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Abstinence, or choosing not to have sex, is safe, free and the only 100% effective way to avoid an unplanned pregnancy and STDs. Even when using contraceptives such as birth control and condoms, there is still a chance you could get a sexually-transmitted disease (STD) or get pregnant. Birth control and condoms do not prevent pregnancy or STDs 100% of the time. Therefore, the only guaranteed way to always be protected from an unplanned pregnancy or STDs is to not have sex.


Abstaining from sex can provide teens with many benefits including having the ability to focus on things that are important to you, like your future, school, and personal interests by avoiding the complications and risks that come with having sex. It might not always be easy to abstain from sex, but having a plan and talking to your doctor, parents or a trusted adult can help you choose what’s best for you.



Intimacy Without Sex 

Choosing abstinence doesn’t mean you can’t be intimate with your partner. Here are some ways that you can create intimacy and get closer without having sex. 

  • Holding hands

  • Exercise together (“couples who sweat together stay together”) 

  • Find ways to maintain physical contact throughout the day; that could be kissing, hugs, running your hands through hair, etc.

  • Cook dinner together

  • Express gratitude for one thing your partner did that day

  • If you and your partner share a faith, attend each other’s religious services together 

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