The definition of abstinence is when you don’t have sex. Outercourse is other sexual activities besides vaginal sex. Sexual abstinence and outercourse can mean different things to different people.
How does Abstinence work?
People are abstinent for lots of different reasons. Sometimes people use abstinence as birth control to prevent pregnancy.
Abstinence can mean different things depending on who you ask. Many people say abstinence is not doing ANY kind of sexual stuff with another person, including vaginal, oral, and anal sex — that’s what we’re calling abstinence here.
Abstinence prevents pregnancy by keeping semen away from the vagina, so the sperm cells in semen can’t get to an egg and cause pregnancy. If you’re abstinent 100% of the time, pregnancy can’t happen.
People sometimes only use abstinence to prevent pregnancy on days they’re fertile (most likely to get pregnant), but they may have vaginal sex at other times. This is called fertility-awareness.
Anybody can be abstinent, no matter your age, gender, sexuality, or the sexual experiences you’ve had before.