Every day is an education these days apparently, and today I learned a brand new term in the world of dating and sex.
Have you heard of stealthing?
Don’t worry if you haven’t heard of it because I hadn’t either, but it’s time to sit up and pay attention. Take notice. Because if you don’t know what stealthing is, you can’t protect yourself against it. And trust me when I tell you that you definitely need to protect yourself against this one.
Let me set the scene – you’re about to get down n’ dirty with your special plus one, whether it’s a regular partner or just a one-night plaything, and you get good and prepared. Clothes get torn off, sexy mutterings are frantically whispered into each other’s ears. You’re nice and wet, he’s nice and hard, one of you reaches for the condom. On it slides because you’re both sensible adults. Neither of you wants to catch an STI, and you’re definitely not in the right sorta place to have a baby together. You get carried away, lost in the heat of the moment, and eventually one of you cums. Usually him, although it might be both of you if you’re really lucky. (I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you.)
All good, right? You’d think … But imagine your shock and horror when you look down and realise your special plus one isn’t quite as dressed for the occasion as he should be. That latex raincoat he was wearing a few minutes ago appears to have disappeared. Has it gotten lost inside you? (We’ve all been there.) Maybe it slid off in the heat of the moment? Perhaps, just perhaps, it split and can be found slithering around in the bed somewhere?
Nope, things aren’t as innocent as all that. If you have been “stealthed,” you have essentially been a victim of rape – “non-consensual condom removal during sexual intercourse”. Your special plus one has whipped that condom off without you realising, and not only has he fucked you sans protection, he’s cum inside you also. Potentially.
What. The. Actual. Fuck?
And yes, fellas, if you’re planning on doing this – it IS basically rape. Non-consensual being the important word here.
Now, we’re all adults. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you the dangers of this. There’s the whole pregnancy thing if you’re not protected by another form of contraception, for example, the contraceptive pill. There’s also the threat of sexually transmitted infections. And, let me just take things one further than that too – as someone who has tested HPV positive, and has gone through the absolute torture of CIN3 pre-cancerous cells AND the removal of those cells via the method of an electrocuted wire that burns them out, genital warts and STIs might be the least of your worries. There are over 100 different strains of HPV – 30 of these can affect your genitals. Some of them are highly contagious, and some of them – those that don’t cause genital warts – cause cancer.
Trust me on this. I know. I learned my lesson. The hard way. AND, for the most part, I’ve been VERY sensible about using a condom and protecting myself throughout my most promiscuous of periods.
Many women don’t actually know about this so I guess we can’t expect the men we’re bedding to have a clue about it, but I wonder if “stealthing” would be such a laughable matter if they knew the severity of their actions? Or the potential severities?
Plus, let’s look at things from a slightly different angle here. This one’s for the lads. What if that girl you’re banging ISN’T on the pill like she says she is? Is “stealthing” going to be so funny when the CSA starts hunting you down for child maintenance back payments? Because they will. Either that or you’ll end up on The Jeremy Kyle Show.
I just simply can’t get my head around why someone would think this was a good idea. I don’t even understand why it would be considered funny, or a prank. It’s not. It’s serious, and things could get even more serious afterwards too.
According to news reports*, this is a crime that seems to be on the rise in the States, but it’s something we definitely need to think about this side of the pond too. It’s only going to be a matter of time before some knuckle-dragger reads about this in the paper or on the internet and thinks it’s a bloody marvellous idea. All you can do is be smart. Put the condom on yourself. Make sure it’s on. Provide the damn condoms in the first place. Don’t trust that he will bring them. And stealthing seems to be an umbrella term – it can mean complete removal of the condom, as well as damaging or breaking the condom in some way.
Consenting to sex WITH a rubber DOES NOT MEAN consenting to sex WITHOUT a rubber. The two are not the same. It is a total violation of trust and of your body. If someone has done this to you, it is NOT funny. If you have done it to someone, thought of doing it to someone, or are considering doing it to someone, it is NOT funny. It shouldn’t be treated as playful banter. It is NOT a prank, and it will NEVER be funny.
Protect yourself, ladies. There’s another level of fuckboy on the rise. Stealth now has a brand new meaning.