Abstinence stories: Why I don’t have sex
Abstinence, in simple terms, is not having sex. There are many forms of sexual abstinence, but when it comes to using it as a method of birth control, it means avoiding penetrative sex.
While everyone agrees on the theoretical 100% effectiveness of sexual abstinence as a contraceptive method, many think that it is utopian to want to use it as a contraceptive method.
Of course, it is not easy, but it is not impossible either. Let’s read the experiences of those who practice it, why they do it and how.
For 26-year-old Flora*, religion is the most important reason to avoid sex.
“My religion forbids sex outside marriage. I am very religious and I would like my way of life to align as closely as possible with my religious values,” she shares.
Flora says she arranges to date a man who shares the same religious values as her, so that he understands her choice and supports her.
“Of course there are times when the temptation is extremely strong and you want to give in. But there is always this little inner voice that calls me to order. And every time I pray, I ask the Lord to give me the strength to always resist temptation,” she elaborates.
As a strategy, Flora says she avoids as much as possible to be in situations where it would be possible to give in to the temptations. “For example, when I go to my boyfriend’s house, we always sit somewhere where others can see us or hear us, so we won’t have the courage to do something,” she reveals.
Twenty-seven-year-old Djamila* says she wants to honor her parents on her wedding day.
“If I remain a virgin until my marriage, I will be covered with many gifts and it is a great honor for all my family,” she explains.
“I am very scared of getting a girl pregnant,” declares 20-year-old David*.
He says he may not admit this to his girlfriends but it is the truth. “I very often hide behind religious justifications, just to make myself understood, but it doesn’t always work. Each time, they try to push me to the limit by arousing me strongly but I never penetrate them because I always think that it will end badly,” he states.
David says he doesn’t have a girlfriend currently, which makes abstinence easier because there’s no pressure from the partner. However, he says, the pressure from his friends is very strong. “They tell me all the time that I’m not a real man yet and that it’s a part of life,” he shares.
“I very often want to make love but after a masturbation session, I forget my desires,” he adds.
Waiting for the right person
Rasmata* abstains out of pride.
“I would not like to share my intimacy (vagina) with a man who will not prove that he deserves me,” the 24-year-old argues.
Waiting for the right moment
Aida*, 19-year-old, wants to have her sexual experiences in a very special setting. “A romantic evening for two; rose petals on a cozy bed with candles all around it; dim light; a very pretty, exciting little dress and a man all to myself, there for my sole and ultimate satisfaction,” she describes vividly.
“It is not accessible to me at the moment, so no sex,” she says matter-of-factly.
Not ready yet
For Alice*, it is about where she is in her life right now.
”I’m just not ready to have a baby, so I’m not having penetrative sex,” the 21-year-old says.
As evident from the stories above, there are many reasons why individuals choose to abstain from penetrative sex. Most of these reasons are influenced by culture, religion and personality. Some find the advantages offered by abstinence very convincing but what are they?
With penetrative sex out of the window, partners explore other options to satisfy their sexual desires. “We are always trying something new for our pleasure. Just recently, we tried a sex toy and I love the sensations it gives me,” Samira* tells us.
For many, abstinence is also a gateway to learning more about each other. “I feel that our love is growing day by day. We talk a lot more and understand each other better and better,” Yasmine* says.
She adds that there is a lot of tenderness and love in all of their actions because they are not having sex.
Discovering yourself and your partner
Having to explore unique ways to satisfy sexual desires, couples get a chance to learn more about each other. Carine* says she takes great pleasure in exploring her sexuality and the sexuality of her partner through different sexual games that they play to satisfy their sexual desires.
“So I am very confident about what could please him and also please me,” she says.
If you ever think of opting for abstinence but are afraid of failing, here are some tips that you might find helpful.
- Be clear with your partner about your choice and know how to say frankly no when your limits are being pushed.
- Avoid getting into compromising situations by avoiding alcohol and drugs.
- Remember one important positive point: there are no side effects.
Finally, remember this: teasing or pressure from friends, a girlfriend or a boyfriend should not make you do something that is not right for you. It’s your life, it’s your choice.
*Name has been changed to protect privacy.
Do you have something to share? Leave your comments below, contact us on our social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok or send us an email to email@example.com. For more information on contraception, visit findmymethod.org
About the author: Sirina Sompingda Ouedraogo is a feminist, life enthusiast and lover. She is a medical student based in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso and is passionate about sexual and reproductive health.