I’m 15. Okay, so I do swimming squad, and sometimes it’s embarrassing wearing bathers, cause of pubic hair. I don’t know how to get rid of it. Like once I was at my friends house, and she is obsessed with sex, so she watches porn, and I saw some too, and the women have no pubic hair whatsoever! And I get really bothered about that. I mean, what if I’m going to have sex with a guy, and he’s like “Eww, you’re all hairy. That is disgusting?” I’m really scared about that. If you can help, it would be great! Thanks!
Sam W replies:
Oh, pubic hair. One of those subjects that, when brought up, generally kick-starts a furious debate about which option (shaved, trimmed, left alone) is the most attractive, the most empowered, the most hygienic, etc. And, depending on how much you follow this debate, you may end up feeling like no matter choice you make, it is somehow the “wrong” one.
So, lets get this clear now: whether or not you decide to shave/wax/otherwise groom your pubic hair is completely up to you. Both in terms of what makes you feel comfortable physically (e.g you find one less itchy than the other) and what makes you feel best mentally. Just like you get to make all those same, open choices about what you do with the hair on your head.
Pubic hair is just another part of your body and one that you get to manipulate or leave be as you wish, anytime.
A word about bathing suits and pubic hair. If you’re someone who finds that your hair isn’t completely covered by your bathing suit bottom, you may feel like your groin is surrounded by flashing neon lights reading:
"Now Appearing: Pubes!"
But, in all honesty, other people are probably only noticing them barely or not at all (especially since the same is probably true for them and their pubic hair). For real. Keeping that in mind may help you feel more comfortable.
If you’re still not super comfortable with how prominent your pubic hair is, but you don’t want to deal with shaving, you can always try out a swimsuit with “boy cut bottoms,” as they provide more coverage in that area.
Now, onto your bigger worry that having pubic hair will cause a future partner to be disgusted by you. There’s a few parts of that worry that I’d like to address.
Grieving adolescents are often left to fend for themselves or are offered support from counselors outside their community immediately after an event. Such support may be unwelcome, particularly by adolescents….
Not all trans people want surgery Not all trans people want to take hormones Not all trans men like women Not all trans women like men Not all trans people are romantically/sexually interested in others Some trans folk like to cross-dress opposite of the gender they identify with All kinds of people have their own definition of what is and isn’t masculine and feminine and even then they don’t always stick within those lines Every trans person has their own definition of transgender/transexual that reflects who they are and their experiences You do not get to define what being trans is for someone else
The controversy and media attention around the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties cases before the Supreme Court undoubtedly, and understandably, focus on contraception. However, there are several important implications for sexually transmitted disease (STD) prevention as well.
Scarleteen Funding/Strike Update (and it's a really good one!)
We — and you! — did it!
WE SO TOTALLY DID IT!
We met the minimum goal we needed to to avoid a strike and having to shut down any of our services. A strike will now NOT be happening.
We can’t thank the 1,000+ of you enough who have given a donation to help us do this, and who have made it possible for all the young people who need and use our services to keep on using them without interruption. same goes for all of you who retweeted, reblogged, wrote appeals and invested your time and energy and heart into helping us do this. We appreciate all of you so much.
Better still? A generous donor who wants Scarleteen to have more than the minimum to work with, and do what they can to get us past surviving and into thriving, has offered up a $10,000 match for all donations given from April 15th to May 1st! So, anything you give now through May 1st will be matched, dollar for dollar, for up to $10,000 worth. If we can meet that whole match, that would shuttle us well out of our current crisis and into a better position financially than we have ever been. Thanks so much to everone who has already given to support us; thanks to you in advance for your gift, too!
Thanks so much to everyone who has been pitching in with our current fundraising drive. We’re getting awfully close to our goal — to the minimum we need to raise to avoid any shutdowns — and we could not be more appreciative and excited. Thank you!
During the last couple months, we’ve had quite a few people adding dedications to their donations. Some asked to have them emailed, but most just put them in their form for us to see them. We hate to see such heartfelt dedications only get seen by us, so we wanted to take a little break from the hard parts of fundraising, and share some of them with everyone here.
The Interface Project is a series of videos in which intersex people from around the world share their stories. The project aims to improve the understanding and awareness of intersex conditions, and to spread the message that “no body is shameful”.
“According to the UN only 25 per cent of women with disabilities are in the global workforce.
Literacy rates for women with disabilities globally may be as low as one per cent.
Mortality rates among girls with disabilities are much higher than for boys.
