To prevent sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies, the first recommendation given especially to young people is to use the condoms, being the male one the most commonly. But the latest sexual trend not only represents a great risk to health, it is also violent for one of the members of the couple.
It is a practice known as stealthing , followed by men. It was documented by Alexandra Brodsky, who published the result of her research in the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law.
What is stealthing?
It consists of removing the condom during the sexual act, without the previous permission of the couple, for what is considered as a sexual aggression.
The cases have occurred in homosexual and heterosexual couples. According to Brodsky, in his study there are communities on the Internet where dozens of men comment on their experiences and give advice.
These men, both heterosexual and homosexual, consider that it is their right to take off the condom, since “men have to spread their seed.”
“What I wanted with this study is to name and protagonists this tendency that is repeated frequently,” Brosdky assured the Huffington Post.
Brodsky describes the experience of Rebecca, a PhD student working in a line of care for rape victims.
The young woman noticed that in the last months she never stopped receiving calls from women who had been victims of “stealthing”. “Normally, the stories of these girls who call begin the same. I’m not sure if it’s rape or not, but they felt that way, “says Rebecca.
These women are not only exposed to an unwanted pregnancy, but also to the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. In addition to the emotional, physical and financial damage suffered after the experience.
A form of abuse
Brodsky explains that since 2013 she had the intention to study the phenomenon, since she realized that many of her friends had been raped in that way.
With this study, it tries to “fight against forms of abuse that are not considered part of the repertoire of sexist violence, but that are rooted in the same misogyny and lack of respect”
As people who have undergone stealthing do not know if it is a sexual assault or not, most of the time they do not resort to justice to report the case.
But there are exceptions, in January 2017, in Switzerland, a 47-year-old man was convicted of rape because he took off the condom while practicing sex with a woman he met in Tinder.
According to the RTS news agency, a criminal court in the country ruled that if sex was planned with a condom and then it was not used, it was sexual abuse.
The man was paroled for a period of 12 months.
Sophie Maullin, UK resident, narrated her own story to beware and create awareness about the topic.
“A few months ago, I got chatting to a guy on Tinder. He was an architect who came across as intelligent and polite, and we set a date to meet.
We were getting on really well when he asked me to go back to his house and I thought, why not? Later on, sex began consensually. I wanted him to wear a condom and he did. During sex he asked if he could take the condom off and I told him no. A few minutes later he asked again; again, I said no. Noticing me checking that the condom was still on, he turned me to face away from him. Immediately after sex I realized that he had removed it and ejaculated inside me.
On realizing what had happened to me during my Tinder date, I rushed to get my things and leave his house. When I asked him if he had taken off the condom, he didn’t give a clear answer and appeared confused by my outrage and upset.
I took a cab to a nearby friend’s flat and went straight to her shower, not even thinking that I was washing away evidence of an assault. I wasn’t aware a crime had been committed – I just felt violated, and my instinctive reaction was to wash it off.
At the time, I felt overwhelmingly guilty for consenting to sex in the first place and my self-doubt grew when police officers asked me repeatedly “if I was sure” and if I was aware I could “ruin a man’s life”. Ironic at a time that I was still waiting for my HIV-Aids and STI test results. One officer even offered to “bring the guy in and give him a scare”, as an alternative to me pressing any charges through official means. They told me about a case of pedophilia they had been working on for years, which still had no resolution, implying that even if I did go through with the charges, it was unlikely that I would ever be successful in court with what they clearly considered a non-issue.
My experience with the police abruptly ended after my perpetrator was called in to give his statement. He said that the condom fell off without his knowledge and all charges were dropped. I was left with no real way to move forward.”
(With information The Huffington Post and The Guardian)