Sex + Gender
Queer + Feminist
Social theory + Cultural Critique

Safe Sex: Choose Your Own Adventure Style!

Planned Parenthood LA reached out to me to promote their new tumblr AND their awesome video series created by their very own teen advocates! The videos are pretty funny and are also educational. Follow them here or check out their YouTube channel here

hi! I'm a member from Colorado Youth CREATE, a youth council for the state of Colorado. We're working hard to implement comprehensive sex education on our schools here. We're starting a tumblr to have a bigger network of people and it would be awesome if you could help us out to gain some followers! I'll leave you with my email because we have a photo campaign and we would love it if you could participate! :) Thank you! email: adrian[period]nava14 at gmail

A question by coloradocreate

Awesome! Please help out Colorado Youth CREATE and follow to include more amazing comprehensive sex education information on your dash :) 

I'm scared. Sex and high school is a scary thing. I know my date to homecoming wants sex but I don't know if I want the same. According to my friends I "just need to do it " according to my head I need to think this through. I know how this will end up : He tells all his friends and I become the school whore. I don't and become the school virgin freak. The school sex ed program says "sex before marriage leads to your life being forever fucked " so they don't help. Any advice?

A question by Anonymous

This is the crux of high school. It seems it is unavoidable - even the people we consider “cool” and “popular” struggle with codes of acceptance. It can be really challenging during high school as we are figuring out who we are and the opinions of others have a huge impact on our developing identities. However, it is also incredibly important to stay authentic to your personal truth. If you aren’t ready to have sex, then do not have sex. Your sexual experiences should be yours and they should be done on your terms - not based on the desires of others or subcultures. If you’re made fun of for staying truthful to who you are, maintaining your authenticity and having clear boundaries then middle finger to the world. 

When we are in High School, it seems like it is the whole world. And for good reason. In a lot of ways, it is. However, when you leave, you leave and you enter into a whole new world. Its far better to enter into that “new world” with a practice of boundaries and listening to your gut instinct than doing things because of pressure. Stay strong anon, and do only what you feel is best for you. It might cause you some high school drama right now, but in the long run it will be dust off your shoulder. 

The Testing Diaries: Véro


Do you feel anxious about the idea of getting tested for sexually transmitted infections and diseases? Some of our readers certainly do.

Some never had adequate sex-education and did not realize that sexual activity with a partner — and not just anal or vaginal intercourse — can pose STI risks in the first place. Some are not sure where to go for testing or how to ask for it. Others feel uncomfortable discussing STIs with a partner or potential partner. We get it: this stuff can be hard, and it is usually not the kind of thing where someone just takes us by the hand and leads us through.

This is why we’re doing this new series at Scarleteen’s blog. In it, some of Scarleteen’s volunteers share their own stories of how they deal with different aspects of STI testing and reproductive healthcare.

This summer, I went to my clinic to see a general practitioner (GP) for an annual check-up.

This clinic is affiliated with a local university so the way it works is a little different than many others. Officially I’m a certain GP’s patient, but I see the residents that she supervises whenever I go. This has meant that the level of care has varied, but in general has been fairly high. When I made the appointment, I did not have any particular concerns, but I wanted to get a pap smear and STI testing.

In the past, I have made some unsafe decisions, and I have also been in situations where a partner has not respected my condom-use wishes. Since then, I have had several clear results from pap smears and STI tests, but I have been going at least once a year as a precaution. My last pap and STI test were in February of 2011. I should also mention that I live in Ontario, Canada, and that this visit and the tests were covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP).

As I mentioned, this appointment was performed by a resident. Overall, she seemed a little awkward and I got the impression that she didn’t really like performing annual exams and all that they entail. She was however, very nice, nonjudgmental, and very good at checking in with me throughout and making sure everything was good — for example, “Is this ok?” “When you’re ready,” “If that’s ok with you…” — which I really appreciated.

After checking my ears, throat, lungs, and heart, the doctor palpated my abdomen and performed a breast exam. Then it was time for the speculum exam…

Read the rest here!


Safe Sex Moment: A Condom DO and DON’T

Because I’ll always be a sex educator and I can’t resist real-life teaching moments, I wanted to remind everyone about the first step of condom use: check the package!!

The ones on the left have been living in a pocket, or a car, or someplace that has clearly compromised the package…which means it is likely the latex is compromised as well.  Body heat or extreme temperatures required to break down this packaging so much (the label is literally falling off the foil) would also weaken the latex, and thereby the efficacy of the condom.  