Women with disabilities face significantly more difficulties in attaining access to adequate housing, health, education, vocational training & employment, & are more likely to be institutionalized. They also experience inequality in hiring, promotion & equal pay, access to training & retraining, credit & other productive resources.
According to the UN disabled women rarely participate in economic decision making.”—UN Enable - Women and girls with disabilities. via marxistlibrarian (via everydayableism)
Last week, I wrote about Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, the former Icelandic prime minister who was the first out LGBT person in the world to be elected a nation’s head of state. When I was writing it, I realized that Sigurðardóttir had had this…
“So can we stop treating teen activists as freaks to be ogled, and pitch in with their causes instead? Can we stop acting like teens are totally vapid and incapable of contributing anything useful to society, culture, and criticism? Because teens are all around us and they are driven, smart, passionate, and so much more—if only adults bothered to take a minute to actually see them, instead of focusing on what we think we know about them. While we were all teens once, we often seem to forget that in our hurry to smack down the next generation.”—Yes, Teens Have Personalities! And Everything! | this ain’t livin’ (via brutereason)
There are some amazingly awesome folks working tumblr hard on our behalf right now, boosting the signal about our need for support and filling others in on what we offer. We so deeply appreciate your efforts and care: thank you!
[A] common message spread about teenage pregnancy is that children born to teenage parents are more likely to become teenage parents…However, there has yet to be a collective acknowledgment that without supporting the parents now, we are failing the children of teen parents and by extension maintaining an environment where these children can experience an unintended pregnancy just as their parents did.
Building support systems for education, health care, housing, child care, and career services, as well as comprehensive sex education, will go so much farther than our current framework of shame and scare tactics!
This is an AMAZING sex-positive, fully supportive and affirming site, but they need help funding their services, which include comprehensive education from parental troubles to safe sex to pregnancy options to sexuality (seriously, every sexuality) guidance…I could go on and on about their awesome services. They also have a chat program, forums, and advice columns, all designed for supportive, affirmative help with any issues teens from any background could have! If they aren’t funded by May 1st, they have to go on strike, and all their services would be in danger of being shut down PERMANENTLY. Please donate, even a small amount of money! I promise it’s worth it.
WELCOME TO BRA WEEK! This week and next, the Autostraddle writers and some special guests will be giving you the scoop on over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders and otherwise-inclined chest-covering situations — fashion, history, feelings and so much more.
For trans women, buying bras is often a new experience, even if we’re adults. If you transition later in life, you probably won’t have much…
“Media outlets may not be able to fully understand my sexuality, and to be honest, they don’t have to. What we should be doing is working to highlight bisexual voices, eliminating bi-erasure and stopping efforts to justify bisexual identity by way of science. Regardless of what studies say, our sexualities are fluid and our love sees past gender. I’m not straight. I’m not gay. I’m bisexual. And I want bisexual youth to be able to Google the word and find they aren’t alone, just like I did so many years ago.”—
Someone had told me Scarleteen was the best place on the internet for sexual health info, and I see now that they were completely right. It’s the scariest feeling in the world to not know what’s going on with your own body, and even worse to feel like you have no one you can talk to about it. I…
Someone had told me Scarleteen was the best place on the internet for sexual health info, and I see now that they were completely right. It’s the scariest feeling in the world to not know what’s going on with your own body, and even worse to feel like you have no one you can talk to about it. I am thanking Jeebus, the Easter Bunny and Hare Krishna that people like you exist. - Brigitte
We’re getting into the final stretches of our current fundraising campaign, the one we very much hope will start to turn things around for us financially, and help us continue all of our services, rather than having to cut them back or shut them down.
We know our readers and users — sometimes as many as five million of in a year, all around the world — know and appreciate our value.
Many of you have expressed that to us over the years, and we’ve always been so glad to know how much we’ve helped when you needed it. That’s what we aim to do! We also have users check back in with us as the years pass, and know we have so many users who have become such incredible people as you’ve grown, people who also have harnessed some real power and confidence when it comes to creating and navigating the kind of sexual life that benefits you and anyone else who is part of it; that’s what you want, uniquely, and that makes you happy and lets you stay healthy, too. Some of our users have even become badass sex educators in their own right. We’re always so proud and happy to have played any part in any of that.
