BY AMARA HOWE
PLEASE NOTE: WE ARE NOT SUGGESTING YOU TRY THIS AT HOME
Ah- the pull out method. The sweet, sweet pull out method.
The utterly irresponsible yet totally genius act of a male withdrawing his penis from your vagina before ejaculating in order to refrain from any impregnation which could potentially occur if said semen was to take a swim.
According to a recent survey conducted by STANCE, over 50% of 146 female participants have relied on the pull out method at least once in their life. Considering the NHS website don’t consider the pull out method as a form of contraception – we figure that’s quite a lot, right?
With the inconvenient ‘I-can’t-feel-a-fucking-thing’ struggle thanks to condoms and the significant increase of research suggesting the pill is linked to more side effects than we first thought, it appears many of us women are relying on ancient-methods of contraception. I mean, at least it’s better than shoving a lemon up there (I’m deadly serious).
But just how reliable is the pull-out method? It certainly doesn’t stop STI’s that’s for sure, but does it stop fertilisation? Well… kinda.
According to plannedparenthood.org the likelihood of a woman getting pregnant by relying on the pull out method is 27 in 100, or 1 in 4 – as opposed to less than 1 in 100 when the pill is used. What it fails to mention is whether that’s due to weak pull-out game or the longly debated “pre-cum” scenario.
Pre-cum – the dribble before the disaster. Sorry, graphic, I know. The little bit of sperm that may happen to seep out of his penis before ejaculation. There’s a shitload of confusion between experts about whether pre-cum actually has sperm inside it. With weak research including the most recent 2013 report finding a third of 27 men’s pre-cum contained live sperm, it’s your call whether to chance it or not.
Remember, withdrawal requires the male to have good self-control. Using the method with a one-night-stand – aka someone you barely know – isn’t a great idea because 1. sti’s, and 2. how good’s his pull out game? Many long-term couples, however, rely on the method as a form of contraception.
Polly Ward*, 22, a student from Sussex said she’s been using the pull out method for well over a year with her partner. “I felt as though being on the pill from the age of 16 to 21 was unhealthy and I was worried that it was not only damaging my mental health but my physical health,” she said.
Ward, whose boyfriend pulls out every time they have sex, says it’s been “100% effective every time”. She said: “I actually got pregnant before while being on the pill, which is ironic. For me, I just feel happier knowing there isn’t any chemicals or whatever goes into the pill in my body to make it react or tricking it into acting differently.”
Getting the male perspective, STANCE spoke to Paul Davies*, 24, a products sales manager from Harlow about his experience. His girlfriend is also uncomfortable with taking the pill. “The pull out method works just fine – if the guy is confident enough. Most examples of a pull out going wrong is done from guys who lose control or get over eager. If you’re in control of what’s going on it’s easy enough to pull out in time. When you’re actually having sex it can sometimes linger in the back of your mind to not cum early which can sometimes take away from the experience but sex with a condom isn’t really sex at all… from my experience anyway.”
Sarah Sessions, 47, an occupational health nurse from Ipswich said: “It’s good as no rubber is involved meaning greater intimacy and requires no prescription and is available all the time. However, it can be messy and does not protect against STD’s.”
Turing the pro’s on its head, however, Lisa Stobbs*, 24, a youth worker from Colchester is currently pregnant via what is believed to have been pre-cum. “We would tend to stop early and then continue with foreplay just to make sure we were being extra careful… sounds silly now I think about it.”
Stobbs, who admits she was naïve to have used the method is “over the moon” to be pregnant with her second baby, however, suggests going to see someone when considering contraceptive methods. She said: “If you’re not entirely worried about getting pregnant then crack on, but if you’re not ready then you should really consider all your options before taking the risk.
While many of us (including me) can admit to using the method it is safe to say it doesn’t always work. If you’ve considered all your options are in full acknowledgement there is a small chance of getting pregnant then the choice is yours. But remember, condoms are the ONLY way of protecting yourself from STI’s.
TAKE STANCE’s POLL HERE: https://goo.gl/6ytyWE