A Self-Confessed 'Stealther' Explains Why He Does It
In case you haven’t heard, ‘stealthing’ is the latest sexual trend being increasingly seen amongst young people, and involves the removal of a condom during intercourse without the partner’s knowledge or consent.
It has been the topic of much discussion since a recent study highlighted a growth in the practice, with many condemning it not just as sexual assault, but rape also.
Although most share this view, many young men are actively and regularly ‘stealthing’, even though they are aware of the implications of the act.
One such person is an Australian man under the pseudonym Brendan, who in an interview with Hack, discusses why he ‘stealths’ “most of the time”.
When asked about his reasons for doing it he says: “Because it feels better with no condom on.”
He also said he wasn’t too concerned about the risk of spreading STIs either: “I really don’t want to get them pregnant so I definitely wouldn’t be leaving a trace. As for STIs, I don’t want to get them but I would run the risk…I’m confident I get checked regularly. I’m pretty safe in saying I’m clean when I’m clean.”
“If I have no reason to wear a condom then I don’t really see the problem,” he added.
Brendan also said he didn’t think he was breaking the law.
“I don’t know. I don’t think I really make an agreement. I just put one on and if nothing is said I take it off. I don’t think it’s breaking the law.”
He also added that there had been occasions when he had been caught removing the condom, but that no one had really gotten angry with him: “No one’s ever angry but if someone asks me to put it back on I’ll put it back on for sure. That’s fair.”
He didn’t give much detail about when he decides to remove the condom, but simply said: “Pull it out, take it off, put it back in.”
It’s a frighteningly honest and frank interview, and there is some concern that this is a sentiment shared by others.
Alexandra Brodsky is the author of the study on ‘stealthing’, which was published in the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, and she highlights the main issues surrounding the act.
In the study she says:
“Non-consensual condom removal during sexual intercourse exposes victims to physical risks of pregnancy and disease and … is experienced by many as a grave violation of dignity and autonomy.”
“Such condom removal, popularly known as ‘stealthing’, can be understood to transform consensual sex into non-consensual sex by one of two theories, one of which poses a risk of over-criminalisation by demanding complete transparency about reproductive capacity and sexually transmitted infections.”
Her research also reveals that there are a number of grey areas surrounding the issue, with many victims hesitant to confront it, let alone take legal action.
It still seems that there’s a lot more to be done to raise awareness about the act in order to prevent it from happening further.
What do you think about the act? Let us know in the comments below.
Images via iStock