Abstinence means to refrain from sexual contact of any sort including genital intercourse, oral sex, and anal sex. Although there are some types of sexual activity that could not result in pregnancy, they are still a form of sex.
Postponing sex means that two people in a relationship make a mutual decision in their current relationship to NOT have sex or to put sex "on hold." Whether you have been sexually active in the past, anyone can choose to postpone sex at any point in their lifetime.
Why postpone sexual activity?
People choose to abstain from sex or postpone sex for a variety of reasons, one of which may be to be 100% safe in preventing the transmission of sexually transmitted infections. However, if someone chooses to postpone sex and this person was previously sexually active, he/she should seek testing to understand their sexual health status. The Villanova Student Health Center provides confidential testing for all sexually transmitted infections at very low cost. Please call 610-519-4070 to schedule an appointment or simply walk in meet with a health care provider.
Some people use sex to express their affection, however, sexual expression does not have to include intercourse. By expressing yourself in ways that do not include intercourse, you may be able to find more important, romantic, and creative ways to display your feelings and be intimate with a partner. Sex does not always lead to a deeper relationship with someone and, in fact, can be destructive to a relationship. A “no” to sexual activity can also be a “yes” to deeper communication and mutual appreciation. You can still abstain or decide to postpone sexual activity with your partner even if you have already had sex.