What is permissable to a couple practising abstinence? From the previous post (Can I be celibate and do everything else?) we have answers that encompass the entire spectrum with varying degrees of what you can and can't do if you go by the name of celibate or abstinent.
Sexual intercourse is obviously out.
Oral sex is a high-end sexual activity (women would say simple kissing is also incredibly intimate - more on that later), and can possibly be lumped with sexual intercourse in the not-allowed category. It may just depend on the level of guilty feelings experienced by the couple or one of them, and the sacrifices made by the other to cater for said feelings (which seem to have an origin in religious upbringing).
Heavy petting: erotic contact between two people involving stimulation of the genitals (masturbation, orally) but stopping short of intercourse. The contact includes massaging or touching the breasts and other erogenous zones. Putting aside oral sex, is masturbation (masturbating your partner, masturbating in front of your partner) unacceptable in the context of remaining abstinent?
Petting definition, Informal. kissing, caressing, and other sexual activity between partners that does not involve sexual intercourse.
As a general rule of thumb in a loving (non-lustful) relationship a couple can do everything except have sexual intercourse if they want to be abstinent. Doing the high end stuff is riskier in that it might lead inevitably to intercourse but it need not do so in a disciplined couple who will stick to their decision not to have intercourse before marriage. In fact, I'd argue that after sexual release (orgasm) the desire, especially on the part of the male, will be virtually zero to engage in intercourse.
If you're going to be some sort of thorough-going celibate then kissing might be off your menu. If that's what you want then that's ok but if others want to express affection by kissing (including French kissing) then that's ok too. In my opinion.
What are partners comfortable with? What does the Bible say explicitly without the interpretation made by humans? Depending on your religion you can do some detective work and find out what your religion's views are on the matter. Judaism seems to spell a lot of things out in great detail regarding when and what and so on with regard to sexual activity.
It's becoming clear that celibacy and abstinence are not set in stone, except for that one principle of not having sexual intecourse. There is a subjective, personal approach to celibacy/ abstinence. I would argue for a balanced (non-extremist) approach to it; the middle way is always best.
I had an appointment today with my new psychiatrist. Right off the bat she asked if I could describe my anxiety. Please reach out if this pisses you off because I couldn't even breathe.
I found this very helpful and soothing after dealing with a minor, but still crappy attack last night.