- Abstinence means having no sexual intercourse at all.
- No sex means no risk of pregnancy and no risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or HIV/AIDS
- Abstaining from sex might be a one-off decision (“We are abstaining from sex tonight because we do not have a condom), or a more permanent undertaking (“We are practicing abstinence until we get married”).
If practiced correctly, abstaining from sex is 100% effective at preventing pregnancy.
Abstinence requires commitment and self-control. It is a conscious, deliberate decision to not have sex. To stick with it, keep reminding yourself why you choose to not have sex, and think about the potential consequences of changing your decision. And if you decide to start having sex, make sure you are protected with another form of childbirth spacing/family planning method.
- Abstinence has no medical or hormonal side effects and is free.
- It also is 100% effective at preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases!
People may find it difficult to abstain for long periods of time and may end their period of abstinence without being prepared to protect themselves against pregnancy or infection. Sometimes it can be helpful to keep a condom available in case you change your mind.
- Avoid putting yourself in situations where it will be hard to stick to your decision.
- Think about avoiding alcohol and drugs as well—they can mess with your judgment.
- Find people you can talk to about your decision and use their support!
- Talk about your decision with your partner well before you are in the heat of the moment.
- Be totally straightforward and clear with your partner about your limits.
- Explore other sexual options you might enjoy just as much!
My partner keeps telling me “If you love me, you would have sex with me.”
Do not be fooled by this line! Loving someone does not just give them permission for sex. Changing your mind and having sex when you really do not want to is letting yourself down, and it does not guarantee that your partner will stay with you either. In the long run, if someone wants to break up with you just because you will not have sex, they really are not worth it. Someone who truly loves you will respect your decisions.