"Not right now"

“Not right now” is our way of saying “no vaginal sex.” It’s a great method as far as effectiveness is concerned—if you use it 100% of the time, you’re guaranteed to not get pregnant. And if you’re avoiding sexual activity altogether, you’ll be safe from STIs too. But it does involve a whole lot of self-control.

It takes discipline

Saying “not right now” only works as a birth control method if you do it consistently, so it takes a lot of self-control.

Good communication skills

If you’re dating or in a relationship, you’ll need to be able to tell your partner what’s okay and what’s not. Which means you need to be comfortable with speaking your mind.

You’ve got support

If you are in a relationship, you’ve both got to be down with the plan. But remember, saying “not right now” doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to have fun. It’s actually a great excuse to get creative with your sex life.

Don’t take our word for it. Check out the above videos to hear people talk about their experiences saying, “Not right now.”

Waiting requires patience, but it doesn’t cost a thing. With all the money you save not buying birth control, you can buy yourself some new toys to make the time pass more quickly.

Don't have vaginal sex.

Okay, we're being cheeky. But that's pretty much what it comes down to: A conscious, deliberate decision to not have vaginal sex. It's a choice you'll need to affirm each and every day. To stick with it, keep reminding yourself why you choose to not have vaginal sex, and think about the potential consequences of changing your decision. And if you decide to start having sex, that’s totally cool, too. Just make sure you’re protected with another form of birth control.

Other helpful hints:

  • Avoid putting yourself in situations where it'll be hard to stick to your decision.
  • Think about avoiding alcohol and drugs as well—they can mess with your judgment.
  • Find people you can talk to about your decision and lean on their support.
  • Talk about your decision with your partner well before you're in the heat of the moment.
  • Be totally straightforward and clear with him about your limits.
  • Explore other sexual options you might enjoy just as much.

There are positive and negative things to say about each and every method. And everyone's different—so what you experience may not be the same as what your friend experiences.

The Positive

  • Doesn't cost a thing
  • Never causes side effects

The Negative

  • Can be difficult to maintain
  • Hard to stick to the plan if you’re drunk