If you have non-penetrative sex – like kissing, mutual masturbation, stroking or rubbing –you can't get pregnant or contract most sexually transmitted infections (STIs). But there are still some infections such as herpes and genital warts that can be transmitted by skin-to-skin contact.
Abstinence (not having sex)
Abstinence means different things to different people. Some young people choose not to have penetrative sex, including vaginal and anal sex. Others are happy with kissing and cuddling – and nothing more. Just because you're abstinent doesn't mean you can't date, have feelings for another person or be in a relationship. Sexual relationships have physical and emotional risks. Abstinence is a very good way to postpone taking those risks until you're able to handle them. Some people choose oral sex because they think it isn’t really sex, however oral sex is a form of penetrative sex, and STIs can be passed on this way.
If you abstain from oral, anal and vaginal sex, you are 100% safe from sexually transmitted infections (STIs). And abstinence is the only 100% effective form of contraception.
- No medical or hormonal side effects.
- No prescription needed.
- Young people may find it hard to abstain for long periods of time.
- People often end their abstinence without protecting themselves against unplanned pregnancy or STIs.