"Birth control makes me crazy, condoms feel weird and I like getting cummed on. Sorry."
With all the available and affordable methods of birth control these days, it's almost easier not to get pregnant than to find yourself a young mother of six screaming children whose names all rhyme with "Terry."
IUDs are cheap and work 99 percent of the time. Birth control pills are covered under the Affordable Care act. In some states, women can even get an entire year's supply of birth control without a prescription. And condoms grow on trees. Women’s access to a range of reliable contraceptive options is the most robust it's ever been.
But given the availability of contraceptives, why do so many women still swear by the pull-out method?
Nearly 60 percent of American women have used withdrawal at some point in their lives, and currently, around 3 percent of 15 to 44-year-olds are using it at any given time — though researchers believe the actual number is likely much higher.
However despite its popularity, withdrawal carries a pretty negative stigma.
“People seem to be pretty vocal against it," a woman named Rachel told Huffington Post. "I definitely feel shame from others about my method of choice." Rachel feels that women who rely on the method are judged as irresponsible, apathetic and negligent.
This is funny, considering that research suggests pulling out is no more effective than condoms at preventing pregnancy (although not STIs, duh). One study found the perfect-use failure rate for condoms is around 3 percent; for withdrawal, it’s 4 percent. Another investigation found that 18 percent of couples who use withdrawal for a year will get pregnant, compared to 17 percent among couples who use condoms. Naturally, neither condoms nor withdrawal are anywhere near as good as an IUD or the pill at warding off unwanted pregnancy, but these numbers do imply that the stigma around pulling out is a bit unfair … especially why women use withdrawal in the first place.
With millions of women relying on it for their primary form of birth control, we thought we'd ask around and find out what it is women love so much about the pull-out method and why it works for them.
What we found was rather interesting. Most women who used withdrawal as birth control were well aware of the risks involved, and even expressed some doubt about their own decision making, yet cited a myriad of pretty convincing reasons why it's the best option for them. The most common of these were negative reactions to birth control and IUDs, cost and convenience, although several other very convincing arguments for being doused in semen were raised.
Let's look at a few:
What do you like about withdrawal?
"I actually got pregnant on birth control, so I figured why pump my body full of hormones when I could just pull out with potentially the same results?" – Olivia, 27
"For me, personally, birth control made me crazy (for lack of better term .).. I was on this brand called Jasmine and at first it was great (increase in boob size, no condoms, clear skin, and it helped my cramps and bleeding) but after a few months on it, I started getting weird panic attacks and my emotions were all over. I tried other brands for a year or so but the effects were the same. Once I got off BC, I was fine. I've been birth control free ever since so condoms or pull out method are the only thing for me. Pull out is risky AF but I can't tell what is worse, that or being a raging ball of emotions." – Melissa, 27
"I have a latex allergy, so sometimes the condom thing isn't as easy as it sounds. I also had a traumatic sexual experience recently so the idea of someone digging around in my vagina trying to implant an IUD really freaks me out." – Michelle, 26
"I'm in a monogamous relationship with my boyfriend so I'm not too worried about STIs (although I know shit happens and being in a relationship doesn't make me immune to STIs) … but he's uncircumcised and the feeling of his foreskin is really pleasurable when we're having sex. Condoms take it away." – Molly, 24
"I honesty just don't want to bother with condoms. For me it kills the mood and it doesn't feel as good. I've never gotten an STD, so I guess it's kind of out of sight out of mind. I know, not the smartest, but it's worked for me." – Bianca, 22
"Sometimes, in the heat of the moment when you can't possibly resist each other, it's really hard to use a condom." – Ruby, 22
I'm bad and kinda always rely on this :/ I trust too easy and I don't take birth control since I haven't had health insurance and I'm just lazy about getting it. And I don't like condoms so … yeah. It's worked for me the last couple years. I was in a relationship for over a year and we never used a condom and I was never on BC and since the relationship ended none of the guys I've been with have used a condom and I haven't been on BC. Not the smartest I know 🙁 but yeah. Probably a bad idea. But I enjoy it …" – Angie, 28
"I actually use withdrawal in conjunction with my IUD … not trying to be an Octomom." – Jess, 26
"Birth control gives me migraines, I had a terrible reaction to IUDs, I'm too busy for birth control shots, the Nuva ring falls out and I get BV (bacterial vaginosis) when I use condoms. Trust me, I've tried to do the safe sex thing. Now, I've worked a system where my boyfriend and I incorporate more oral sex when I'm ovulating. I give him head for a while, and a lot of the times I end up sucking out the pre-cum. Then, to get him off, I give him head again way before he's about to come. When I'm not ovulating, we just do regular withdrawal. It helps that I like giving head 🙂 I know you can still get pregnant before or after ovulation, or even during your period in rare cases, but I've been doing this for years, and it's worked." – Liz, 26
"I'm not proud of this, but I feel like I could always take the morning after pill if something happens." – Megan, 21
"I don't have health insurance, and I work full time. Going to Planned Parenthood takes like 2-3 hours in the city where I live because it's understaffed and busy as fuck, and they're not open when I get off work. It's not that I don't want to be on birth control, it's that I don't have time or money to set it up. So we just pull out because that's the only option we have. Somehow, it's worked." – Tanya, 28
"I have genital herpes. I don't get outbreaks very often, but since I have it, I make a point only to have unprotected sex with men who are also herpes. For me, it's so rare to find someone that either knows or admits to having it that when I do, it's kind of a treat to have condom-less sex. It feels a lot better. Withdrawal just feels better for me." – Zaya, 25
"I love the feeling of getting cummed on. I can't afford birth control. Sorry." – Gabrielle, 26
So, while no one is advocating for withdrawal per se, you can see from these women's responses that there are plenty good reasons why it might be the right method of birth control for them. And in reality, it's better to listen to your body and what it needs in order to find what works best for you, rather than force yourself to use the method that works best for other people. Experimenting with birth control and how it affects your body is risky in its own way, and if pills, IUDs or condoms aren't feasible for you, educate yourself with the risks of withdrawal, then go on with your life.
Is it risky? Yes. Is it effective? Not always. But then again, no method has a 100 percent efficacy rate. And if you slip up … there is always the morning after pill. A slightly irresponsible suggestion, but a true one. That's why it's there.
Photo cred: © Getty Images