WHAT IS IT?
Abstinence is a conscious decision to avoid certain activities or behaviors. In this case, abstinence means to avoid any type of vaginal, oral or anal intercourse.
WHERE DO I GET IT?
A person already has the ability to choose abstinence. It’s a choice that anyone can make at any time, even if you have already had sex.
HOW DO I USE IT?
Once a person makes the decision to abstain, there are many skills he or she will need to effectively practice abstinence. Examples of skills someone will need included: effective communication skills, the ability to listen, commitment to his or her partner, self-control, information, other ways to share sexual feelings, knowledge of consequences, shared values, and self-esteem. To make sure abstinence remains effective, it is essential that a person has these skills with them at all times. A person should also reevaluate their decision from time to time to be sure it is still the best choice for them.
HOW WELL DOES IT WORK?
If used perfectly, abstinence is 100% perfect effective in preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection. However, sometimes people get swept away by the moment or are talked into doing something they had not originally intended to do. If this happens, the effectiveness of abstinence drops to 75%.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF THE METHOD?
Some of the advantages of practicing abstinence are:
o No worry about pregnancy or STIs
o Sex does not become the focus of the relationship
o Can focus on healthier relationship skills such as communication, compromise, etc.
o May not conflict with religious or moral beliefs
Some of the disadvantages of practicing abstinence are:
o Sometimes perceived as no fun
o May cause stress in the relationship if partners have opposing viewpoints
o Feeling left out of the crowd
o Fear of being “inexperienced”
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?