Having Sex? Please, Don't Pull Out

I always thought the pull-out method of birth control was something only teenagers did in bad made-for-TV movies. Until I was a teenager and did it. Then I thought it was even more insane. I was a wreck for weeks and took three pregnancy tests a day until I was confident the only thing in my stomach was kale and cake. I ran to the nearest clinic for an IUD and stocked up on enough condoms to fill my entire Honda Accord.

But apparently, plenty of people are not so concerned about unintended pregnancies. American men have been pulling out twice as much during sex with women since 2002, according to new data from the CDC. Back then, about 9.8 percent of men pulled out. Now, it’s at 18.8 percent. Male condom use has stayed at roughly 45 percent, while “any contraceptive method” has stayed at about 80 percent.

Not all contraception is equal. According to the data, the pull-out method is favored by more “never married” men than “formerly married” and “cohabiting” men. “Never married” men probably have more casual sexual partners than their committed brethren. If anyone should be using a more reliable form of contraception than pulling out and hoping, it’s the philandering singletons.

Of men who do the pull-out method perfectly, four percent will get the woman pregnant. But doing it flawlessly, ensuring zero semen gets in or around the vagina, is damn near impossible. Bare sex feels awesome and I hear tell ejaculating inside people feels equally awesome. As a result, Planned Parenthood estimates the actual rate of impregnation is, therefore, closer to 25 percent of those using withdrawal, because people don’t do it right.

I’ve never understood how all men are not terrified of women’s uteruses. What if she’s not on birth control? What if she not reliably taking the pill? You could father a kid you didn’t want and now you’re hooked for 18 years. If I were a man I would be all about the male birth control pill, condoms and vasectomies.

Let’s imagine you’re a straight/bi man and you don’t care about getting a woman pregnant. You should still be Ubering to Costco for condoms in bulk because STIs are on the rise and pulling out won’t help.

Try ultra-thin condoms. Try non-latex condoms, which tend to feel more “natural.” Invest in lube, in ribbed and warming condoms. Dirty talk all the nasty things you’d like to do to your partner with your thick, hard, covered up cock. Put it in a condom, stick a bow on it and call it a present you can’t unwrap.