Pulling Out All The Stops

Sep 7 2013 @ 7:32pm

Ann Friedman surveys women who are using the pullout method as their primary birth control:

These women describe a deliberate transition from the pill to the pullout. They buy organic kale and all-natural cleaning products, and so can’t quite get down with taking synthetic hormones every day. They are more driven by sexual pleasure — they see orgasms as a right, not a privilege — and hate the feel of condoms. They wouldn’t call themselves porn aficionados or anything, but they don’t think it’s demeaning to have a man come on them. They’re sick of supposedly egalitarian relationships in which they bear the sole responsibility for staying baby-free. They’re scared to stick an IUD up there, no matter how many rave reviews the devices get. And despite the fact that non-hormonal contraceptive options remain frustratingly limited, there are new tools at their disposal: With period-tracker apps, charting your menstrual cycle is no longer the domain of hippies and IVF patients. They know when to make him put on a condom. Plus, they can keep a packet of Plan B on hand at all times, ready and waiting should anything go awry.

Marcotte points to another reason for coitus interruptus:

Not everyone is decisive when it comes to knowing when to start having kids—or, if you want more than one kid, when the time is right to try for another. For some, it becomes easier to just be inconsistent with contraception or switch to less effective methods and let fate make the decisions for you. We all know a lot of people who say they’re not trying to have a baby exactly, but they’re not not-trying either—basically carving out emotional space to consider starting a family without having your mom start emailing you the names of fertility doctors if it doesn’t happen right away. Switching to the pullout method in particular allows men and women to choose, in the heat of the moment, to throw caution to the wind and maybe just get pregnant.