Puberty: we hear everybody talking about it, attributing everything from the development of breasts, the desire for sex or you being in a crap mood on Tuesday to it, but what is it, really?
There's a reason for taking things slowly, for putting off intercourse, or taking it away from center stage that often gets overlooked. I'm not talking about slowing things down for religious or moral ideals or social pressures. Not slowing things down to prevent STIs and pregnancy. Not even slowing things down for legal reasons or because of your age. I'm not talking about Just Say No, and I'm not talking about not having sex at all. I'm talking about PLEASURE.
If we look at our sexuality one way, it looks a million times simpler than it actually is. If we look at it another way, it appears a million times more complicated. While it's important that we bear everything in mind we need to in terms of infection and disease, birth control, our relationships, our bodies and the whole works, now and then we need to remember the bare bones and the human element of the thing, and keep the essentials in the forefront of our minds.
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.
There is really only one thing that you need to know about sex and disability: Disabled people have sex, too.
When we look in the mirror as a culture, our tendency toward hysteria always seems to hover in our communal blind spot. We’re not very good at seeing when groups with a political or social agenda are manipulating us with fear, often the unreasonable, irrational fear of the taboo.
A candid memoir of first-time intercourse from the founder of Scarleteen.
What's safer sex? Find out how you can best reduce your risks of STIs and protect your health and how to do it and be supported in it without feeling like the Sex Decency Brigade or bringing on the buzzkill.
The more common meaning and implication of the term came to change around the 13th century and derived a sexual, sexist and moralistic meaning. With that change, the word now implied that staying a virgin until marriage guaranteed that a woman would uphold the family honor by passing from father to husband as an object that was owned -- her virginity, her own body, was a thing of value that would be owned by her father, until such time as ownership of her virginity, body and sexuality would be transferred to her husband.
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."
There are certain physical, hormonal and psychological mechanics that come into play when it comes to human sexual response, and understanding those is essential to lay the foundation for understanding how sex works for ourselves and for our partners. Once we understand how our bodies work when it comes to sexual response, we've won half the battle of learning how to enjoy that and incorporate it as a healthy part of our lives, both alone and with others.
What we are talking about here is celibacy, the deliberate choice not to have a sexual partner for any period of time. There's nothing ambiguous about that. Being celibate entails sharing NO sexual acts with a partner: any kind of intercourse (vaginal or anal), oral sex, manual sex, and so forth. In other words, no physical, sexual contact with others; meaning any genital (penis or vulva) touch, with mouths, hands or anything else between you and someone else is off limits.
A lot of false assumptions are often made when people are talking about BDSM. Let's start with a little glossary to be sure we're all on the same page.
The next time anyone tells you that only losers masturbate, or that they don't, and never would, bear this in mind: according to most studies and surveys, about 95% of adults have masturbated or continue to do so. Were many falsehoods and misconceptions about masturbation true, it would mean that 95 out of every 100 people would be blind, drooling psychopaths with hair on their palms and shrunken genitals.
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