Watch Out For “Stealthing” — It’s A Dangerous New Trend That Some Guys Are Into

If you weren’t already fed up with having to worry about BS dating trends like ghosting and benching, there’s a new trend called “stealthing” going around that’s so much worse. Here’s what you need to know about this dangerous trend that happens when you’re naked and vulnerable.

  1. What exactly is stealthing? Stealthing is a disturbing new sexual trend in which men secretly remove the condoms they’re wearing during sex and continue to have unprotected sex with their partners. To be clear: stealthing is sexual assault! A Swiss court recently convicted a man of rape after he committed this disgusting crime.
  2. There are some serious sickos out there. How sick does someone have to be to remove a condom during sex without first asking for consent from their partner? It’s so disgusting to think that people actually do this. Just because someone doesn’t say no, it doesn’t mean they’re saying yes.
  3. It’s not just men who do this. Even women can “stealth” their partners so as to have unprotected sex. If you think of the act of sabotaging a condom so that it has a tear in it, that’s stealthing — it’s just that we haven’t thought of it as being sexual assault before.
  4. People who do this put your life in danger. Stealthing violates your right to have protected sex and puts you at risk of getting STDs and HIV/AIDs. It can also bring other stress into your life: what if you get pregnant? These are concerns that you have a right to address and control by protecting yourself. A person who steals that right away from you deserves to rot in jail.
  5. You end up emotionally scarred. It’s not just your body and health that are at risk but also your emotional well-being that gets harmed. Stealthing is rape because someone is having sex with you without a condom and you don’t want to. You might want to have sex with them but with a condom — by violating your right to choose, they’re making you do something you don’t want to do. How is that different from a man forcing you to have sex? Even if a man doesn’t infect you with an STD or HIV, he’s still harming you emotionally and psychologically by stealthing you. He’s still raping you.
  6. Why do people stealth? A study for the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law by Alexandra Brodsky found that there are internet communities in which men talk about stealthing their sexual partners and why they do it. One of the reasons is because they feel they have a right to spread their seed. But the act is also about male supremacy and exerting power over women. Disgusting!
  7. The anti-condom movement takes a sinister turn. Then, of course, there are those excuses that come up around the internet, such as that men don’t like the feeling of sex with a condom. But that’s NEVER a valid reason or excuse to stealth someone. The point is that both partners have to be on board about using/not using condoms — that’s non-negotiable, no matter how much a person doesn’t like condoms.
  8. Stealthing is confusing to victims. Stealthing can make those it happens to feel confused, wondering if what happened to them is actually defined as rape. You might even know people who’ve been victims of stealthing but didn’t realize they’d been assaulted because there wasn’t a name for it before. But it’s the lack of consent in stealthing that makes it a crime. There are no gray areas here!
  9. It’s largely done by men who know you. Like other forms of rape, stealthing is largely done by men who know you well: the partner you’ve been with for months, or the man you love and trust, for instance. Just think of the rape stats: seven out of 10 rapes are committed by someone the victim knows. Stealthing might even have higher numbers because once this disgraceful sexual behavior comes to light, more women will realize it’s happened to them, and then there are all the women who will never know they’ve been victims.
  10. Stealthing makes you feel helpless. How do you protect yourself against this? Much like rape, you’re not the cause of this and you can’t control it. You’re not to blame — the jerks who do this are. Worrying about stealthing is frightening, but on the other hand, we need to worry about it and we need to talk about it to bring attention to it so that we can stop the bastards who do it or at least put laws in place that punish them.
  11. Knowledge is power. When you know how people stealth their partners, it can empower you. One sick bastard wrote a piece about how to stealth a sexual partner and in it, he writes about how some women are “reachers” who make it difficult for men to remove condoms secretly. These “reachers” are women who reach down during sex to feel if the man’s still wearing a condom. He boasts that such women are “few and far between.” Is keeping an eye on the condom and what your partner’s doing during sex something you need to do? It isn’t always possible or realistic. Perhaps it’s time to start wearing a female condom!
  12. The term’s got to change. In the dictionary, “stealth” means sneakiness, which is definitely NOT what stealthing is. It’s much more malignant than that. As Alexandra Brodsky has stated, “I think the term trivializes the harm; it obscures the violence and makes it sound sneaky and maybe regrettable but ultimately an inevitable part of sex, and that’s not true. We deserve better than that.”
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.