NO! That's not what I mean.
"Be abstinent" means something quite different from what we promote at Positively Waiting! In our culture, (sorry to say, Moms & Dads) "be abstinent" means "it's OK to do everything else except intercourse." Most abstinence programs emphasize the negative consequences of sexual activity.
That's not sexual self-control at all!
Here's the difference: "Being abstinent" is self-centered. Instead of using others for sexual gratification, abstinence is just non-sexual self-absorbed behavior. It's still all about ME. I don't want to be pregnant. I don't want to get infected. I don't want to feel used. I don't want to violate my religion.
But sexual self-control is completely Other Centered. It's the art of choosing to put yourself last. The art of learning how to love and honor others without using them. Of appreciating how sexuality influences decisions and behavior, and mastering that influence instead of letting it run your life.
Those who master sexual self-control love others in a wide variety of non-sexual ways. Their passion (because it's controlled) spurs them to develop diverse interests. It also forces to master relationship skills and become good communicators. And when they find the love of their life, it is FOR LIFE.
Because sexual self-control is the skill you need to BE FAITHFUL to the love of your life. That doesn't just happen because someone puts ring on your finger.