MI Science Staff: May 2017
The latest definition of “stealthing” involves a sexual behavior in which a condom is removed during the sex act without the knowledge or consent of the sexual partner. Although the practice itself is not new, stealthing has reached newsworthy proportions, with major newspapers and television newscasts picking up the story. This dangerous and deceitful practice of “stealthing” is one more reason for our young people to avoid casual sexual encounters and to learn to build healthy relationships.
Alexandra Drodsky has published a paper in the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law entitled, “Rape-Adjacent”: Imagining Legal Responses to nonconsensual condom Removal.” Drodsky prefers the term “nonconsensual condom removal” over the term “stealthing”. She states that “nonconsensual condom removal is a harmful and often gender-motivated form of sexual violence”.1 Drodsky’s paper explores the legal options for victims of the practice and concludes that a more specific law should be passed for the offense.
The big question is why is stealthing popular? Most of the articles that we found on this subject mention online forums that contain conversations by stealthers that are based in “misogyny and investment in male sexual supremacy.” However, all of the articles quote the same source, which is the article by Alexandra Brodsky and also note that the online forums have now been removed from the internet. In no way are we refuting Ms. Brodsky’s article, but we are simply noting that we could not find other sources that either refute or support her findings. Brodsky states that even when the victim is another man, it is still male superiority at the root, with men insisting they have the right to “spread their seed.”1
An older online article on “stealthing” can be found at CondomDepot.com and is dated May 13, 2014. Interestingly, this article expands the practice to “someone strategically damaging a condom before intercourse”, as well as the nonconsensual removal of the condom.2 This article gives the example of women who are trying to get pregnant by poking holes in condoms. The motivation may be to mother the child of a celebrity or perhaps to get a husband as well as a father for the child.
The Condom Depot.com article also mentions the illegal action of purposefully spreading HIV by HIV positive people (POZ) who find some type of gratification through spreading the virus. The following is a quote from the article:
In the POZ scene, some “bug chasers” and/or members of the “bareback brotherhood” engage in unprotected anal sex with the end goal of successful HIV transmission to a negative person.2
Also included in the article are suggestions on how to avoid stealthing. Suggestions include bringing your own condoms, especially brightly colored ones that one can visually check to see that they are still in place, and having the partner ejaculate outside of the body.
At the Medical Institute, we recognize that condoms at their best, do not completely protect against pregnancy or the spread of sexually transmitted infections. As well, we recognize that deception and evil intent are not limited to the practice of “stealthing”. We encourage all to protect their bodies, as well as their emotions by limiting sexual behavior to a long-term monogamous relationship, such as marriage, in which both parties are disease free.
- Brodsky A, ‘”Rape –Adjacent”: Imagining Legal Responses to Nonconsensual Condom Removal,’ (2017) Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, Vol. 32, No. 2, 2017. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2954726
- Condom Depot Learning Center, “What is Stealthing?” May 13, 2014 http://learn.condomdepot.com/2014/05/13/stealthing/