I just wanted to say thank you for this amazing site. I’m a 18 year old female who lives in Chile (South America, that long thin pizza crust on the left side), a country that has little to no effective sexual health and responsibility policies: the morning after pill has just been banned, abortion is illegal (although 100,000 reported cases of abortions happen each year, with serious consequences like infertility and/or death), and frankly people just don’t talk openly and frankly about sex. I’ve learned a lot in your site, and you guys have made it possible for me to make informed decisions about my life and sexuality. I just wanted to let you know that you’re not just helping people in the US, but all over the world: you are, in some unfortunate cases as mine, the only source of unbiased upfront honest and reliable source of information for hundreds of girls that don’t have anyone to turn to. For that, you have my most sincere gratitude. - Sofia
I have a 16 yr old adolescent that recently entered his first physical relationship with the opposite sex. Of course as a parent I worry about him making the right choices. The truth is that at this age a great majority of kids begin “experimenting” out of curiosity, peer pressure, etc. I have to say THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH for your website. I surfed the web for over an hour before stumbling upon your site and want to tell you that yours has the most realistic answers to offer my teenager to so many questions they often ponder at this stage in their lives. Not only is your advice to teens “sound” and gets down to the heart of the matter, but your wording is at times funny! and this for teens makes the advice not seem so scary to take in, and more welcoming for them to want to satisfy their curiosity to so many questions that evolve when entering what should be a safe and in many ways memorable time of their lives.- Liz
We want to continue to provide all we do to our users at no cost to them, as we always have. Even if we didn’t want to provide what we do at no cost, charging young people for essential information - on top of striking us as just plain crappy - would be largely untenable. Many of our users simply do not have the financial independence or funds to pay or donate even if they wanted to.
So, when it comes to financial support, we primarily look to, and need help from, older adults in the world who care about young people, who care about young people’s free, unrestricted access to excellent sex education and who do have the economic autonomy and funds to give a little.
This can obviously be a bit tricky. Most of these folks have never used Scarleteen, so it’s hard for them to understand its value and what it offers and gives our readers and users. When we don’t understand what a thing really does, and what its value can be, we are tremendously unlikely to give it our support.
But! There’s something that can help. Here’s where you come in, current-Scarleteen-user or now-Scarleteen-alum.
Then people who didn’t know what we did, and what that can mean for anyone we do it with, will be way more likely to donate so we can keep providing all the free sex education and support services for young people we have for fifteen years now, and very much still want to provide: to you, your friends or partners, your siblings or cousins, your parents, to your children if and when you are the parents, to anyone and everyone who wants and needs it.
I felt really stupid since I never had partnered sex yet (and I’m at the age where I feel that it’s long overdue) and this site just makes me feel so much better. I didn’t think a site about sex would make me feel good about not having sex… I’ve recommending the site to a couple of friends who feel similarily awkward about the intercourse they have or haven’t had. I really like the sections about how masturbation isn’t the worst thing in the universe and how intercourse for women isn’t always so hot… Again, it all just makes me feel better about what I like to do and what I don’t want to. Thank you so much. - Ash
What we’re asking folks to do right now is to use social media to do just that.
If you’re using twitter or tumblr, use the hashtag: #scarleteenalums, and just write something short and sweet about having used any of our services and what they offered you, followed by a gentle nudge to those who do or may read what you’ve said to help support us.
I’m a mom. Thanks so much for this site. You guys have made it so easy to talk to my daughter about “all this.” Not that I’m uncomfortable, but she is. Thanks thanks thanks thanks THANKS! Oh, and thanks. - Gina
You can write something, in your own voice, like you see in some of the testimonials we’ve reprinted here. If you’re using a medium that asks for something more brief, have a peek at a few tweets like this that popped up on our radar last week as good examples:
@canoli_abides: @Scarleteen helped me to lose my virginity with minimal feathers ruffled. Support on behalf of other kids whose schools don’t provide sex ed.
@JessieLTaylor: @Scarleteen saved my sanity and made me a better person as a teen, so I just set up a monthly donation for the amazing work they do.
@Sarah_Woolley: If my sex ed had lacked a cool mum, and access to @Scarleteen: I’d probably be looking for my hymen down the sofa #VirginityMyths #Lucky
See? So easy. It’ll only take a minute or two of your time, but those minutes and your heartfelt words could do a whole lot. Just speak from your head, heart or both about the value of what we have offered you, toss in the #scarleteenalums hashtag, and, link to our current fundraising ask here, or right to our donation landing page here.
We do know, by the way, that many off our users kind of think of us as a thing and a place to keep secret; that many feel very uncomfortable telling people they have looked for and accessed sexuality information. We want to respect and honor your desire for privacy, and don’t want to ask you to bypass that for us: it’s important. However, we also hope you know, or can get to know, that there’s nothing shameful about seeking out information about such a typically big part of most people’s lives and selves. Perhaps you can use this as practice in taking one baby step out of any of those feelings of shame — since they sure don’t benefit anyone, far and beyond any issues with fundraising, of all things! — by just saying something that doesn’t tell the world more than you’re okay with them knowing about you, yet still expresses the value you’ve found here.
