Sexual Identity

Sexuality: WTF Is It, Anyway?

The term "sexuality" can be used a lot like the word "sex." They're both terms we say and hear a lot, but which often aren't clearly defined. We take for granted everyone knows what sexuality means, a heck of an assumption to make with something that covers so many important things and can feel as murky as Lake Erie. So: what's it all about?

What's Sex?

It's obviously important if you're here for information that you know what we mean when we say "sex," so we thought we'd make it clear.

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.

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. 

Impurity Culture: Masturbation Is Self-Care

Masturbation is a topic you might need to do a little extra work on defining your values around if you grew up in purity culture being told that it was a sin—and that’s especially true during the pandemic, when pleasurable touch from others is not always safe or accessible to us and self-care has become more important than ever as we try to process all the painful things happening in our world. Self-pleasure can be an extremely important aspect of self-care even during non-pandemic times, and right now that is especially true.

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.

A Sexual Miseducation

Sex positivity should have given me the courage to ask for what I wanted. Instead, I thought it meant accepting what I got.

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? 

What I Didn’t Know About Having a Queer Daughter

When a young person comes out, the adults in their lives can have all sorts of reactions. If you're trying to be a supportive parent, here are just a few of the ways you can help them navigate those moments.

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."

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.

Sex on Screen: Reality-Checking Mainstream Porn

Part two of Alice O's exploration of mainstream porn to help increase your sexual media literacy. Includes information about sex positions, orgasm, consent and communication, boundaries, birth control, safer sex and more as they exist (or don't!) in mainstream porn, and how this can or should all go in real-life-sex to compare and contrast.

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.

Bare Bodies: Reality Checking Mainstream Porn

A clear-eyed, in-depth exploration of mainstream porn that can: amp up your sexual media literacy so you can better suss out what's really going on with and in porn, fill you in on how it may or may not -- and sometimes just plain shouldn't -- match your expectations or experiences of sexuality offscreen, and tell you more about its politics and behind-the-scenes realities.

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.