What is abstinence?
- Sexual abstinence is a choice to not participate in any genital contact. The choice is usually made for a specific moral, religious, legal or health reason. It is the act of not having sex, the personal definition of which can range from no sexual contact to everything but intercourse.
For our purposes, abstinence is defined as no genital or anal contact between people (this includes hand or mouth to genitals).
- You refrain from all forms of sexual intercourse and contact, assuring that there is no exchange of body fluids (such as vaginal secretions and semen).
Discuss with your partner what abstinence means to you, especially if you are developing a new relationship. Someone that cares about you will honor your choices and not push for sexual behavior that makes you uncomfortable.
- Yes! It's the best protection against STIs and the only guarantee against them -- but only if there is no genital or anal contact or sharing semen or vaginal fluid.
- Yes. It's the best protection and the only guarantee (as long as no semen enters the vagina).
- There is no chance of getting pregnant as long as semen is kept out of the vagina.
- There are no hormonal or medical side effects. Abstinence is a good way to really get to know your boyfriend or girlfriend without the complications of sex.
- It is often hard to abstain from sex, particularly in the moment. There is often pressure from your partner or friends to have sex.
Things you should know:
- Abstinence is the only 100 percent guarantee of protection against pregnancy!
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