"I am a 16 year old female who has never had any type of sexual education, and multiple times I have had questions to which I could find no answers. This site is amazing because it lets you post your questions anonymously, eliminating any embarrassment. Through Scarleteen I have received quick replies to every question I have asked and this accurate, candid information has helped me to make more informed decisions to protect both my emotional and sexual health. Thanks Scarleteen, for all that you do for teens like me. You guys rock!" - sportchick
I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your website, as a feminist, the daughter of a feminist and as a teenager. It has changed the way I think about sex and sexuality, and I am seriously questioning the gender roles that have been projected on me my whole life. I love biology and along with the book Woman by Natalie Angier I have realised how male-centric most biology and sex-education curriculums are. This culture has told me what is wrong with sexuality, and what is wrong with my body my whole life. It’s so empowering to have adults tell me that its good to respect and love my body for what it is and that the diversity of orientation is normal. You’re doing an excellent job at what schools and most of our parents have failed at or haven’t even attempted. You rock.- Jane
Thanks so much to any and all of you who pitch in in this way: we really appreciate the help and support you can give!
P.S. If you’re a Scarleteen alum who’s now an adult that doesn’t use or need any of our services anymore, and also one who does now have the freedom and financial means to give a little? We ask that you please do. Figure someone did for you back when you used Scarleteen, so you had it when you needed it, so this is a great way to pay that forward! :)
We should not live in a world where women carry pepper spray in their pockets and walk home holding keys between their fingers because the threat of rape is so familiar.
It isn’t a world I want to live in, and while I do take preventative measures, I shouldn’t have to. We should instead be making every effort to change the status quo of normalized rape culture. The phenomenon of victim-blaming particularly fascinates me, as it is exclusive to rape. Have you ever heard any of murder, theft or arson victims being blamed? Probably not. Society seems to understand that an outfit cannot make someone kill you. In fact, it sounds ridiculous to even make that claim. But society cannot seem to grasp the concept that rapists decide to rape – it is not because of an outfit or a drink. It is always an active decision to rape.
If you have read some of the articles here at Scarleteen or looked through the boards, you know that getting yourself screened for Sexually Transmitted Diseases or Infections (STIs) is essential.
Whether you are with a new partner, or are already in a sexual relationship, getting a full STI — sexually transmitted infection, sometimes also called STDs — screening can give you peace of mind and ensure your physical well-being as well as your partners.
“We are not your punchline. We are not your punishment.
I’m going to say that again. Queer people? We do not exist to provide punchlines in straight people’s stories. We do not exist to punish straight people for the error of their ways. Life is not a fairy tale, and we are not supporting characters in someone else’s morality play.
I don’t hope that Mugabe has a queer kid. I don’t hope that the WBCers do- although it’s highly unlikely that all of their kids will grow up cis and het. For their sakes, I hope that they do.
I don’t want queer kids to be born into families that hate them, so that they can do the work of converting their families to our cause. I want queer kids to be born and raised by families who love and cherish them for exactly who they are. I want the to grow up knowing that whatever the rest of the world will throw at them for being queer- and it will- they always have somewhere safe to come home to.”—I Hope Their Kid Is Gay | Consider the Tea Cosy (via brutereason)
Saying “I love you” when you hang up the phone, not being interested in dating anyone else, being regretful, missing the other person a lot, liking someone more than you’ve ever liked anyone else, honestly loving someone and really wanting it to work out are all reasons to be sad about the way this is ending. You’re throwing them out there, as signs, as evidence, like we’re proving a geometry theorem, but they aren’t proof. There is no substitute for “I. Choose. You.”
When you’re in a situation like this, it’s tempting to grab onto the narrative about how “good love just takes work!” and wrap it around you like a big comfy blanket. Work! It’s something you can DO. It’s something you can CONTROL.Work Ethic, meet Feelings! Feelings, roll up your sleeves and meet this Plucky Can-Do Attitude!
Healthy relationships do take work in the sense of figuring out “Where will we live and who will do the dishes there?“
“I will distract you while we wait for the doctor to call with the news.” “I will be the sociable buffer while we visit your difficult family.” “I will clean up the cat barf so you don’t have to look at it or smell it.” “I will work on managing my mental health issues so I can more fully present as your partner.”
This kind of work can be hard and draining as hell, depending on the circumstances (fist-bumps to all the new parents and the caregivers out there!), but if you know for sure that you’re in this thing together and the division of labor feels fair and reciprocal, it’s not bad work.