What is Stealthing?
Stealthing is when a man intentionally removes the condom he is wearing during sex without the knowledge or consent of the partner involved. A potentially harmful trend, stealthing can leave women open to a risk of pregnancy and contracting STIs. Stealthing can also be defined as the deliberate damaging of a condom prior to intercourse. Performed deceptively during the act, Alexandra Brodsky - a Yale Law School Graduate- discovered in online forums and discussions that there were males apparently advocating the idea.
Many have been calling for stealthing to be recognised as a serious sexual offence. It also raises a number of complex, disturbing and difficult questions about the idea of consent and the way it can be interpreted, and in this case, misinterpreted by some individuals.
In Ms Brodsky's article, she is hoping for stealthing to be officially named as a legally understood term to help reinforce victim's individual cases. The research involves interviews with women detailing their experiences of stealthing and the subsequent emotional impact of the trend - including those who were in committed relationships.
Many victims found that there was a degree of uncertainty and ambiguity surrounding the practice and whether it could be considered as a sexual assault. Brodsky is therefore looking for stealthing to be renamed as 'nonconsensual condom removal' to give a weight and seriousness to the term that disassociates from the more trivial game-like qualities that has emanated from the online forums.
How To Prevent It
Approaching sexual experiences (particularly with new partners) with a degree of caution, vigilance and preparation is the best method of preventing this from happening to you. First off, make sure you have a few of your own condoms to hand, therefore you'll never be without appropriate contraception and you know that no one has been tampering with them. If you purchase a textured condom such as a ribbed or dotted variety, you can ensure that you will feel the difference between a condom being worn and not worn. Furthermore, those that attempt to 'stealth' you will try to do things without you noticing, so making sure you visually check that the condom is still in place from time to time - particularly when your partner is changing positions.