There are different kinds of abstinence:
- Life-Long Abstinence: when someone, like a Catholic priest, decides to spend his or her life abstaining in order to maintain “purity” and focus on their role as a religious leader.
- Delayed Abstinence: when someone waits until they are old enough and in an established relationship to have sex.
- Periodic Abstinence: refraining from sex for certain periods of time in order to control when children are born.
- Secondary Abstinence: when someone who has had intercourse before decides to become abstinent until some future date.