The Myth of the Pull-Out Method

by Janelle Harris

74956369It’s mid-August-in-the-Bahamas muggy in your bedroom. The sheets on your mattress are tangled and damp with sweat, and the air is thick and humid from the kind of heat that can only be generated when you’re going round for hot and heavy round with your main man (or maybe just your man of the moment). You tussle and tumble, kiss, rub, and grope. You grind and lick, moan, grasp, and pant. Just as your skin flushes and you feel that familiar tingly warmth, your boo boo stops thrusting, jumps up, and finishes off the job in manual, one-man-hand ecstasy. Ah, the trusty pull-out method — the most time-honored tactic for derailing the possibility of pregnancy that still lets the parties involved make sweaty, nasty, funky love in completely condom-less abandon.

Call me a skeptic, call me an overthinker, but best believe you won’t call me a believer in the miracle of the POM. Maybe it’s because so many dudes, desperate to get some nuzzle time between a girl’s thighs, will swear, plead, and guarantee in that desperate, whispery, I’ll-say-just-about-anything-like-a-high-school-boy voice that they will in fact pull out before they reach the high of all highs. I mean, they’ve literally been doing it for 2,000 years. Next to the acts of abstaining and withholding, pulling out is the most ancient of anti-baby making methods, dating back to biblical times. Now what worked for God’s chosen people in the heat of the desert was one thing. But what’s good for hot and hormonal modern-day folks in ambiguous dating situations is a whole other bag of tricks.

Statistically, the on-point version of the pull-out method makes a sound case for contraception. When done correctly, only four in 100 women will walk away with a positive pregnancy test. But for those who get it wrong, which is the majority of pull-out practitioners, mind you, more than 25 percent will join Planned Parenthood’s newest round of clientele. And when you weigh in the number of bigheaded babies running around from Compton to Crooklyn, filling up families like yours and mine because Ray Ray, Peanut, and Marquez promised they would slide out just before they came — and didn’t — the success rate for the pull-out method seems too flimsy to put any weight on, particularly your baby wait.

For one, dudes who promise to pull out have to have a tremendous amount of self-control and willpower to abandon the warm, alluring wetness of womandom for the familiar, been-there-do-that-all-the-time briskness of their own palms. Minute men need not never, ever, ever apply to be pull-out artists. Boyfriend has to be in tune with his body to know precisely when he’s going to ejaculate (yeah, that’s right, you remember that formal term from 6th grade health class) and exactly when to get out of dodge before the flood cometh forward. And without the sanctity of a monogamous relationship, pulling out is the least of a couples’ problems when there are so many STDs and other nasty infections to worry about. As far as I’m concerned (and I’m sure a lot of ladies will back me up on this one) the conception of an unplanned pregnancy pales in comparison to the contraction of a case of hepatitis or HIV.

So let’s put this myth to rest once and for friggin’ all: A woman can still get pregnant even before her bay slides his Johnson out, before he cums, before he releases his flood of possible progeny, thereby making the pull-out method as certain as Russian roulette. Even if he backs out of the tunnel of love before he ejaculates, there is enough sperm in pre-cum, the clearish liquid that oozes out when some dudes become sexually aroused, to knock a gal up. I repeat: Pre-cum can contain sperm. So if he’s up in you and he hasn’t cum yet, his pre-cum is still liable to contain a few floating little monkeys that can and perhaps will make you a mommy before you’re good and ready. It can also happen if your sweetie’s semen gets on the outside of your love dome. Stranger things have happened than a sista finding herself with child because some random sperm with amazing will and Rigley’s Believe It or Not-like navigational skills managed to funnel in from the outer part of her vaginal area.

So ladies, I implore you: Get on some real birth control. Don’t let some horny, hapless boy toy or a panting, pushy boyfriend (heck, even a husband!) make you go against your better judgment. Babies are a blessing, cute and sweet and full of amazing innocence that makes your heart melt and your biological clock tick louder than Big Ben. But you gotta be ready for ’em, and if you’re using the pull-out method as your surefire way of contraception, you better be a little more ready than e’rybody else.

  • Charlita Huffman

    Just use a condom people.

  • Mr. Man

    Faithfully and happily married now for 20yrs, of thoes years the last 13, yes 13yrs we’ve successfully practiced Coitus interruptus/withdrawal method/ Pull out method as our means of birth control. To date, we have two read(planned) children. Yes I am I guess what you would call a pull out artist, because well their is in fact an art to it. Yes it does require a certain (high) level of self control that a typical boy or man-child have yet to learn to the point of confidence if at all.

    One correction though I must offer, studies have proven that their is NO sperm in pre-cum (PC), I repeat, their is NO SPERM IN PRE-CUM. Because this fact can be looked up almost anywhere when researching this method I was surprised your claim of Sperm being present in PC was spoken with such confidence. I personally know this to be true because (knowing my body) I have the ability to pull out only moments before ejaculation which is after PC for years negating the need for manualing one out.

    The only time sperm can be found in pc is on round two, to prevent that even, all the man must do is clear his urethra between ejaculations, this is done by urinating, and of course washing his hands and he can move on with confidence.

    The pull out method is not for the faint of heart, its not for youngstas, its not for those with premature ejaculation issues either.
    Its for those who know their bodies very very well, those who are educated in this area, those who have great self control, those who are in a STD free monogamous relationship (marriage). That way if their is a slip both are in a position to raise a child together in a happy (real) family arrangement.

