For those looking into the different methods of birth control to find what's right for them, here's one of several threads where users can report their experiences with a given method so that other users can get a more personal idea of what using a given method is like when they're looking into what might work best for them.
If you have used or do use abstinence for birth control, please report on it in the following format:
Pros: List what you have experienced as the pros or benefits -- the good parts -- of using this method.
Cons: List what you've experienced as the downsides or cons of using this method.
Ease of use: Talk about how easy -- or not -- it's been for you and/or your partner to use, access and afford this method, how it's worked out in your relationships, etc.
Effectiveness: Talk about how well this method has protected you from pregnancy, and if it ever has failed, note that, including any explanation of how or why, if you know or suspect how or why.
Feel free to also add any extra notes, hints or tips!
-------------------- Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen About Me • Get our book! Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead Posts: 65647 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000
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Hmm, I'll take the plunge and be first to answer to this one!
I still periodically use abstinence as birth control, and have been the entire time i've been sexually active (about 4 years now).
Pros: -100% effective! lol -cheap! -from the perspective of my religion (Orthodox Christianity), it's the best thing to do... I still don't feel plagued with guilt or anything if my boyfriend and I do have sex, but I do like the feeling of, well, sticking to my religion, that it gives me, as my faith is really important to me.
Cons: -REALLY tough to stick to sometimes -If any sexual play happens, ie manual or oral stuff, we're always concerned about pregnancy risk, even though we both know deep down there isn't really a risk since we're both very careful -makes my boyfriend go a little crazy cuz he very much likes to have frequent sex and it's only really occasional for me Not to say he's a bad guy though, he gets that sometimes i just don't want to!
Ease of Use: -Sometimes really rough. It's pretty hard to discipline myself when I'm in the mood. -However... sometimes really quite easy!!
Effectiveness: -100% of course lol, no sex means no risk
Boy this one was unexpectedly hard to write, lol, compared to the pill
I used abstinence for religious reasons until I got married (to someone of the same religion--he was abstinent too). But no matter how committed you are to your faith, whatever it is, abstinence is pretty damn hard!
So the pros of abstinence is that you don't have to worry about anything at all. A guy (or girl) might leave you because of it, but if they don't respect your decisions--especially ones dealing with your body and, in the case of pregnancy, your whole life--then they aren't worth it anyway. Plus, if you're really committed to it, you don't end up doing anything that you don't want to do.
Cons: It can be really hard, not just because you really, really want to give in, but also because there's a lot of social pressure not to be abstinent. And some people that you date don't like it. But that's their problem, ultimately.
There is another con, though, mainly among people who practice absolute abstinence (until they get married or find "the one" or whatever). One thing that I noticed among people in my religion who practice abstinence is that they are completely uneducated about sex and their bodies and the bodies of the other gender, which I think is a really, really dumb idea that leads to you feeling uncomfortable, embarrassed, and afraid of sex. If you're going to practice abstinence, don't practice ignorance along with it. Educate yourself about safe sex, about the implications of sex (physical and emotional), about your body, and about what kinds of sexual experiences you like and you don't like.
That said, both my husband and I thought it was pretty hilarious that when we finally had sex, we were about as practiced as some 13 year olds. We learned quickly...
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