meet lena chen!

Lena Chen

Hey gURLs!!

Welcome to the launch of’s Health, Sex & Relationships blog! I’m Lena Chen, I’m 23,  a recent grad from Harvard University and your new go-to on gURL for all things advice, sex, health and relationship driven.  I’m super excited about this project.

When I announced on my personal blog that I would be writing for gURL, I heard from tons of readers and friends who read and loved the website during their teens. I know exactly how they feel, because I was a big fan of gURL myself. In fact, my first-ever email address was hosted on the site! It was my go-to resource for all my questions about body image, puberty, dating, sex, and growing up. Without it, I would have entered high school woefully uninformed, and even a decade later (whoa, that makes me sound old), I still feel a lot of gratitude towards gURL’s founders Esther Drill, Heather McDonald, and Rebecca Odes. The fact that gURL remains so memorable to my friends and me is a testament to its impact.

Those are big expectations to live up to, but I think I’m up for the task! Here are some additional quick facts about me:

• I never saw snow until I went to college. I’m originally from California, but I moved to the East Coast to attend Harvard University, where I majored in Sociology and minored in Studies of Women, Gender, & Sexuality.
Sex And The Ivy, the sex blog I started in 2006 as an undergrad, went from being a shared secret among girlfriends to a mini-phenomenon. It’s been featured in The New York Times and Newsweek, which called me the “poster girl for … a group of brainy girls gone wild.” Um, thanks?
• During my senior year of college, I organized Rethinking Virginity, a conference at Harvard about the virginity ideal, its religious and economic history, and its role in shaping female sexuality today. (We’ll be exploring more of these issues in upcoming blog posts!)
• I have an inexplicable attraction to all things Hello Kitty-related.
• A big part of my college years was devoted to advocating for queer rights.
• I’ve been in a relationship for the past two-and-a-half years and I currently live with my partner and our bulldog in Boston. They’re Yalies, so there’s kind of a school rivalry going on at our house.
• I discuss sexual health and relationships in videos and blog posts for SexReally. (I host a webcast called Sex Really With Lena Chen.) I also write daily on my new blog, The Chicktionary, about feminism, race, privilege, and the random things that amuse me.

The most important fact to keep in mind? I love getting comments, questions, and emails from readers, so don’t hesitate to write me anytime you’ve got feedback on the site or just a rant you want to share.

I’m looking forward to getting to know you guys! E-mail me at!


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Posted in: Ask an Expert, Health, Sex & Relationships, Relationships, Virginity
  • hey im lydia, i just recently got out of a relationship with my boyfriend because he wouldnt talk to me,so any way during 2 weeks ago i broke up with him on facebook because i can't , i would've bawled my eyes out telling him i realized soon after, I was in LOVE with HIM.i was not thinking about it, but im a gurl, and i cant ask him back, so i pray to god.but i at least want him to ask me to the dance.but i need him back before may. any thoughs?please help,


  • hello, so sorry about your experience. i cant imagine passing through a like experience. my advice to you is to give your life to Jesus and accept him into your life. let him heal your wounds and your life will take a new turn. if everyone else leaves you, Jesus wont coz he loves yo

  • Sarah

    Hi Lena. I think I'm pretty desperate for help at this point, and I'm a bit too embarrassed to talk to anyone in real life so I figure online is the best way to go 🙂 lol.

    When I was six years old my parents divorced. I spent half my time with my mom and half my time with my dad. My father abused me severely (both physically and sexually), to the point that I was hospitalized several times, till I was fourteen. I'm seventeen now, but even though I've been out of the situation for three years, I'm still severely affected by it, particularly in sexual ways, both in health and relationships.

    I have such severe scarring that, from what my doctors have told me, sex will never be pleasurable.

    Good thing I have a girlfriend, I guess, eh?

    But even intimacy that doesn't include penetration is almost impossible for me! I have been with my girlfriend for two years and I trust her with my life, but I just CAN'T do it. It hurts so bad, and even if it didn't hurt, I'm terrified. It makes me laugh because there are girls out there that are upset because they're still virgins. I WISH I was a virgin. Then there are those girls that have slept with a hoard of men and love it and brag about it-whereas I have been forced to have sex with probably twice as many! It's just not fair. I want to be intimate…I don't want to spend the rest of my life without being able to be intimate.

    I guess what I'm trying to ask is if there is anything I can do to change this. I love and trust my girlfriend more than anyone in the world, she's my life, and she says she understands…but there's going to come a time when, if I don't put out, she'll leave me. Everyone does. I've tried everything, extra lubrication, masturbation (which just made me break down in tears), steroid creams to reduce bleeding (yes, even after three years, I still have non-menstrual bleeding from such severe fissures) and pain. Nothing's working. I'd really appreciate it if you could give me some advice on this, because I'm at my wits end, I don't want to live like this anymore.

  • Phelicity

    Hey Lena!

    I am a religious 17 year old turning 18 in March. I have a boyfriend and he is my first kiss, first date, and first boyfriend, and we love and respect eachother, but we have not been sexually active and I am still a virgin. I promised myself that I wanted to wait until marriage and he understands that but if I just so happen to have a day where I feel like I am ready and mature enough for the first time, what will it feel like? His parents are okay with it but mine just don't want me to do it without consulting them first and I really don't want them to stress out, and I understand why they would feel like that. I have heard stories about the first time hurting ang that the hymen can break and bleed in the middle of the act. Does it have to hurt?