What is the pull-out method?
The pull-out method is one of the most basic forms of preventing pregnancy that doesn’t involve any medication (like birth control pills) or barriers (like condoms). It is primarily used in penile-vaginal intercourse. In this method, an individual removes their penis from their partner’s vagina before they ejaculate. This method is free, convenient, and saves you a last-minute trip to the pharmacy. Simple, right? Not really! 


Is the pull-out method really effective?
Sorry ladies, but nope! The idea is that by removing the penis from the vulva before the penis-owner ‘comes,’ sperm is not released inside the vagina, thereby preventing pregnancy. Usually, the penis owner does not wear condoms when this method is used.
Here’s the catch.The CDC states that the pull-out method is only 78% percent effective as a birth control option. This means that around 1 in 5 women stand a chance of getting pregnant, even if their partner pulls out. In contrast, WebMD states that a condom, when used properly, is 98% effective. (Joey Tribbiani’s “They should put that on the box”?)

The Semen Science
The pull-out method relies on the assumption that sperm is found only in semen, the ejaculate. However, studies have shown that sperm is also found in pre-cum, the lubricant that is released during arousal.

This is because sperm cells left behind in the urethra (from the last time your partner ejaculated) are flushed out with pre-cum. Don’t be fooled by the word “pre”! Besides, the penis-owner must execute the timing perfectly ­every single time. It is not that easy to avoid ­anyinteraction between the vulva and the penis just before your partner comes. All it takes is one pesky drop of semen anywhere near your vulva to increase your chances of getting pregnant.

The Danger Down Under
Besides not being a very efficient form of birth control, the pull-out method doesn’t protect you from STIs either. Since there is no barrier, using the pull-out method puts you and your partner at risk of transmitting STIs like HIV, gonorrhoea, herpes, and yeast infections. YIKES!
P.S. The risk is higher if you have unprotected sex with multiple partners!

The Pangs of Pulling Out
By opting only for the pull-out method, you give the penis-owner all the control in the sexual act. Not only is there a wayyy higher chance of getting pregnant, but the vagina-owner does not have any power or agency in the act. Trust and communication issues may also crop up. Your partner may not be able to ‘stop’ in the heat of things, which may result in anxiety, trauma, and fears about sex.

What if they don't pull out on time? What if I get pregnant?  
Having ‘The Talk’ with your partner
“It feels more natural without a condom!”
“Trust me, I’ll know when.”
If you find that your partner only wants to use the pull-out method, it might be time to sit down and have a serious conversation about boundaries, trust, and consent. Don’t hesitate to put your foot down if you’re uncomfortable with using the pull-out method. If they can’t wrap it, they can’t have it!

Remember that if you want to use the pull-out method, you’re playing a game of chance – regardless of how well you time yourself, there is still a risk of getting pregnant and contracting STIs.

It pays to be prepared! Keep a couple of Get Down condoms handy wherever you go, be it on a Bumble booty call or a romantic date. Have clear boundaries about what is okay and what is not – communicate them to your partner at every step!
If you do want to use the pull-out method, that’s okay too! Keep the risks in mind and have an action plan in case things go wrong. Timing the pull-out method while tracking your period to avoid the fertile window can also help. Have an honest conversation about the potential risk of STIs and pregnancy. Keep emergency contraceptives ready.

Pull-Out Power Pack
Not everything about pulling out is bad news – when combined with condoms, the pull-out method is even more effective in reducing the risk of pregnancy. This means that if you’re reallynot looking to get pregnant, you can discuss this method with your condom-wearing partner.

The Bottom Line
Bridgerton makes a great binge watch, but it shouldn’t be your go-to for information on pulling out. Stay aware of your options, communicate, and Get Down!