracing Newbiehood: How to Approach Dating and Sex in Your 20s With Little or No Experience

It can feel like the world will end if you haven’t had sex or a sexual or romantic relationship by your mid-twenties. There are countless ways in which our culture puts pressure on young people to gain experience in romantic and sexual relationships. But truthfully, if you don’t have much, or even any, experience with dating and sex, you are not doomed to never experience romantic and sexual connection. The world also will not end.

The Quiet Voice: How I Stopped Listening to Emotional Abuse

Some forms of abuse, like physical abuse or some kinds of sexual assault, are more easily identified by victims or witnesses. Conversely, gaslighting is a type of non-event, a toxic presence that chips away at a person’s wellbeing over time. Gaslighting is a powerful abuse tactic, although a lesser known one. It is notoriously difficult to understand and recognize, especially for a victim.