  • Happymarriegirl

    I Fully agree with Mr.Man and he is right I did the research too! I’ve been married for 12yrs and have 2 planned sons and for the last 9 years practice this method with successful results!! I guess my husband is an expert too.

  • Mr. Man

    12 yrs and two planned children you say, yeah your husband is a talented artist at this point..
    Funny my wife wont have it any other way and will get seriously offended if I pull out a condom. She (jokingly) tells me condoms are for hoes LOL…

    I know TONS of married folk who uses this method. Alot more married folk use this method of birth control then most think. People just don’t talk about it because of all the negative press it gets, you will even get the side eye from your doctor if you mention it to them..

  • ann

    ack! who wants to (inside a monogamous, disease-free relationship) use this method all the time? i get a huge level of satisfaction when my guy ejaculates inside me.

  • LPR

    I totally agree with you! I am married also and don’t have any children yet (we may start trying later this year) and the POM works great for us.

  • Mr. Man

    You know Ann I feel the exact same way as you do, in fact in the begining I had a bit of what you would call ‘separation anxiety’ it took some getting use to, although to this day I still would prefer to stay in, but the pill caused major issues during our first few years of marriage so that method was out quick, and all that other incertion stuff was out of the question. Our list of options were very short. So it was a trade off that we/I was willing to accept. As long as I’m able to send my wife on her regular trips to the moon and stars and she comes back with stories to tell, I’m one happy camper…

  • Laugh

    Tia & Tamera both married & both admitted this was their method as well on their show this week. Tia said she doesn’t like that the pill affects your hormones.

  • Pseudonym

    “Abstract: This study was designed to establish whether motile spermatozoa are released with pre-ejaculatory fluid and whether this fluid therefore poses a risk for unintended pregnancy. Forty samples of pre-ejaculatory fluid were examined from 27 volunteer men. Samples were obtained by masturbation and by touching the end of the penis with a Petri dish prior to ejaculation. Eleven of the 27 subjects (41%%) produced pre-ejaculatory samples that contained spermatozoa and in 10 of these cases (37%%), a reasonable proportion of the sperm was motile. The volunteers produced on up to five separate occasions and sperms were found in either all or none of their pre-ejaculatory samples. Hence, condoms should continue to be used from the first moment of genital contact, although it may be that some men, less likely to leak spermatozoa in their pre-ejaculatory fluid, are able to practice coitus interruptus more successfully than others.”
    -Sperm content of pre-ejaculatory fluid
    Authors: Killick, Stephen R.; Leary, Christine; Trussell, James; Guthrie, Katherine A.
    Source: Human Fertility, Volume 14, Number 1, March 2011 , pp. 48-52(5)

    “Purpose: To determine if spermatozoa are present in the preejaculatory penile secretion, originating from Cowper’s gland.
    Methods: Design: Prospective clinical and laboratory study. Setting: Andrology and Sex Counseling Unit, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Academic Teaching Hospital. Patients: Five patients referred for premature ejaculation, three for excessive fluid secreted during foreplay and four normal healthy volunteers. Intervention: Glass slide smears of preejaculatory Cowper’s gland secretion obtained during foreplay from at least two different occasions, and semen samples after masturbation. Main Outcome Measures: Microscopic examination of air-dried smears, and routine semen analyses.
    Results: None of the preejaculatory samples contained sperm. All the patients had sperm in routine sperm analyses.
    Conclusions: Preejaculatory fluid secreted at the tip of the urethra from Cowper’s gland during sexual stimulation did not contain sperm and therefore cannot be responsible for pregnancies during coitus interruptus.”
    Volume 20, Number 4 (2003), 157-159, DOI: 10.1023/A:1022933320700

    The first article is more current and both studies seemed to use few subjects. I say, for married folks, withdrawal method could work. For nonmarried folks, use another form of birth control. You can’t reverse pregnancy.

  • Clarity Star

    I looked at the title and didn’t bother reading the rest. i just can’t believe people are still using this method!

  • jamesfrmphilly

    use birth control, please…….

  • MK


  • steff

    I completely agree Ann, I love it when my man comes inside me. I personally feel better when we finish together, and why pull out when u have the pill? Thanks to the pill we can have sex without worrying bout me getting pregnant.

  • Hector

    Precum does not contain sperm. Sperm can be found in urinary tract if there has been prior ejaculation, and should be removed through urination. Do your research please.

  • Lalala

    Are you ignorant to what research studies have shown? Pre-cum does not contain sperm, as laboratories have found, so therefore, this article makes it hard for anybody to support. Do your research before you preach your ideas.

  • billy jean

    Sperm in pre-cum is inconclusive. Never go full retard.

  • Brady

    Every girl I have had sex with I always pulled out and ejaculated on their body and not one time did they ever get pregnant. My wife of twelve years and I use the pull out method when we have sex and not one time has my wife ever got pregnant. The method works plain and simple. Like my wife says, “She wants to be a wife, not a mother and the pull out method is the way to do it.”

  • shaahn

    Uhhh my husband if 9 years and I have used the POM since we were in high school. No babies.

  • Sheena

    Oh, please. Just use birth control already! Depending on the POM every time is ridiculous. Easier to pop a pill (there are so many brands, if you don’t like one tell your doctor to find another one. Trial and error). Or here’s an idea: make sure you are prepared with condoms if he doesn’t have them. Especially if you’re not in a committed relationship with the person. People kill me.

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