• fiona64

    While this study paints a more responsible picture of withdrawal users, I
    still have a hard time with the promotion of withdrawal as anything
    other than “better than nothing” or “something to use when you have no
    other options.”

    While I understand the point that withdrawal must be listed as a method, I concur wholeheartedly with this statement.

    • Shan

      SUCH a bad idea when there are so many other options available. A few years ago, a friend of mine told me that was the method he and his wife used. They’re in their 40s and have perfectly good health insurance and don’t want any more children. WTH?

      • http://theflounce.com Jen Pink

        Late 30’s here, with my husband more than fifteen years, good health insurance, educated, and have used the pull-out and rhythm methods for almost ten years. I’m not at risk for STD’s, I tried Mirena once and hated it, and I hated taking the pill. I’ve had two kids (planned), one instance where I used Plan B and one abortion. So what?

        I understand not advocating its use with a higher risk demographic, but it’s a perfectly safe and sane choice for many people, including couples like your friends. And me and my husband.

        • Shan

          Obviously, your birth control method is your own personal business but you put it out there so I’m just wondering: If you’re done having kids, why doesn’t your husband get a vasectomy? Those are a lot easier than having an abortion.

          I just don’t see how the benefits of the method outweigh the risks involved, even in an exclusive long term relationship. How many scares/abortions can one take using FAM and withdrawal before needing to switch to a more reliable method? I just couldn’t completely enjoy sex with that hanging over my head every time.

          • http://theflounce.com Jen Pink

            Maybe it was just a bad time to get pregnant, maybe we weren’t sure we were done… maybe that’s why he hadn’t had a vasectomy. Not that it should matter, but now that we are sure, he is getting a vasectomy. And you’re right, it is my personal business, but I’m willing to share it to illustrate a point. You said it was “SUCH a bad idea when there are so many other options available,” which for me could easily have been a quote from somebody preaching against abortion.

            What are the risks that I’m facing exactly? The risk of getting pregnant? For the sake of keeping it simple, I won’t go into all the other potential methods… for this conversation’s purpose, let’s just use condoms. Studies have shown withdrawal (a 4% failure rate) is almost as effective as condoms (a 2% failure rate), so, for me, the benefits far outweigh the risk- because I hate condoms.

            I understand that YOU may not be able to enjoy sex with that risk (pregnancy) hanging over your head every time, but I wasn’t bothered. Nothing is 100%, and when I weighed the risk of pregnancy with the benefit of spontaneous sex, sex without condoms, a life without pills, and a life without a troublesome IUD, withdrawal won out. For me. Yes, one time in ten years I got pregnant because WE lapsed with birth control (didn’t practice withdrawal), I realized I didn’t want to be pregnant, and I had an abortion. That could have happened utilizing any method of birth control. And I wouldn’t take it back, because withdrawal worked for me, and when WE slipped and didn’t practice withdrawal, abortion worked for me.

            But really, who cares if I (or your friend’s wife) had a million scares and a dozen abortions? I’m not deliberately picking on you, I’ve had this conversation before, so you’re not alone. I just find it fascinating how many people will defend abortion as a choice, but turn around and criticize a couple for choosing withdrawal over something THEY think is more appropriate. “Why not just get a vasectomy?” Cognitive dissonance much? Withdrawal might not be for everyone, when the time comes, I certainly won’t be encouraging my kids to make it their primary birth control tool. But there’s a reason it’s listed on all of those “Methods of Contraception” posters at Planned Parenthood, and it’s not because it’s ineffective.

          • FlSam

            What you see as criticism, many of us see as genuine concern. If it works for you, great. But to promote it as some form of birth control on equal footing as methods like bc pills, iuds, etc. is highly misleading. Its failure rate is much higher because there are far too many variables (like trusting that the man will pull out before climax or that his pre-ejaculate does not contain semen, which there’s no way of knowing). That’s not criticism, it’s simply reality.

          • http://theflounce.com Jen Pink

            Well to start with, I’m not promoting it at all. I just spoke up in defense of Shan’s “friends,” the couple who chose to use it as their primary method. There’s no such thing as “equal footing” as it relates to birth control methods, because people don’t just factor in statistics on efficacy, they also factor in quality of life and individual circumstance. Not everyone can take the pill, not everyone can use an IUD, some people are allergic to latex, not everyone has a trusting and competent partner, not everyone feels the same about how to manage an unwanted pregnancy.

            I’m not sure who you’re concerned about, but let’s assume it’s women who aren’t prepared to deal with an unintended pregnancy and who can’t depend on their partner to properly use the withdrawal method… I absolutely concede that there are safer contraceptive choices available to them. But Shan’s remark about her friends (and her later remark about vasectomy being easier than abortion) wasn’t about a global concern so much as it was about a personal criticism. So I was compelled to weigh in with a more empathetic view because in my experience, yes, withdrawal is relatively effective when you have a partner who knows how to practice it properly. And if an educated woman chooses to adopt it (or abortion) as a part of her birth control regimen, then hooray choice.

          • Shan

            “in defense of Shan’s “friends,” the couple who chose to use it as their primary method.”

            To clarify, my friend (and I only had his side of the situation since I didn’t know his wife) said he’d been meaning to go get decommissioned for a long time, just never gotten around to it like so many men who won’t even go to the doctor for a checkup nevermind one where they know they’re going to get their penis meddled with. At the same time, he was also complaining about not having as much sex as he would have liked. “Well, duh, man!” So, yeah, I was a bit judge-y with him in an eye-rolling kind of way.

            I’m glad it’s worked out for you but I just can’t wrap my brain around it for my own self because I just find the idea vaguely horrifying after hearing about so many failures. Sure, someone who knows what he’s doing could be great but I wouldn’t want to be the test subject for his learning curve.

  • Arachne646

    Me, too!

  • Alicia Silva Villanueva

    I think most methods are very harmful to human health and withdraw is the least harmful how ever it takes practice and discipline, Taoist sex teaches lost of practices that make it into a safety practice, this can help people to have so much better sex and better and multi organismic relationships, for men and women. So why harm your health with hormones? if you can enjoy and not have unwanted pregnancies. I have only used Taoist sex for 20 yrs, It is more sophisticated thing than just withdraw. It does make a difference in your health for men and women.

    • FlSam

      Do you think most men will be ok with having to use the withdrawal “method” permanently? If you think so, either you are naïve or you are a sadist. Either way, it’s not good.

    • Brea Plum

      Your first statement is flatly wrong, as has been proven by decades of use and thousands, perhaps millions, of pages of published research. “Taoist” sex sounds about as reliable and credible as homeopathic medicine. In other words – it’s nothing with a fancy label.

    • fiona64

      I think you’re thinking of dharma, which is not Taoism. /nitpick

      And going with nothing is asking to get pregnant.

  • FlSam

    I suspect that most of the people here pushing this method are trolls. Most people who have either used this “method,” or know someone who did, are FULLY aware how completely unreliable it is.

  • BelligerentBruncher

    So that what you told your husband?


  • BelligerentBruncher

    Being gay is a pretty solid way to not get pregnant.

    So is abstinence. Unless we’re talking about virgin birth and stuff. Then you should just start your own religion.

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