Pulling Out: Is It Worth Trying Out?

Not to get all TMI on you — we’re all friends here, though, aren’t we? — but my husband and I are thinking about changing up our birth control to the ol’ pull-out method. Actually, correction: I’m thinking about it and he’s biding his time, not saying too much, hoping I come to my senses before my prescription for the Pill runs out. But the thing is, I’m beginning to hate the Pill. While I’m not experiencing the emotional side effects that I have in the past — thank God! — I am suffering from what I call the Big Boob Effect. My boobs have grown a whole cup size in the two years that I’ve been taking the Pill on the regular. I’m now a D-Cup, which may sound sweet to some of you, but remember, I went through surgery once before to have smaller boobs, so these Ds are not welcome in my book. In addition, I’ve gained about 10 pounds and no matter how much I exercise, I can’t seem to shed the extra weight. I’ve gone up a dress size in everything, and I’ve had to replace practically my whole wardrobe. I’m a confident person, but lately I’m pretty uncomfortable in my skin and I blame it on the Pill. Despite my essay the other day about having babies on the brain, I’m not quite ready for motherhood yet, so there has to be some kind of birth control in play for us. We hate condoms, so those are out. All that other stuff that — shots, IUDs, diaphragms, sponges (wait, do those even still exist?) — don’t appeal to me either, which basically leaves us at the withdrawal method. A study came out earlier this year that said when it’s practiced perfectly, it’s almost as effective as condoms. A friend of mine told me the other day that she and her husband have been practicing withdrawal for years and it works for them … so maybe it could work for us?

But then I read this little article in Esquire and it’s got me nervous about trying. Apparently, a man has to really know what he’s doing, and, while my husband knows a thing or two about a lot of stuff, this is something I’ve never seen him try before, so, you know, we’d kind of be taking a big risk. I mean, right? I guess we could practice while I remain on the Pill for a little while longer … that would probably be the smartest thing to do. I know it’s ridiculous, doesn’t make any sense, and isn’t even possible, but I sort of feel like now that we’re married we shouldn’t even have to worry about birth control anymore. Like, it should be one of the benefits offered to couples when they make it legal — gifts from friends, tax benefits, and accident-proof sex! The Christian right should get on that — bet they’d have a lot more success getting people married up if they could make that happen.

Anyhow, I’m not really sure what my point is here except I haven’t yet decided how to proceed. Obviously, if we did have an accident and I got knocked up, it wouldn’t be the end of the world or anything, but I’d rather it happen when we’re good and ready, of course. I guess I’ll probably suck it up and renew my Pill prescription for another six months at least, but I’m kind of interested to hear about your experiences. Have you used the pull-out method successfully? Unsuccessfully? Are you, like me, nervous to give it a try?