friends

No Grey Area: A Journey Identifying and Healing from Sexual Assault

Sexual assault and abuse can take so many forms that some people don’t recognize right away or ever. I didn’t initially recognize it. The most simple legal definition of sexual assault is “forcing a victim to participate in sexual acts,” but this definition isn’t always helpful when you’re trying to figure out if you’ve been assaulted. It's so much more complicated and unique than a one-sentence definition.

From Erasure to Ownership: A Bisexuality Journey

I experienced bisexual erasure when I was a teenager. The first crushes I remember having were on boys, but I’ll never forget the first time I met a girl and felt weak in the knees. I was thirteen years old. A year later I heard the term bisexual for the first time and felt like it described me.

How exactly does "friends with benefits" work?

Anonymous asks:
I have been looking for some information on what and how friends with benefits works. I am straight, does it only mean casual intercourse or can it be just things like “spooning” and holding hands? I am thinking of asking a very close friend if they want to be friends with benefits. But I am only comfortable with just cuddling or holding hands, maybe more but only if we both feel ready....

Learning My Way Through My Poly Fears

Dynamics like mine require a lot of honesty, and often speaking honestly can make you feel vulnerable, but showing vulnerability to a partner is a good way to build trust and intimacy. At the same time, you learn a lot about yourself as you're forced to ask yourself tough questions and to think carefully about what you want from a relationship and why - in turn, this makes you appreciate the reasons you want to be with your partner(s), and what it is about being with them that makes you happy.

Some Books and Balms for Nonbinary Folks

As a writer and a reader, books have always been my constant companions: when I feel alone and isolated, they're one of the first places I turn. We've got you here in our direct services at Scarleteen (and if you want to talk to a nonbinary person specifically, you can always ask for, or email, me or one of our other nonbinary team members, like Ruby or Jacob), but if you also like the company of books, here are a few books I like from nonbinary writers, about nonbinary identities and thought, relevant self-care or help sorting things out for yourself, and a couple of my favorite nonbinary or trans balms for the soul.

It's Never Too Late To Start To Date

Being autistic, some things just haven’t come as naturally for me as they seem to for other people. Unfortunately, these have included hallmarks of American life often used to symbolize being “an adult” like driving on my own or getting my first paid job. But human beings are not on a strict timetable to do all the same things at the same time. This is just as true of dating like anything else. Just because you (or I) haven’t been actively dating when a lot of other people in your life have doesn’t make you (or me) a failure. You’re just on your own timetable. So am I.

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.