*CONTENT WARNING FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT*
Today in horrible things that we learn on the Internet, there’s a new “sex” trend called “stealthing.” Unfortunately, it’s just as creepy as it sounds. Stealthing is defined as the act of taking off a condom during sex without a partner’s consent. In other words, it’s a form of date rape, and is definitely not ok. Needless to say, sex needs to be consensual and no one should do anything without the explicit permission of their partner.
Stealthing blatantly ignores this very basic rule of consent.
Teen Vogue reports that a recent study found that there has been an uptick in this behavior. Alexandra Brodsky, who conducted this study for the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, felt the need to investigate this trend because it was happening to women she knew. As if that wasn’t horrible enough, they didn’t have words to describe what was happening to them. The study includes interviews with victims, as well as investigations into internet boards where men give each other tips on how to stealth.
Stealthing is a form of date rape that violates conditional consent.
Just because a sexual partner agrees to sex under one set of circumstances, doesn’t mean they agree to it under all circumstances. However, the men who stealth do not seem to care about consent. According to Brodsky’s study, men who stealth believe they’re entitled to sex without condoms. The men who commit this horrendous act consider their partner’s consent irrelevant. They root their reasoning in ideas of male supremacy, and that violence is a man’s natural right.
It is worth mentioning that a man in Switzerland was convicted of rapeearlier this year for stealthing a partner. It is a serious topic that everyone should be aware of. Just because you consent to sex doesn’t mean you agree to all conditions of sex. You never have to do anything that makes you uncomfortable, and you can stop having sex at any point for any reasons.
Luckily, education is key. Brodsky hopes by creating a term for this act she can help women better report this type of assault. Additionally, by naming the phenomena, it may help spread awareness to this important issue.