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In which Lindsey talks about Withdrawal... Coitus Interruptus... Pulling Out! Is it a viable form of birth control?

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Host: Dr. Lindsey Doe

Directing/Filming/Editing: Nicholas Jenkins

Titles: Michael Aranda

Executive Producer: Hank Green
Lindsey Doe: Have you heard of cognitive disequilibrium where new information--

Pluto is not a planet

--conflicts with old information--

just served us nine pizzas?

--and you feel a bit wobbly or mad?--


I remember experiencing a bit of this in regards to Coitus interruptus, "Interrupting sex", or withdrawal.  The "pull-out" method.  To be clear, it's stopping sex to ejaculate externally in order to prevent pregnancy.  Most of my sex education failed to mention it, or talked about it jokingly like, what's another name for a withdrawal?  Parenthood.  Ha-ha-ha-ha.   Other critics will say it's the pull and pray method, or they'll say 'well that doesn't work!' so of course I got the message that withdrawal isn't a birth control method at all.  But it is!  It can actually work better than the pill!  And the condom!  Not together, but individually.  It can work better than each of these.  Even used imperfectly, withdrawal is five times more effective than doing nothing at all.  Wobbly yet?  Let's get you to stable ground.

(Sexplanations Intro)

There are three main fluids that exit a biosex male's body through the penis, out the urethra.  One, urine, an elimination of waste that originates in the bladder.  Two, pre-cum, a clear lubricating liquid that comes from the Cowper's gland preparing the urethra for...Three, the sperm delivering white stuff made in the prostate and seminal vesicles.  Semen has sperm in it, 200-500 million sperm, the rest of this, if you imagine it in my hand, is comprised of what I fondly call keep it alive fluid.  Those other ingredients are energy, stability, and defense.  

During ejaculation, most of the semen is fleshed out.  Most.  Two percent lingers, though, this is the remains, what didn't make it out.   Residual sperm from the last ejaculation is dutifully swept up by the pre-cum.  Look under a microscope, there's sperm in the pre-cum.  You get it, though, it isn't inherently there, it's a hitch-hiker, so now what?  Pee!  Urinating can flush out the semen, and soap and water washes off the penis, the glans, wherever semen has dripped or ventured off to.  This resets the system so that withdrawal has more optimal conditions for success.  

The most optimal is mastering the mechanics of it.  You're not taking a pill or using a device that is scientifically engineered to prevent pregnancy, you're responsible for whether or not this method is a win or a lose.  This means you put another protective measure in place, like something hormonal or a sex shield, and you practice.  Practice cumming, what a life!  Interrupting sex at the height of arousal can be difficult, messy, and frustrating.  But if you're going to be a spawn stopping stud and remove yourself from the warm, wet, ooh vagina when nature says nooooooo, you need to confront your objections and resolve to do it anyway.  You have to know your body, how long you can thrust, if at all, before pfft.  Hopefully you're adorning a super sexy condom, but if you're not, where to put it?  Mouth, hand, towel, back, breasts.  Do not get it near the vulva!  This takes practice, really.  

Withdrawal is challenging, and it typically results in a 15-28% failure rate.  Which means 15 to 28 of 100 women using this method for a year will become pregnant.  That's 1 in 4 or 1 in 5.  Compared to the 85 of a 100 women who get pregnant doing nothing at all, withdrawal is a delightful backup plan.  But it's not the impressive 4 out of a 100 fails that comes from mastering this method.  Only four!  Look at all these numbers you deserve to know!  

We educators might get it wrong and tell you that Pluto is a planet, but our efforts as educators are to give you as much of what we think to be true--withdrawal works!--so that you have the dignity to think for yourself.  Comprehensive sex education includes withdrawal--it doesn't discount it, it emphasizes that withdrawal, like most other forms of birth control, doesn't protect against STIs, but it can prevent pregnancy.  Still get tested, still ask questions, use withdrawal or not?  You choose.