There’s a new “sex trend” on the rise called “stealthing” and it’s horrible and disturbing.
“Stealthing” is when a man purposefully removes a condom during sexual intercourse without the expressed consent of his partner, which completely disregards the concept of consent in a sexual act.
In a study conducted by Alexandra Brodsky for the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, accounts of stealthing were documented, along with victims discussing the details of their experiences. The study also investigated forums and sites wherein men express their feelings of entitlement to “bareback” sex as well as tips on how to successfully do so without the consent of their sexual partners.
In an interview with The Huffington Post, Brodsky explained that she began the study after learning that her friends were “struggling with forms of mistreatment by sexual partners that weren’t considered part of the recognized repertoire of gender based violence ― but that seemed rooted in the same misogyny and lack of respect.”
“Survivors [of stealthing]describe nonconsensual condom removal as a threat to their bodily agency and as a dignitary harm,” Brodsky wrote in the study, adding that stealthing is like saying, “‘You have no right to make your own sexual decisions,’” and ‘You are not worthy of my consideration.’”
According to Brodsky, stealthing was deeply rooted in the ideology that men have the “right” to “spread their seed,” even in violent means.
This form of sexual violence puts women in danger, potentially leading to common consequences of having unprotected sex such as unwanted pregnancy, HIV, AIDS and STIs.
While Brodsky hopes that victims of the said act will receive support from the system, she knows that sexual violence victims often do not get the justice they want.
“We know that the law doesn’t work for gender violence survivors,” Brodsky told The HuffPost. “Many of the myths and assumptions and forms of skepticism that we see from judges approaching rape victims and other kinds of sexual assault victims are likely to be present in stealthing cases.”
However, she hopes that assigning a name to the violent act hopefully opens up the conversation about stealthing and maybe inspire a few changes in the law.
“The law isn’t the answer for everyone, and it can’t fix every problem every time,” Brodsky said. “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.’”