An Introduction to Sex and Birth Control
Today there are more ways than ever to prevent unplanned pregnancy. For instance, you can choose to say "not right now," or "no vaginal sex." There are many reasons you might make this choice, and if you stick with it 100% of the time you're guaranteed to not get pregnant (or get anyone pregnant). And if you're avoiding sexual activity altogether, you'll be safe from STIs too. But it does involve a whole lot of self-control.
You might feel a little self-conscious about your decision not to have sex right now, especially if it seems like lots of people you know are hooking up. But, check it out: virginity is widely accepted and respected among 18-24 year olds, including those who have already had sex. And, different people have different reasons for not having sex, such as just not feeling ready, the risk of pregnancy and STIs, or waiting until they have fallen in love, just to name a few.
Also, just because you have had sex before doesn't mean you can't make another choice—you always have a choice whether or not to do it now, with this person, and under these circumstances. Check out Bedsider for real stories of men and women who have chosen to say "not right now" and helpful tips if you're considering it.
Not having sex is a great, effective option to prevent unplanned pregnancy, but it may not be right for you. Lesson Two will offer helpful information about all the available methods so that you can make the most informed, healthy choice if and when you're ready to have sex.
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Source for survey data: Kramer, A. (2014). Virgin Territory: What Young Adults Say About Sex, Love, Relationships, and The First Time. Washington, DC : The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.