The one on the right has just come out of the box. There is a good bubble of air inside the packet, meaning neither the package nor the condom has been punctured. There is also a clear expiration date, which doesn’t arrive for several more years.

While even a degraded one may be better than none at all, if at all possible DON’T use the old crusty condoms! They are more prone to breakage, which means you are NOT protected from STDs, HIV, pregnancy, etc.

Um. Hi. So, a few hours ago I lost my virginity. I am an 18 year old girl. We used a condom, but I'm still just a little bit afraid/nervous something could've gone wrong. Is there a way I can get tested for little/no money without my crazy conservative parents finding out?? Thanks.

A question by Anonymous

Yes! Planned Parenthood - they are confidential and, if not free, of very little cost. They will not contact your parents, or anyone in your family. It is strictly between you and them. However, before you go get tested, you might want to take this little quiz to see if getting tested at this point is even necessary.

Is there anything unsafe about having sex while a girl is on her period? Can it cause her any problems like an infection?

A question by Anonymous

There is nothing unsafe about having sex during a persons menstrual period. Periods are highly stigmatized - most people are taught that this is a very dirty and unhygienic aspect of life. But the truth is quite the contrary. If you choose to have sex with your partner while they’re on their period, nothing “unsafe” will inherently occur. However, If either one or both of you has an STD, your chances of transmission are much higher at that time and there still remains a chance of becoming pregnant when having unprotected sex even if you are menstruating. But infections, “being dirty”, and all the other things we often think of when we imagine period-sex are actually not true. Check out this source on the myths and facts about this! (gendered language).

I am really confused on how to tell the difference between the proper side of the condom and when it is inside out. how do you tell the difference? they both seem the same to me!

A question by Anonymous

The direction of the rolling will tell you if you’re using the correct side. The condom should easily roll down the shaft of the penis/vibrator/dildo - so the roll should be on the outside and unravel counterclockwise down towards the base of the penis/vibrator/dildo. If you start off incorrectly, you’ll need to use another condom. If the condom is lubricated, you can also tell because the lubricant should be on the outside of the condom. This is a really great “how-to" resource for condoms. 

my boyfriend and i had sex while i have my period, he come inside me, would there be any possible conception? im really freakin' out

A question by Anonymous

Conception during menstruation is rare, although it can happen. It would have to happen in perfect timing with ovulation. According to the American Pregnancy Association:

Pregnancy can occur from intercourse that takes place during a period. This is because sperm can live in the body for up to five days, and if a [person] ovulates soon after [their] period, then conception could take place from intercourse that occurred during her period.

So, it is unlikely but not impossible. If you’re really concerned, your best bet - emergency contraception. 

I've always had pretty bad anxiety issues and I've put off being tested for STDs because of it. But I finally put that all aside and went to get tested yesterday. I've been very careful in the past and have used condoms almost every time, but I still can't help but be nervous. I know that the odds of having HIV are ridiculously low for me (cis heterosexual female) but the mere fact that I'm testing for it makes me feel so anxious that I can't sleep. How do I calm myself down?

A question by Anonymous

First things first, connect to your breath. Take deep, reassuring breaths in and out and try to calm your mind. When I experience anxiety its like my thoughts are pigeons flying around inside my mind and when I connect to my breath, its like wrapping the pigeons in a net and bringing them back down to earth, in a concentrated place. 

You have to remind yourself that your anxiety is over a reality that doesn’t exist. You’re panicking about a result that has not yet been given -you won’t know until you know. Try to focus on the present moment, instead of a potential future. You will get your results soon enough and will likely be relieved by there answer. In the event you have some other STD, most bacterial infection can be cured with simple antibiotics and, viral STD’s can be lived with happily with a change in lifestyle and perspective. Just be kind to yourself and focus on the things that bring you joy and make you feel calm. Everything will be alright. 

Hi, first off, I LOVE your blog. I think that it's very helpful, especially seeing that some questions I need answering have already been asked and answered by other people. But my question is, I'm really allergic to latex so a latex condom is out of the question for sexual intercourse. I know there are other alternatives for safety, I'm just really paranoid about getting pregnant, so I was wondering if you might have any suggestions.

A question by Anonymous

Thank you for the love! No problem if you have a latex allergy - you can use polyurethane condoms. Also, Skyn condoms by LifeStyles are pretty fantastic too - they are made out of polyisoprene (another latex alternative). Hope this helps?