What is stealthing?
A new sexual trend called “stealthing” has seen an increase in occurrence as well as awareness in the community. Stealthing is non-consensual removal of a condom during consensual sex. Men secretly remove the condom during intercourse, without the knowledge or consent of their partner, and it is an extremely dangerous practice. When not using a condom, the risk of becoming pregnant or acquiring a STI or STD becomes a very real possibility. It is a matter of public health risk due to spreading sexually transmitted infections such as HIV, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and many others.
Social media postings have encouraged men to stealth their partner. Some men have even argued they have the right to “spread one’s seed” and brag of the practice of stealthing their partner online.
A Criminal Offense?
The Columbia Journal of Gender and Law recently published an article on this practice. Though the law is not clear on this practice, it could be considered a form of sexual assault. Stealthing could also violate several civil & criminal laws as the non-consenting person is violated and would be considered a possible sexual assault victim. In January 2017, a Swiss court convicted a man of stealthing. It was argued and found to be that the woman would not have consented to sex with her partner if he had not worn a condom, so therefore he violated her rights and betrayed her trust. The act of stealthing was determined to be a blatant violation of trust with the sex partner.
Emotional & Physical Harm
Victims of stealthing may experience the same type of emotional, physical and financial harm that stems from other more clearly defined violent sex acts. This practice may also lead to a new definition of legal consent.
The more information you have, the more you can protect yourself! Be informed and be aware.
(Click for additional information from USA Today on stealthing)
If you – or someone you know – suspects that you might be a victim of stealthing, it’s absolutely critical that you are tested immediately, both for pregnancy and for STI or STD. Many STIs seem fairly harmless, but can have long-term and severe consequences if not dealt with immediately.
It’s also important to know that you have someone you can talk to if you have been a victim of stealthing. Each person that walks through our doors receives the help of an Advocate; someone who will listen, guide and stay with you as long as you need them to.
For more information on STIs/STDs, check out this article.