Practicing abstinence doesn’t necessarily mean that the person is a virgin, although many parents would be happy with that scenario until their son or daughter turns fifty! Abstinence can come after a scary time when you thought you were pregnant or you contracted an STD. From that point on you or your child might decide to leave sex alone until they can handle the consequences, whatever they may be.
That is, after all, what effective birth control is really all about. It is about having choices and making smart ones. It is about avoiding bringing any child into the world that is not completely wanted. It is also about avoiding pregnancy until you are old enough to handle it physically and emotionally. Most teens are not able to do that.
If you are a young person or a parent, know the true meaning of this birth control option before jumping on any moral high horse, and also keep in mind that condoms do protect against many STDs.
Sex encompasses any form of penetration. That includes oral and anal sex. You might think that since you can’t get pregnant from these alternatives to vaginal intercourse that you are in the clear.
That is not true and doesn’t constitute abstinence. Contracting a sexually transmitted disease is a real possibility with both of these methods. Think about this too – certain STDs can prevent you from ever having a baby in the future as well, once you eventually did decide you wanted one.
For abstinence to work, it has to be understood by both people in the relationship. This avoids those sexually tense situations where it is harder to back off once things get started down the road of intimacy.
Abstinence is still practiced by many people. It is not necessarily staying away from sex until you are married, but until you are ready to handle the responsibility of pregnancy or other negative costs.
When you are truly ready, you will know. Until then, enjoy life and other parts of a relationship that so easily can become clouded by the activity of intercourse.