There’s a new sex trend that’s making the rounds in the news. The act of “stealthing” is making it’s way into the limelight. The million dollar question that everyone is asking though is “Is stealthing considered rape?”

“Stealthing” is the act of removing a condom during intercourse without your partner’s knowing/consent. It happens to both women and gay men. Whilst the actual act itself isn’t new, it’s been happening for as long as condoms are around, it’s finally being talked about.

Whilst nearly everyone agrees the act is morally wrong, many argue over what crime it counts as. Can it be considered rape? Is it more like fraud, sexual assault, or  simply something less violent? Many people believe it shouldn’t be considered rape at all.

In a poll 24% of participants did not consider stealthing to be rape. A majority of 61% did believe it constitutes as rape, whilst the remaining 15% ticked “other”.

What is considered rape?

Rape is an incredibly condemning word. It’s violent and seen as one of the worst acts a person can commit. Everyone knows the word rape, but the actual definition of it seems oddly misunderstood.

For instance, some people consider rape the act of non-consensual vaginal penetration. Others believe oral and anal penetration also counts as rape. Some believe only penile insertion counts as rape, whilst others believe the use of any object counts.

What makes this subject more complicated is the fact there’s no universal law. Different countries prosecute rape claims differently. With such varying opinions on what rape is, and different conviction conditions, it’s almost impossible for us to unanimously agree on whether a less obvious act, such as stealthing, should be considered rape or not.

Why stealthing should be considered rape

In a study on the sex trend of stealthing by Alexandra Brodsky, many women report they don’t know whether stealthing counts as rape or not.

Alexandra describes the story of Rebecca who is a victim of stealthing and who also works at a sexual violence crisis hotline. Rebecca states many calls she receives on stealthing begins with “’I’m not sure if this is rape, but…’”.

The women who call are upset. They know something has gone wrong. Something has been done to them. But they don’t know whether or not it counts as rape. They do know that it’s serious enough that they want to call a sexual crisis hotline though.

Why should stealthing be considered rape? Because the act of stealthing takes away the consent originally given. Consenting to sex with a condom does not mean you consent to sex whether there is a condom or not.

Sex without a condom poses many risks, such as STDs and unwanted pregnancies. If the women would have said no to sex without a condom, and only consented to sex on the agreement of a condom being used, taking the condom off during intercourse counts as rape as you are doing to her something she did not consent to.

It was for these reasons a court in Switzerland recently convicted a man of rape for the act of stealthing.

What are other’s opinions on the sex trend stealthing?

As the poll shows, 24% of people believed stealthing to not count as rape. 14% considered it something other. When asked to specify these were the replies.

It seems that many believe that the act is criminal, but not seriousness enough to be considered rape. Words like “sexual assault” are used, indicating that the act should be punished. Many believe stealthing falls into a grey area of consent.

However there are many more extreme views on stealthing around the internet. A very common reaction is to ignore the implications of the sex trend stealthing, and instead question what a woman who lies about birth control would be condemned of.

One user on an article by The Indepdent stated,

“I look forward to seeing women who lie about birth control being convicted under the same guidelines.  But feminist “equality” means rules never apply to women …” -AnthonyZarat

Whilst another commented,

“If someone does something you dont like during sex then you dont see them again – you dont have them charged with rape. The woman should have her picture circulated to warn men of this loony.” -Fozzie

A user on reddit commented on the topic of stealthing with,

“Where women have been granted full, guaranteed control over the human reproductive system, there is no excuse to hold men presumptively accountable for her choice to use it– no matter how much birth control is available to him.” –HighResolutionSleep

Advocates of stealthing

Most alarmingly however are the users on forums who promote the act of stealthing. These are the people who share techniques and believe it’s their right to do what they do. I think by reading the comments from those that approve of stealthing  you are able to see much more clearly the malicious intent and deception of men who advocates stealthing.

Comments on these forums follow along the lines of,

 “To me you can’t have one and not the other, if she wants the guy’s **** then she also has to take the guy’s load!!!” –Johnny2700

“This is also my favorite fetish and have done this to numerous girls threwout the years. Most recently a young blond sororety girl who was drunk and she also works and is a volunteer for a school program i wont say and i think i nailed her. I am in my early 30’s but live by 2 Universities, a State college, and a community college. There are plenty of young *****. Have u ever tried having a 2nd phone number only for these girls and a fake ID with a fake adress? With you do you leave the same night as you **** them them?”-Sam0102

“It’s a mans right to shoot his load in her *****. There will be Babies made during fuckung – it’s nothing unusual!” –stjartalskare

What can be done about it?

With more facts and discussion, we should look into exactly what the act of stealthing means. Does it violate consent? Does it put people at harm? Should it be considered rape? Should it be considered some form of crime that should be convicted?

The current laws on sexual assault and rape aren’t defined enough to have a clear action on the sex trend of stealthing. It should be considered however, and whether or not convictions are called rape or not, it should certainly be made more clear that it’s a sex crime that deserves prosecution.

Men and women who experience stealthing should understand that something wrong was done to them. Their consent and trust was violated, and they should feel confident enough to ask for help.

  • neilw

    Those final comments make me me feel ashamed to be a man.

    • I thought it was important to share some of the comments made by men who actually practice stealthing because it DOES highlight the intent behind the act. Honestly, there were many comments along the same vain and I had a hard time researching this topic because I honestly thought “wow time to go full lesbian!” but it’s also vastly interesting…

      • neilw

        I know there are such people, and I agree it’s important to make these attitudes known, but it distresses me enormously when I even try to comprehend the mindset which goes with such actions. We have an evolutionary urge to have sex, but the utter malice which underlies comments like those is repellent in the extreme.

        I have said before that you have a role as an educator (sorry, educatrix ;D) – please, please, please be able to educate some of these subhumans to be able to interact sexually on a compassionate, not abusive basis.