Stealthing: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

As a new evil sexual trend begins to spread, a rape crisis hotline operator reported hearing more and more cases of women starting sentences with, “I’m not sure this is rape, but…” According to the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, the practice is called stealthing. It involves men removing condoms during consensual sex and in some cases, bragging about it in online forums. The Columbia report, led by Alexandra Brodsky, determines that stealthing should be viewed as a new form of sexual assault.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. The Trend Is Impacting Both the Straight & Gay Communities

Stealthing Rape

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Speaking to the Huffington Post UK, a Durex Sex and Relationship expert, Alix Fox, said:

In addition to the word being used to describe a man surreptitiously removing a condom during vaginal intercourse, when a woman has explicitly consented only to having protected sex, I have interviewed gay guys who’ve been ‘stealthed’ whilst receiving anal sex.

There is a Reddit thread titled, “Tops taking condom off with bottom noticing.” The thread includes tips for people to avoid being victims of stealthing.

While the Columbia report notes that there are “communities” online of men who brag about stealthing. Those groups largely base their defense on the fact that it is their “right” to “spread his seed.” That defense is shared by gay men who perpetrate the offense. The report says that stealthing is most common “among young, sexually active people.”


2. While the Law in the United States Struggles to Catch Up, a Man in Switzerland Has Been Imprisoned for Stealthing

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In January 2017, it was widely reported, including by the Guardian, that a French man in Switzerland was imprisoned for rape after stealthing. The man was not named. Among the scant details involving the case were that it happened in the Swiss city of Lausanne and that he met his victim on Tinder. The courts concluded in that case that the woman would not have had sex with the man if a condom was not used.

Tampa Defense Attorney Hunter Chamberlain told USA Today that prosecuting for stealthing in the U.S. is difficult. Chamberlain said, “As of yet, that statute does not exist… To change this from a legal behavior to an illegal behavior, the legislature or the courts are going to have to further define what consent means.”


3. Social Media Bragging About Stealthing Usually Includes Memes Featuring Cartoon Characters

Not only do men brag about their practice online, according to the Columbia report, there are sites and forums which instruct men on how to perform the action. One defender of stealthing is quoted in the report as saying:

It’s a man’s instinct to shoot his load into a woman’s *****. He should
never be denied that right. As a woman, it’s my duty to spread my legs and let a man shoot
his load into my wet ***** whenever he wants.

I blast inside stealthing tips

(I Blast Inside)

At the time of writing, the website that endorses stealthing, I Blast Inside, has been removed. You can view a cached version here. The disclaimer for the website reads, “Warning, This Blog Is Not Safe for Work (NSFW) Or the Humorless Or for Condom Nazis.” It was run by Mark Bentson, who describes himself as a “raw top.” One article included on the website is “Top 10 Stealthing Tips.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BTIJgfZBYZn/


4. The Rape Allegations Involving Julian Assange Contain ‘Similar Circumstances’ to Stealthing

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange first became the subject of sexual assault allegations in Sweden in August 2010. In one case, Assange’s accuser says she attempted to reach for a condom but was prevented to by Assange. Later, when he agreed to wearing the condom, she says Assange had “done something” to the condom, reports the Guardian. In a later follow up article about stealthing, the Guardian’s Zoe Williams referred to the Assange case as involving “similar circumstances.”

To evade prosecution, Assange has been decamped to the Ecuadorian embassy in London. In November 2016, Swedish prosecutors were finally able to interview Assange about the allegations at the embassy. The statute of limitations on his charges expires in 2020.


5. The Durex Spokesperson Has Said She Has Heard of Instances Were Women Have Been the Perpetrators of Stealthing

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Durex expert Alix Fox, told the Huffington Post, that there have been instances of women stealthing. Fox said, “I’ve heard of women ‘stealthing’ too: compromising the effectiveness of condoms by piercing hard-to-notice holes through them with needles or otherwise secretly tampering with them, in an effort to trick a man into getting them pregnant.”

In the same article, the author of the Columbia report, Alexandra Brodsky, explained her motives, “One of my goals with the article, and in proposing a new statute, is to provide a vocabulary and create ways for people to talk about what is a really common experience that just is too often dismissed as just ‘bad sex’ instead of ‘violence.'”