Your Questions About Sexual Abstinence, Answered

Since there’s no doubt we live in a somewhat sexploitative world, it’s not often that one meets a person who practices abstinence from sex. Moreover, people usually associate the term with celibacy. However, sexual abstinence isn’t the same as devoting yourself to live without any sort of intimacy. But hey, that’s why we’re here! Our article aims to explore the world of sexual abstinence and help you realize if this idea suits you and your partner.

What Is Abstinence?

Unfortunately, there’s no universal definition that will suit everybody’s idea of it. The reason for such a vague answer is that the term can mean all sorts of things for different people who enjoy it. Nevertheless, we dare define it as a life choice to not practice some or all sexual activities. However, if you think something else about it, that’s A-okay for us.

People who practice abstinence can also indulge in something called outercourse. This term is closely related to abstaining from sex, but it allows people to enjoy everything except vaginal and anal intercourse. In other words, it’s non-penetrative sex. You can still enjoy kissing, dry humping, or even mutual masturbation.

To practice abstinence, you don’t need to be a virgin. It’s okay to have a previous sexual experience as long as you stop doing it at some point. Of course, there’s no obligation to keep on practicing it if you decide that you’ve had enough, and you want to go your old way. Seeing how it’s easy to mistake abstinence for celibacy, we’ll delve into more details that differentiate the two.

So Is It Celibacy?

To answer your question as simply as possible, celibacy and abstinence are not the same thing. Yes, they’re closely related, and your average Joe tends to mistake them for one another, but celibacy is, in most cases, a spiritual decision that has its roots in various beliefs and religious indoctrination. From Buddhist monks to Christian nuns, many people restrain from sex. However, they do it for the rest of their lives.

On the other hand, abstinence is a temporary choice that doesn’t stop you from going back into the game once you feel like it. Sure, you can make it lifelong if you please, but that’s not what the majority of people who indulge in it do. More often than not, they avoid sexual relationships until they feel like it’s the right time. Good examples are couples who decide not to engage in sexual intercourse before they get married.

Does It Mean I Cannot Get Physical With Someone?

Like we’ve said, people believe abstinence is the same thing as celibacy and that you can’t have any kind of intimate contact with your partner. They couldn’t be further away from the truth. The thing is, you make your rules as to what abstinence means. So whether you’ll do it or not depends on you.

We’ve already said that there’s outercourse and that it means no penetrating. It can help you satisfy your sexual desire while still being faithful to your life choice. After all, sex isn’t solely about anal or vaginal intercourse. All sorts of skin contacts can prove to work wonders for those that choose abstinence.

What Is Allowed During Abstinence?

This lifestyle is your choice; so is your definition of it. Depending on what you and your partner are comfortable with, you can participate in many styles of outercourse. The important thing is to be sure that something is okay with the one you love. If not, there’s no point in frustrating yourself and hurting their moral idea of sexual abstinence.


Every love story begins with placing your lips on your partner’s. It can be romantic, fun, or even kinky if you want it to. From sharing tongues to quick smooches, it’s a great way to tell someone how much you care for them. Moreover, it’s a proven antidepressant and stress relief mechanism.


It’s not uncommon for couples to send each other all sorts of things while apart from one another. Seeing how everyone has a phone these days, you can spark each other’s imagination with just a couple of kinky words. It can help explain your love and affection without making you break agreed-upon rules of abstinence.


Although this might not suit every couple who’s into this lifestyle, it can help you get over your primal urges. Without penetrating, you will be able to unload all your sexual energy. It can be even more enjoyable if you’re doing it with one another. So if it’s okay with you, give it a try.

Dry Humping

This one’s like a time machine. It takes you back to those times in high school when your partner didn’t want to give up their virginity, and the two of you just clumsily humped, pretending you’re having actual sex. And yes, that’s the point. There’s no anal or vaginal sex; therefore, it’s not breaking the basic concept of abstinence.

Why Would One Abstain From Sex? Are There Any Benefits?

The benefits of abstinence vary from couple to couple. However, we might think of a few reasons why some would practice it. Some people just want to explore other forms of intimacy in a relationship. If they can have a great time without sex, they’re bound to find happiness once they opt to try it.

On the other hand, some just aren’t ready for it. It’s usually the case that they think their age isn’t appropriate, or they want to wait until marriage. Some had bad experiences, so they need time to process them and will be ready in the future. These reasons are just some of many since people have different ideas of what they’re trying to avoid.

How Do I Talk to My Partner About It?

Bringing up sex in a conversation can sometimes feel awkward, and the same applies to abstinence. Nevertheless, it’s important to do it because avoiding it can lead to many problems you’ll find hard to resolve later. The best way to do it is to be honest and let it all out. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should skip your partner’s views. Take their feelings into consideration and make abstinence your joint effort.

Is It Safe?

There’s nothing safer than complete abstinence if you’re worried about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). However, if you participate in certain forms of sex, you can still catch something nasty, even if the chances of that are close to zero. Preventing pregnancy is another safety plus you get from having no vaginal sex.

However, there’s also the question of mental health. Some people might find abstinence difficult, so it’s important to understand if it’s taking a toll on your overall well-being. Therefore, going back to sex at some point should always be in your plan, no matter how firm your ideas of sexual abstinence are.

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