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." Past sexual decisions do not matter as anyone can choose to postpone sex at any point in their lifetime.
Why choose postponing sex?
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, including HIV. 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 testing for all sexually transmitted infections including HIV. Please call 610-519-4070 to schedule an appointment. All tests are available at a low cost and are confidential.
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 at times be destructive to your 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.