Is it safe to pull out before coming? Not really …
Many people having sex with penises have relied on ‘pulling out’ to prevent pregnancy and STIs for years. In theory this might reduce the risks of both but it’s very very hard to do properly and there are a few problems with it.
1. Ejaculation can start before people realise it so the penis might not be pulled out in time.
2. Sometimes sex can lead to ejaculation but not always an orgasm. So they could fully ejaculate in their partner without realising. Orgasm and ejaculation aren’t really the same thing.
Read more about how orgasm and ejaculation aren’t the same thing
3. It’s very hard to do. The feeling of ejaculation and orgasm (when they come together) inside someone can be very very pleasurable. It’s easy to get carried away.
4. Pre ejaculation fluid is often known as pre-cum (although it’s not actually semen). This is a little bit of fluid at the tip of the penis which cleans the urethra in preparation for the next ejaculation. Some researchers say it’s *possible* for there to be some sperm in pre-cum. In theory that could cause pregnancy as soon as the penis enters the vagina. It’s unlikely because the sperm isn’t great quality, they are low in number, and wouldn’t be kept alive by semen. More on pregnancy risks here. For more about pre-cum go here
5. STIs. Withdrawing the penis before ejaculation (if done successfully) might prevent the male transmitting some infections where the germs are in semen or blood (eg HIV) but it won’t prevent STIs where the penis is infected with something like chlamydia (where the germs can be in the pee hole). It also won’t prevent germs from blood or vaginal wetness getting into the penis through the pee hole or under the foreskin. It’s possible to infect someone with unusual discharge or pre-cum from the tip of the penis too. So as a method of safer sex it is nowhere near as good as using a condom.
6. It’s ok if you do this and use condoms. For people who use condoms, and are worried about them breaking, then withdrawing the penis, with the condom on, before ejaculation can make them feel a bit safer.
Remember also that if you choose not to ejaculate internally, ejaculating on someone is not everyone’s cup of tea, even though it is very very popular in porn.
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© Justin Hancock, 2022
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Justin Hancock has been a trained sex and relationships educator since 1999. In that time he’s taught and given advice about sex and relationships with thousands of young people in person and millions online. He’s a member of the World Association for Sexual Health. Find out more about Justin here