Six Stories on the Benefits of Abstinence
Abstinence can mean different things to different people. For most, it means not having sex.
Anyone can choose to be abstinent – regardless of age, relationship status, or past sexual experiences. And there are many different motivations for making this choice. Most commonly, people choose to be abstinent because it’s a simple, free (and 100% effective) way to avoid the risk of getting pregnant.
So why is it so hard for some people to abstain?
The Problem: Desire
Whether you’re in a committed relationship or not, abstaining from sex can be extremely difficult. There are attraction, desire, and other emotions that make a sexual relationship appealing. And while you may have a hard time saying “no” to sex, there are six good reasons why you should.
Here are the perspectives we hear most often about the benefits of sexual abstinence:
It’s the only 100% effective birth control option. “Abstinence prevents pregnancy by keeping semen away from the vagina, so sperm can’t get to an egg and result in pregnancy. Sometimes, people use abstinence in a committed relationship only during their fertile days to avoid getting pregnant. However, if you’re abstinent 100% of the time – you’re 100% guaranteed to not get pregnant. That’s a medical fact.” – Dr. Shah, OBGYN
I want to focus on other life goals. “As a student with big dreams of rising in the corporate world, sex is distracting. All my time and energy go into studying, passing required tests, and participating in internships. Not to mention, I work full-time to pay my bills and tuition. My priority right now is making it to my dream job – and maybe traveling here and there during the break – so abstaining from sex gives me the mindset to focus on what’s really important to me right now.” – Taylor, local university student
Honestly, I’m waiting for the right person. “I believe sex is a big commitment. It’s emotional, and you forever have a connection with that person. So I want to be sure I’m with the right person. Part of that is waiting until I really know them, and there are so many other ways to get to know someone. I don’t want to jump in sexually until there are other things that connect us—like our hobbies, our values, and our life path. I want my family to like this guy; I want to know I deeply care for this person before we have sex. But also, I want a firm commitment that our relationship won’t change once we do.” – Lauren, dating but abstaining
I’m simply not ready for sex. “My teenager learned about sex in health class. And he came home looking like a deer in headlights—he had so many questions. We had to have several follow-up discussions about how complex and emotional sex is. My advice to young adults… until you’re educated and prepared for the risks and emotions of sex, please don’t do it.” – Marianne, mother
STDs are real—and scary. “A sexually transmitted disease (STD) can be surprising and devastating. It can happen to anyone who is sexually active, and most often occurs if a person has had too many unprotected sexual partners. Simply put, if you avoid sex, you avoid the risk of contracting a lifelong STD altogether.” – Dr. Jones, OBGYN
God designed sex for marriage. “As Christians, we believe that God commands sex to occur exclusively within marriage. God designed sex to bring joy to each partner, but sex outside marriage only robs each person of the deep emotional, physical, and spiritual intimacy that’s intended for married partners. Abstinence for the unmarried is a Godly command – He has called us to live a certain way as Christians so that He is glorified and we are benefitted.” – Josh, Youth Pastor
What are your thoughts on abstinence? If you have tried it, how has it worked for you? Let us know in the comments below!