"Not Right Now": Testimonials
In the culture that I grew up with, from my family, my cousins, my aunts, my mother especially, was, “Stay a virgin until you’re married.” And when you’re young, you listen, because those are the people you look up to. And I still look up to them, but I’m a young adult, I’m a free thinker, and I started to question: Why do I have to? Whose business is it but mine? So that’s when I discovered my own religious reasons, and that’s what’s kept me going for so long, is my own personal choice. And I think when you’re forced to do something, it can only keep you doing it for so long until you’re over that fear. But once it’s your own choice, that’s what keeps you truly motivated. I think that the advantages to being abstinent until I’m married is I don’t have to worry about getting an STD, about regretting who a partner was or what I did with that partner or if they’re going to go tell people about it and people finding out. So I think that that’s definitely an advantage. And I don’t have to worry about ever being pregnant or taking birth control or things like that. I just feel like my conscience is clear and I don’t have to worry. Almost all my friends are sexually active, so they do talk to me about what happens between them and a person. They don’t tell me too personal things, because I believe that that’s between them and that person. But they do talk about it with me, and it’s totally fine with me. I don’t judge them or frown upon them just because they chose a different way. We are comfortable around each other. I can ask them questions, because since I’m not sexually active, like I do have questions sometimes about what goes on. So they are really sweet about explaining it to me. And then they also come to me about what goes on with them and what their problem is, and I give them advice to the best of my abilities. So I think we’re both understanding in that way. I think kissing’s okay. I know that my mother, probably my priest, and maybe the males in my family would disagree, because they want to be protective of me and they understand that kissing leads to other things. But I think that as long as I’m in control of myself, then I think kissing is okay for me personally. And I think it’s something intimate between me and a guy that I like. Especially since I’m not having sex, it’s kind of the only thing that I can do, other than like holding hands. So I think kissing’s okay. I just have to be careful with where I’m doing it and where it leads to. What I don’t like about being abstinent is I do think it takes a little bit of the fun of being young. I think that it’s fun to date around and maybe try out different partners. So I think that takes away a little bit of my experience. Also a question that a friend had asked me one time was, “What if you marry that person and you don’t enjoy the sex that you have with them?” So I think that when you’re – when you date around and you try sex with different people, you’re getting a different taste of what you like and what you enjoy, whereas when I wait, I – all I can ever know is that one partner. So I think that is a little bit of a disadvantage. But I just think the advantages are – outweigh the disadvantages for me. My name is Anna, and I am a community college student. And my method of birth control is abstinence.
Anna, 19, Not Right Now
Once it's your own choice, that's what keeps you truly motivated.
Anna was born into a culture where the expectation is no sex until marriage. Over time, she’s realized she has her own religious reasons for saying “not right now”.
Most of Anna’s friends are sexually active, but she doesn’t judge them for their choice. She asks them questions about sex and they ask her for advice about relationships. Just like any friends would do.
Because she’s waiting until she says “I do,” Anna’s friends ask if she’s afraid of not liking sex with her future spouse. Sure, it’s a bit of a risk. But for her, the benefits outweighs the costs and she’s sticking with her decision to wait.