Abstinence: How Real?


You may have heard people talk about abstinence in different ways. Some people think of abstinence as not having vaginal intercourse, but they may enjoy other kinds of sexual activities that don’t lead to pregnancy.

What really is abstinence?

Abstinence is the calculated decision and deliberate action to refrain from sexual activity.

Abstinence is choosing to save all sexual activity for marriage.

Sexual Abstinence includes refraining from:

Sexual intercourse
Oral sex
Anal sex
It’s not enough just to avoid sexual intercourse. Unfortunately, consequences come from all types of sexual behavior. Consequences from oral, anal, and vaginal sex include STIs/STDs and emotional pain or trauma.


Funke’s Story!

Well, I learnt about it in a hard way

“I love you”
I remember uttering those words for the first time to Debola. I was 15, in love, doing well in school, had plans for the future and thought everything was in order.
I was not sexually active; as I was trained to believe that only loose girls sleep around. In the midst of all my friends, I was always teased has been Virgin Mary cos I had not done the real thing.
Also, I hated the way I looked. I thought I was not beautiful enough like my friends even thou sometimes people tell me I am beautiful, a model in the making because of my stature. Despite this, I felt odd among them when they discuss their sexual exploits. I lived in a home with eight other people, and the idea that this tall, good-looking guy wanted me instead of the other girls, well, that was worth anything. I equated his touch with specialness, his kisses with love. When I was with him, all the loathing I felt about my appearance and the sadness I felt at home disappeared. I wasn’t just one of those other girls.
Not long after this, the big dilemma came; he started asking for sex. I thought about it and was confused. After all, he said he loved me, and he wouldn’t want to have sex with me if he didn’t, right? Well, I did after little pressure and did not experience all the pleasures my friends painted.
I got to school and gisted them that I was now a woman. I got the shock of my life when I discovered that Ada, Kehinde, Nifemi and Shade had never really had sex. They just wanted to flow in the group discussion about sex. I realized then that abstinence was still real; that it is not slow, ugly or untooush girls that don’t have sex. I know I can’t have my virginity back but at least I can abstain from sex till the right time. Love has nothing to do with sex

Benefits of Choosing Abstinence

  1. Healthy Relationships: Both Now and in the Future!
  2. Avoiding Painful Consequences.
  3. The Ability to Achieve Your Goals!
  1. Healthy Relationships: Both Now and in the Future!
    • Saving sex until marriage offers many benefits for your current relationships.
      • It allows you to focus on really getting to know your boyfriend or girlfriend without sex becoming the focus of your relationship.
      • You can have confidence that your boyfriend/girlfriend is really dating you because of who you are not because of what they can get out of the relationship.
      • You don’t have to experience the fear of giving such an intimate part of yourself to someone and wondering if they will break up with you or if they really love you.
      • You can focus on building your relationship rather than worrying about getting anSTD/STI or about getting pregnant before you are ready.
    • Saving sex for marriage will enhance your future marriage relationship.
      • You will have built your relationship on a solid foundation based on what you have in common mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually, instead of being distracted by the physical attraction.
      • You can have confidence that your spouse is committed to you 100%. If he/she had the strength to wait for you and demonstrate self control before marriage, how much more committed will your spouse be when you get married?
      • You have a special bond that connects you to your spouse knowing that sex is something shared only by the two of you.
      • You can focus on really getting to know each other while you date and when you do get married, sex is just the icing on the cake. Your relationship already will be strong, and you have the rest of your lives to explore and perfect sex together in a faithful, trusting, and committed relationship.
  2. Avoiding Painful Consequences
    • Avoid facing an unplanned pregnancy when you abstain from sex.
      • Choosing abstinence allows you to be free of the fear or the reality of facing an unplanned pregnancy.
    • Avoid getting a sexually transmitted disease or infection because of your actions
      • If you choose abstinence, you will never have to worry about getting an STD/STI. That is a very freeing thing!
    • Avoid the emotional pain that comes from a broken sexual relationship.
      • When you have sex there is an emotional bond that takes place. When that bond is broken, damage is done and it hurts.
      • Most people think of the physical consequences of sex, but even if a physical consequence is not experienced, you will most likely experience some sort of emotional pain.
      • Some emotional results of a broken sexual relationship include feeling used, cheap, abandoned, alone, suicidal, depressed, guilty, angry, jealous and empty. Many people also experience a low self-esteem.
  3. The Ability to Achieve Your Goals!
    • If you choose abstinence, you will avoid some of the painful consequences that could hinder you from achieving some of your goals and dreams.
    • “Teen parents are less likely to complete school-less than one-third of teens who have a child before age 18 ever earn a secondary school certificate. Only 1.5% get a university degree by the ago of 30.
    • Some STI/STDs can cause infertility. Imagine being married and deciding to start a family and realizing that a secondary school boyfriend or girlfriend who had given you a STI/STD had caused you to be unable to have the children now that you want
    • Emotional distractions of very serious relationships can cause you to not focus on your high school or college career which could have a long lasting effect on your future.
    • Past sexual relationships could affect the ability you have to bond with your husband/wife someday. Visual pictures and memories from past sexual relationships don’t disappear when you get married, neither do the hurts and wounds from broken relationships. Your choice about sex now will have an impact on your future marriage.

What if I’m already with someone right now and having sex?

Just because you’re having sex doesn’t mean you must continue. Remember, a decision for abstinence protects your future as well as your partner’s. Choosing abstinence together will prevent the possibility of pregnancy, giving you both the best for your future. It will also help your relationship grow in other areas. You’ll be able to focus on what you have in common mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and socially. Help your boyfriend or girlfriend to see the positive aspects of waiting and that it will be a great decision for the both of you. Encouraging them to choose abstinence could be one of the best things you ever do for them.

If they end up not agreeing with you, they might say, “If you really loved me, you would have sex with me.” Remember that the best relationships and most long lasting are ones that are founded on trust and respect. Someone who tries to push you into sex is someone you cannot trust and does not respect you. If they continue to push you, tell them, “If you really loved me you would respect my decision to wait.” It won’t be easy, but you’re worth it.



The Abstinence Resource Center

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