We talk a lot about sexual safety and safer sex here at Scarleteen in terms of your physical health. But what about checking in to see if sex is safe for you and yours emotionally? Taking care of your emotions, looking out for risk factors in advance -- not just when they become an existing crisis -- and safeguarding yourself, your partners and those around you from needless hurt and harm is just as important as doing what you can to prevent STIs and unwanted pregnancies.
A candid memoir of first-time intercourse from the founder of Scarleteen.
Many people in long-term, committed relationships, be it marriage or steady partnership -- no matter their age -- have ideas about sex in partnerships they may not even be aware of. Often we base our ideas of relationships and sexuality on what we see in the media or in movies, on what our parents relationship is like, or on what we imagine, in a perfect world, sex and love to be. Talking about what those ideas are, communicating our feelings honestly, and creating clear limits and honoring them make everyone happier and healthier.
Many teens have a lot of questions when it comes to homosexuality and bisexuality. In a culture that is often so damning of orientation and sexual identity outside heterosexuality, many teens become nervous when they feel attracted to those of the same sex, worried that they might be gay. Others suspect (or are even very sure) that they are homosexual or bisexual, but are afraid to say so either because they aren't completely sure and feel they will be branded in some way, or simply because they fear being rejected, outcast or scolded by their friends, family or community. While at least 8 million people in the United States are homosexual, about 70 million people still think it is an "illness" or "perversion."
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.
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.