Birth Control

Sexual Abstinence

Sexual abstinence is practiced in every country in the world and is the only sure way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease. Abstinence, or ...

by Staff

Sexual Abstinence

Sexual abstinence is practiced in every country in the world and is the only sure way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease. Abstinence, or the action of refraining from sexual activity, has been used for centuries in order to prevent unwanted pregnancies. In fact, abstinence is a normal and acceptable practice used by men and women of all ages who are not yet prepared to accept the risks of sexual activity.

Some people argue that sexual abstinence is not a true form of birth control. But, birth control is any act, drug, or device that is intended to prevent pregnancy. This means that choosing to abstain is really a contraceptive. Did you know that among teens, abstinence is the most popular method of birth control? Among people aged 15-19, fewer than half have ever had sex. Over one in ten women of reproductive age have never had sex at all.

Why Sex?

When you are feeling close to another person, it may seem natural to progress from hugging and kissing to sexual intercourse. Many people use sexual activity and intercourse as a way to express love, tenderness, and affection. However, emotional affection can also be expressed in alternative ways and this can circumvent many of the risks associated with intercourse.

Enjoying a walk on the beach, a romantic dinner for two, or just a night at the movies can illustrate the same meaning inherent in sex and also allow for the formation of a deep emotional bond. Refraining from sexual activity doesn’t mean that you aren’t interested in expressing affection for your loved one. To the contrary, abstinence can open up opportunities to developing meaningful communication with your partner.

What is Abstinence? Every person has a different definition of abstinence. For the purpose of this guide, abstinence includes refraining from all types of sexual activity. This includes: vaginal sex, anal sex, oral sex, outercourse (dry sex or grinding), mutual masturbation, and any other sexually gratifying activity. Many sexual activities cannot result in pregnancy, but they are still considered an act of sexual intimacy. A number of these activities can still result in the transmission of diseases. Whatever you do, it’s important to make responsible sexual choices. Educate yourself about your options and stay safe.

Unlike other animals, humans are able to associate sexual behavior with their psychology and emotions. We are able to control our sexual urges and evaluate our decisions unlike the rest of the animal world. As a result, humans are able to engage in a relationship based on sexual fidelity. A lot of couples find that sexual behavior is more rewarding when explored in an atmosphere of deep commitment, and one in which the possibility of children may be explored. Not all men and women are prepared for such a commitment and thus choose to abstain from sex until they are in a monogamous relationship.

Why Abstinence?

Abstinence is everybody’s first method of contraception. It is 100% effective in safeguarding against sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancy. However, sexual abstinence can be a hard thing to practice. Young people especially find the drive of hormones and curiosity difficult to overcome. If you want to practice abstinence, try avoiding high-pressure situations like empty dorm rooms and the back seat of automobiles. There are many pressures in society that make it difficult to save sex. Though it will be hard, you may find that abstinence is far more rewarding then you ever thought it could be.

Considering sex?

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Does having sex before marriage agree with my own morals? (Talk it over with someone who shares your values.)
  • If I get pregnant, am I prepared to manage single parenthood? (That is a lot of work for one night of fun.)
  • If not, am I ready to deal with the pain of abortion or adoption? (Most people aren’t.)
  • Do I really know this person? (It takes months — here are some types of men to avoid.)
  • If the relationship breaks up, will I be glad that I had sex with this person? (How will you feel later?)
  • Is he pressuring me to have sex? (Mental doubts could be a signal to back-off.)
  • Am I pressuring him to have sex? (Resentment could be a result.)
  • Am I sure that my partner is not infected with a sexually transmitted disease? (AIDS can be deadly.)
  • Am I sure that I’m not infected with a sexually transmitted disease which I could give my partner? (That would not be an act of love.)

If the answers to any of these questions is “no,” then it’s sensible to wait. If you have been sexually active, get yourself tested for STD’s. If you need to talk to someone about your relationship, visit your local pregnancy center for free counseling. Sex is fantastic — with the right person at the right time.

Read the story of a beauty queen who decided to stay a virgin until marriage — “Not Until My Wedding Night.” Visit Christian Family Planning for more information about sexual abstinence.


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