Spotlight on Scarleteen: Favorite Articles

Happy New Year to you!

We hope your 2009 is happy, healthy, and downright fantastic. These may be hard times, but there’s still so much to be grateful for and glad about— plus, there’s no better time than now for you to take action and make a difference!

I’m sure you have a lot of positive things to look forward to –- friends, family, school, work, hobbies, and more. If you’re not feeling too hot about what’s to come, that’s a great reason to begin brainstorming ideas. You can start right here at Scarleteen: With over ten years of providing comprehensive, inclusive and original sex education to millions of young adults under its belt, you know you can turn to Scarleteen for new articles, new blog entries, new discussions, and more in 2009. (As always, your support is greatly appreciated-- you're what keeps us around!)

Something old, something new, something you

Let’s take a step back to review some of the oldies-but-goodies at the site. In this Spotlight on Scarleteen blog entry, we will be highlighting some of our all-time favorite articles!

Since founding Scarleteen in 1998, Director and Designer Heather Corinna has penned many a informative, interesting, and empowering article for the site. Since then, she has been joined by a number of staff, volunteer, user, and guest writers and still regularly produces new pieces. Here’s a list!

Speaking of which, you are welcome to write an article, too, for the In Your Own Words section. Check out the current offerings, on topics from A – age disparate relationships to Z – well, make it HSV, and then read up on How to Speak Up!

The envelope, please

What do you think were some of the biggest articles in 2008? Here’s a hint to help jog your memory: think of one Godzilla-inspired creature that’s to be loved, not feared (and we’re not talking purple dinosaurs here); a piece on tough guys standing up for what’s right (no pumping iron or bootcamp-style training regiments required!); another on giving lip (in a good way, of course!); and, finally, is that a protractor in your pocket or you just happy to see size put into perspective? Are you feeling lucky right now (or completely lost)?

That’s right, the most popular articles this past year include:

Staff and Volunteer ALL-TIME FAVORITE Scarleteen Articles

Recently, Scarleteen staff and volunteers were asked to name their all-time Scarleteen articles. There are so many great pieces from, but we were able to narrow it down to the following:

Abbie (USA): I love sexual encounters with a new partner can be so nerve wracking; I've read this article so many times, it's really pretty irreplaceable advice. Even those who've gotten comfortable with their partner can learn a thing or two!
Femke (USA): My personal favorite is by Heather Corinna. I love the upbeat tone and great suggestions that apply to literally everyone! I also am a big fan of No Big Deal: Sex and Disability by Clare Sainsbury, because it sheds light on a topic that may seem taboo to discuss yet truly applies to us all, regardless of (dis)abilities.

Jacob (UK): Very gritty for a "favourite", but in terms of something I appreciate more than enjoy I'd say Heather's Article on How Guys Can Prevent Rape is a hugely important article to me and to the conversations of gender as a whole; pointing to where prevention of rape and abuse really needs to come from. The Bi The Dozen Quiz mythbuster by Hanne Blank is fantastic. I've also read Malcolm Gin's article on sex, gender, intersex and Klinefelter's Syndrome a number of times, it's so brilliantly clear about topics around which I've struggled to summarize on my own..

Joey (EU): The article I find the best and most useful is the Sex Readiness Checklist. I really wish I'd had that around when I first became sexually active! :)

Lauren (FIN): I think I like the very best I Want IT NOW!, the baby article, because it is sensitive to the various needs girls in that situation have (wanting love/attention/validation of maturity) while telling them firmly but gently that it's extremely misplaced. It realizes that some girls do have genuine desires to have a kid, and doesn't talk down to them for having that choice, either.

I also love our volunteer Alice's piece, The Reality of New Mommyhood, because she is such a strong person and writer, and is brave enough to be real about her experiences parenting young without being yippy-skippy nor doom-and-gloom. I really think she gave a voice to moms who are too scared to tell anyone about their feelings when their kid has colic.

Maggie (CAN): It's difficult for me to pick only one Scarleteen article as a favorite because the truth is I like them all and find that each of them are really helpful and deals with different topics which are as important one another in my opinion. But here's 3 of my favorites that I'd like to share with you guys :

Vagzilla! (Or, All genitals great and small) because I find that this article makes me feel great about my body and helps me to accept it just the way it is with its own uniqueness.

''Ready or not ? The Sex Readiness Checklist'' because it really help you reconsider whether or not you are truly ready to start becoming sexually active. It can pretty easy sometimes to assume that we're ready for sex when in reality we're not and we're missing some important items on the checklist. Or, in other cases, it can be difficult for some people to determine whether or not they are really ready for sex and that article might therefore be of huge help since it's exactly for that.

I am also a fan of the article entitled ''From OW to WOW ! Demystifying painful intercourse'' because pain during intercourse is something that a lot of women will experience at least one in their life and a lot are worried about it and wondering what could be the possible culprits and this article just happens to list them all pretty clearly with some explanations.

I could list them all but I think I'll stop right here.

Stephanie (USA): I am personally a huge fan of "Be A Blabbermouth! The Whys, Whats and Hows of Talking About Sex With a Partner." It seems to me that everone can use a reminder about how important communication is, even the other volunteers and myself. One common theme in many of my responses is, "Communication is the key to any relationship, especially a sexual relationship."

Véro (CAN): Personally, I love the Birth Control Bingo article. It's just so informative and awesome. It's fun to go through it too. I've learned so much about all the different methods of birth control and it's helped me make decisions about what would suit my needs. I also think First Intercourse 101 is great. I remember reading it a few times before I became sexually active, and how it helped me have more realistic expectations. I think it's actually the first article I found on this site!

So, what do you think?

Already familiar with all the articles mentioned in the blog or did you pick up any title to add to your reading list?

Did they mention any of your favorites?

Please join in the discussion by listing your favorite article below and telling us why. We’d love to hear from you!

In the meantime, may all be well and fine in 2009 — we’ll see you around the site!

What is Spotlight on Scarleteen? Find out more by clicking here.


I'd have to agree with Vero! I love the birth control bingo and it has taught me MANY things. Another one is Vagzilla and the next would be Going Blind: A Masturbation Memoir. Those three would be the top ones on my list, but all around this site has been extremely helpful for me in terms of getting to know sexuality and helping friends out with information/misinformation.