The University of Texas at Austin - What Starts Here Changes The World
The University of Texas at Austin Division of Student Affairs
Navigation Menu


Abstinence means not having sex. You may choose to avoid certain sexual acts and not others. For ideas about how to be intimate with a partner while not having sex, read about "outercourse". You may choose not to have sex for a day, a week, or a year - even if you have been sexually active in the past. Being abstinent can also mean waiting to choose the right person, time, and circumstances to be sexual. However you define "abstinence," the only way to completely avoid exposure to sexually transmitted infections is to avoid oral, vaginal, and anal sex completely.

Making a Decision About When to Have Sex
Tips for Sticking With Your Decision
Why Do People Choose Not to Have Sex?