Is Abstinence For You?

With all the talk about sexuality, birth control and dating, it almost seems like you're being encouraged to become sexually active. This is not the case at all, unless you feel pressure from friends or your partner.

Becoming sexually active is a very serious decision and it has very serious consequences. Unfortunately, many people don't consider all the consequences. In the old days, the biggest consequence of premarital sex was pregnancy. This is still a serious consideration, but the stakes have gotten a bit more life threatening.

Today, sexual activity can mean sexually transmitted diseases, one of which is AIDS, and AIDS can kill you. You can use protective measures like condoms and spermicide to protect you from STDs and pregnancy. But the only 100% way to avoid unwanted pregnancy or STDs, is holding off on sex until after you're married. (Assuming the person you marry did the same and is faithful to you). If you and your partner agree to this, then you will be each other's only sex partners -- and therefore free from infection. But in this world of ours today, there is a thing called divorce too, so it doesn't mean that you will just be with that one person your whole life. Just a fact and the truth.

Saying No

It can be very tough to say no to sex. There is a lot of pressure on you at this time in your life and many teens feel pressured into having sexual intercourse. You may think that lots of your friends are doing it, or you may just want to find out what sex is like. Remember, sex is not a test of love. You can show someone special that you care deeply about them without having sex. There are many ways including hold hands, kissing and hugging, listening to the other person and so on. You can figure it out, it is kind of a thing that comes naturally; this is something you should talk to your partner about. If this is something you can not talk to them about, then that does say a lot about your relationship and perhaps this is not the person with whom you want to be having that kind of intimacy.

Why Wait?

Why would you want to wait until marriage or serious commitment to have sexual intercourse? Aside from the obvious reasons of avoiding pregnancy and other diseases, you should consider the sacredness of the act of sexual intercourse -- especially when it's your first time. Sexual intercourse is the most intimate a couple can be. It is the complete giving over of oneself to each other. It is sensitive, serious and very personal. It should be a decision that you make after giving it a lot of thought. It should be something you want to do -- and done at a time that you choose. Sexual intercourse should not be taken lightly.

Some practical suggestions for practicing abstinence include:

1. Decide what you want to do about sex at a time when you feel clearheaded, sober and good about yourself. If you have a partner, decide together at a time when you feel close to each other but not sexual. For example, try talking while you take a walk and hold hands.

2. Decide in advance what sexual activities you will say "yes" to and discuss these with your partner. Agreeing to become sexually intimate does not mean you can engage in ANY physical contact. Just know your limits and when to stop.

3. Tell your partner, very clearly and in advance, not at the last minute, what activities you will not do.

4. Avoid high-pressure sexual situations, stay sober and stay out of the empty house or the back seat, if you are not sure the person you are with will respect your decision.

5. If you say "no" say it so it is clear that you mean it. Don't offer reasons or excuses for saying "no." Take the offensive. Tell your date how his/her continued pressure makes you feel (for example, uneasy, scared, offended, hurt). Refuse to discuss the matter further or walk away from the situation.

6. Learn about birth control and safer sex, so you will be ready if you change your mind. Always keep condoms and spermicide around. Always!

7. Read our of "Birth Control".

It's Your Decision

Choosing abstinence until marriage not only protects you, it gives you the opportunity to develop a meaningful relationship with your future spouse, one that is based on respect and true love. It will be difficult not to give in to the pressures to have sex, for sure. Your friends will claim to be having sex and it's made to look so common place and acceptable on TV and in the movies. Choosing to wait is YOUR choice, no one else can make that for you. Take some time and think about how you really feel about your own situation and values.


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