Statistics shows that 60% of teenage women and 70% of teenage men are already sexually active by their 18th Birthday. 75% of teenage pregnancies are unintended, and 25% of these pregnancies end up in abortion. Most of teenage pregnancies happen because of an early beginning of sexual life, low use of birth control methods , and lack of information on sexuality and protection against unintended conception and sexually transmitted diseases. Therefore sexuality education is one of the most effective ways in providing such information to young people.
What is sexual abstinence?
Sexual abstinence is abstaining from sex for a certain time. It is a normal condition to many people at all age groups, who for some reason say no to sex. Sexual abstinence is of two kinds – periodical and continuous abstinence. Periodical abstaining is when a person does not have sex on certain days, which are considered to be fertile. The reason for such type of abstinence is preventing pregnancy since periodical abstaining is a part of natural family planning .
Continuous abstinence means that a person refuses to have sex all the time. The reasons to abstain may be religious, ethic, birth control, or legal. These reasons may influence how far a person may go in a relationship. If a person abstains from sex for religious, legal or ethical reasons, he or she will most probably want to avoid any kinds of sex play and physical intimacy with a partner. If a person abstains from sex for the reasons of avoiding pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, it is most likely that the person will avoid direct contact with a partner’s genital organs only. It is an individual choice whether to say no to sex and everybody else should respect this decision.
Did you know that this is the only method that protects against pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases with 100% effectiveness? It means that you and your partner will have to stay away from sex play for a long time. This way sperm will not be able to join the egg and you will not become pregnant.
Usually young people say no to sex when they feel being not mature enough to start being sexually active. They are afraid to face the problems that are related to sex life, such as pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and many emotional and psychological troubles that result from an early beginning of sexual activity. It is totally understandable since a young person can naturally not be able to cope with such problems.
Advantages of sexual abstinence
Preventing getting pregnant or ill with a sexually transmitted disease is not the only advantage of continuous abstinence. Women who abstain from sex until the age of 20 and have fewer partners in their lifetime have a lower risk of getting a sexually transmitted disease, developing cervical cancer and being infertile.
Abstaining from sex , especially at the age of puberty when hormones play a huge role and everybody seems to only talk about it, is not easy. Therefore it is important for you to set clear reasons why you want to wait until you become sexually active. Making the decision it is easier to control your sexuality when somebody else is supportive, when you know what situations may influence your ability to say no to sex.
Once you have made the decision of being sexually abstinent you may want to avoid the situations that would be able to change your choice. The use of alcohol and drugs usually lower your strength and ability to abstain. Therefore you might want to avoid them. Don’t forget to continually emphasize yourself the reasons why you made your choice about sexual abstinence. Always remind yourself of the effects that starting sexual life may bring. Do not reconsider your choice when your mind is not clear, i.e. when you’re under influence of alcohol or sexually aroused.
When you are in a relationship it does not mean that it is impossible to abstain from sex, since there are a lot of things you may do together with your partner. These include getting to know your partner better, talking, listening, sharing, going for walks, doing sports together, dancing, studying etc.
What you need to do though is to explain to your date your beliefs and choice, to tell him/her straightforward how far you want to go. The best time to do it is when you both can think clearly because when you are already sexually aroused it may be hard for you to describe your choices and your reasons. You both should be honest about your position and opinions – this is the only way for the relationship to be pleasing and happy.
Bear in mind that abstaining from sex play does not mean being not sexual at all. It only means that for some reasons you decide to control your sexuality for an undefined time period. Your opinions and choices may change and it is your decision when you feel you are mature enough to start your sex life. Remember that sexual abstinence can be more satisfying than you may think.