Abstinence is the only 100% effective method of birth control. There are lots of reasons why someone might be abstinent, and they’re all valid. Many people go through periods of abstinence in their lives, and you can be abstinent even if you’ve been sexually active before. Abstinence is just another choice each person gets to make for themselves.

How does abstinence work?

You just don’t have sex. If no one is coming near anyone’s junk, there’s no way any sperm is gonna meet any eggs.

How do you practice abstinence?

You just don’t have sex. But! This does raise the question, “what exactly is sex?” If you and your partner are giving each other oral sex, no one is going to get pregnant. If you and your partner are having anal sex, no one is going to get pregnant. If you and your partner are rubbing up all over each other’s genitals, there’s a chance someone might get pregnant, even if there’s no penetrative vaginal sex going on. Basically, this method means no genital to genital contact whatsoever.

If you’re curious about what exactly constitutes sex, we’ll get to that in The Fun Part. (The short answer? ~Everything~)

How much does abstinence cost?

Nothing. Except maybe a few sets of sheets if you’re furiously masturbating because you wish you were having sex.

How effective is abstinence?

If you do it right, there is absolutely no chance anyone is going to get pregnant. But if you’re cheating and you’re doing the genital rubbing thing I talked about above, there’s a slight chance someone could get pregnant.


  • No risk of getting pregnant.
  • Aligns with some people’s personal or religious beliefs.


  • None really, unless you wish you were having sex. Then the con is that you’re not having sex.


References: “Abstinence and Outercourse,” PlannedParenthood.org, Planned Parenthood, https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control/abstinence-and-outercourse; “How Effective are Abstinence and Outercourse?” PlannedParenthood.org, Planned Parenthood, https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control/abstinence-and-outercourse/how-effective-are-abstinence-and-outercourse.