Dear Em & Lo: Can I Use the Withdrawal Method?

Dear Em & Lo,

I’m really new here to this website, being from the Philippines. It makes me happy to have found you because the topics here are very helpful to me. So, I’m seeking advice. I really love having sex with my boyfriend, I can’t stop myself from doing it, it makes me feel so extremely happy. We’ve been doing it for over a year now.  Is it okay that we are just doing “withdrawal method”? I don’t really want him to use condoms due to the not so satisfying effect of it. And am I safe to such ovarian disease? What can you suggest to us? Use condoms?

— Newbie

Dear Newb,

We’re glad you found us! Unfortunately, we must admit we know very little about the socio-sexual culture of the Philippines. But even if we did, we’re not sure that would change our advice, so here goes:

The withdrawal method may be somewhat effective, but ONLY for couples in long-term, monogamous, committed relationships who have complete trust in one another, who have made an educated decision to be bodily-fluid bonded, and who would not be too bummed with an unintended pregnancy. We’re guessing that you don’t fall into this category: you’re not married, you sound very young, you are in need of some good sex education, you are probably are not ready to have a baby, and you certainly aren’t ready to deal with a sexually transmitted disease (STD), because really who is?!

When you, as a woman, rely on the withdrawal method, you are relinquishing all control over your birth control. You’re basically losing autonomy over your body, relying on another being to do right by you. Women have fought too long and hard in Westernized cultures for the freedom to make their own choices about their own bodies for you to just pass that power over to a man. It’s our understanding that there are several birth control options available over the counter without a prescription in the Philippines, so we think it’s important that you take advantage of that opportunity and use a more reliable form of birth control that YOU actually have control over.

Because the withdrawal method IS unreliable. Many experts agree that after a man ejaculates but before he urinates, sperm can hang out in his piping. Which means if he goes for round two before peeing, there’s a good chance his little swimmers will ride the wave of his pre-ejaculatory fluid (a.k.a. pre-come) into your vaginal canal, rendering a perfectly timed pull-out pointless.

Also, with orgasms, people lose sense of time and space, they lose the ability to think straight and speak normally, and they lose control of all facial expressions. Something with that kind of power over a person’s mind and body can and most likely will throw off their timing, as well as their best intentions. Sure, a small, rational part of his brain may be planning on pulling out, but in the heat of the moment, every other fiber of his being is telling him NOT to do that. Who are you gonna put your money on?

Finally, and this is the biggie, the withdrawal method doesn’t protect you from STDs! While we’re sure you trust your boyfriend, you just can never know — he might have a moment of weakness and cheat, or perhaps a partner before you came along had an infection.  Condoms significantly reduce the risk of STD transmission — that’s what makes them so great (well that, and the easy clean-up). With withdrawal, you’ve got nothing — you’re just giving bacteria, viruses and parasites unlimited backstage access to your or your partner’s naughty bits. Yes, condoms may not feel quite as good as going bareback, but that’s a small price to pay for some peace of mind, for reducing your chances of getting a virus that you might have for life (or one that might even shorten your life!). Very few men will choose no sex at all over sex with a condom — if your boyfriend is in this minority, then you should break up with him. If he cares about you, then he will honor your desire to be safe and responsible by using condoms. There are plenty of quality condoms that are made from strong yet thin material with sensation-enhancing textures available online internationally.

Be smart, be safe,
Em & Lo

portions of this advice appeared in a previous post


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10 Comments on "Dear Em & Lo: Can I Use the Withdrawal Method?"


Wendell
5 years 2 months ago

“LOL WUT,” Hyrbid? You really found that passage “screechy”? God forbid they should get specific over which choice they’re talking about and why.

Hyrbid
5 years 2 months ago

“When you, as a woman, rely on the withdrawal method, you are relinquishing all control over your birth control. You’re basically losing autonomy over your body, relying on another being to do right by you. Women have fought too long and hard in Westernized cultures for the freedom to make their own choices about their own bodies for you to just pass that power over to a man.”

LOL WUT? Seriously, ladies? Women have fought too long and hard in Westernized cultures for the freedom to make their own choices. PERIOD. That’s where your sentence should have ended. You sound like the “feminists” who screech at women who choose to be SAHMs or SAHWs. We fought for the right to choose what’s best for us. I’m sorry you somehow missed that little lesson.

Madamoiselle L
5 years 2 months ago

Mandy, I’m glad you had luck with it. Of course, using it with a condom increases the efficacy of both methods.

Probably best to use any form of spermicide with a barrier method also.

Mandy
5 years 2 months ago

I’ve used the VCF many times. With my partner I’ve found the best way to do it is to have ~him~ put it in though, my fingers are really quite small. And the only times I’ve had issues with it not melting is when I didn’t wait the full fifteen/twenty minutes.

I also use it (inserting it myself) when I’m with a new partner, or a non-serious partner whom I also make wear a condom just to make sure.

I have yet to become pregnant (although I suppose that doesn’t mean a hell of a lot) and with my more steady partner it’s just financially better than using a condom every time, when you’re having sex several times in an hour.

Madamoiselle L
5 years 2 months ago

Jess, VCF (over the counter Vaginal Contraceptive Flim) is probably the least effective birth control method. The theory is spermicide (Noxinol 9) mixed with a gelatin, which is a small square which one is supposed to place over the cervix (which many women cannot even find and some are afraid to try.) and wait about 15 minutes before any contact for it to soften and release the small amount of spermicide. It RARELY stays where it is put, it RARELY is placed properly, some women do not have the chemistry in their bodies for it to soften properly and it is a BAD form of attempting to prevent pregnancy.

In real life use, it fails more than it works. There is barely enough spermicide in it, many women cannot place it over the cervix in the proper area, and even then it can move out of place very easily, and although it is supposed to “melt” it rarely does in the place where it will stop semen from entering the cervix. (I used it ONCE many years ago, it burned and then afterward came out in a wad which looked like crumpled saran wrap. I was terrified not only that it hadn’t melted, but that even though I had no fear of “touching myself” and did place it over my cervix (as I knew where it was, many young women do not) it evidently didn’t stay there OR melt. Yuck. I was lucky I wasn’t ovulating that day.

VCF is about as effective as crossing your fingers. Most experts will warn you away from this, as well as even more effective foam or gel spermicides by themselves. Real life use prevention only approaches about 60%, if I have my number right, and VCF’s efficacy is MUCH lower.