‘Stealthing’ is the Latest Disgusting Sex Trend You Need to Know About

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If you thought you’d heard all the gross, horrible ways a person can be sexually assaulted, think again. “Stealthing” is the despicable act where a man secretly removes his condom mid-sex, without the consent of his partner. It makes me sick to my stomach to even write that, so I can’t imagine how it feels for the victims. A new paper published in the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law explores the phenomenon, and considers the possible criminal and civil rights remedies currently available to victims — and unfortunately, there aren’t many.

Alexandra Brodsky, a Skadden Fellow at the National Women’s Law Center, explains in her paper that even though stealthing isn’t legally recognized, it’s widely known by an online sub-community of perpetrators. Brodsky writes in her paper that stealthing, “puts partners at risk for unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections and, survivors explain, it feels like a violation of trust and a denial of autonomy, not dissimilar to rape.” Brodsky interviewed victims and unsurprisingly, their experiences were grim.

One woman interviewed detailed the stress being stealthed put her through.

The man who removed his condom refused to help her pay for emergency contraceptives, forcing her to seek help on her own. “None of it worried him. It didn’t perturb him. My potential pregnancy, my potential STI,” she said. “That was my burden.”

Other women spoke about the violation of trust. One woman said that after fighting about the condom removal with her assailant, he replied, “Don’t worry about it, trust me.” The woman explained, “That stuck with me because he’d literally proven to be unworthy of my trust. . . . There is no situation in which this is something I agreed to do. Obviously the part that really freaked me out . . . was that it was such a blatant violation of what we’d agreed to. I set a boundary. I was very explicit.”

Brodsky notes that while the victims who responded to open interview invitations on social media were all women, men do report condom removal by partners as well.

When Brodsky did research into why men stealth, she discovered a shocking network of people who believe ejaculating into a woman is a “natural male right.” Get the fuck out of here with that misogynistic bullshit. No man has the right to do ANYTHING to anyone else without their consent. I can’t with people like that.

Brodsky’s paper urges officials to take the necessary steps to make stealthing a punishable offense. As she writes, “‘stealthing’ doesn’t just ‘feel violent’ — it is.”

(Image: iStock / IPGGutenbergUKLtd)