When it comes to consensual sex, there should be no blurred lines.
The latest “sex trend” known as “stealthing” is definitely causing controversy.
The name would suggest it involves being clever, and maybe even using a certain skill set to pull something elaborate off. But let’s call it what it is; an abuser’s way of trying to avoid consent.
What is “stealthing”?
According to Urban Dictionary, the definition of Stealthing is this:
When a man removes condom during sex without his partners knowledge or consent.
Legally considered a form of rape or sexual assault in some places. Considered a shitty thing to do everywhere else.
More and more women are falling victim to this disgusting trend, but they aren’t the only victims. Although statistics show woman are affected on a much larger scale, men too are being conned into condom-less sex without their knowledge.
According to a study in 2018 that was run by the Melbourne Sexual Health Center, one in three women reported being “stealthed” during sex, while one in five men who have sex with men also reported being victims of this.
Where do we draw the line?
As a sexually active, consenting adult, I don’t believe that consenting to one particular act is an open pass. If you have consented to safe sex, with a condom, then that is where the line is drawn. Anything past that requires reevaluation.
Nadia Bokody, self-proclaimed Feminist, sex columnist, and mental health advocate wrote for news.com.au,
It doesn’t just put a sexual partner at risk of STIs and unwanted pregnancy – it blatantly violates their consent.
Nadia spoke to a large pool of women who have been victims of this violation, who all were brave enough to open up about their experiences, and shed a much needed light on this dark and twisted “trend”.
One of those women was Sarah, who recalled her story to Nadia, explaining what happened when a Tinder dates of hers removed his condom without asking her;
“I would never have agreed to have sex with him without a condom. He took my choice away from me. He didn’t care about my future, he didn’t care about my health, and he didn’t care about respecting me.”
Victim Blaming; an endless battle.
It’s not surprising (however it is disheartening) that many victims are gaslighted into believing that they were somehow at fault. One woman who spoke with Nadia, named Christine, explained how for a long time, this was the case for her.
“He had ejaculated and then I knew it was off, as I could feel it. I pushed him off me and said, ‘Where’s the condom?!’ and he responded, ‘Why are you being so uptight?’ I don’t think I really processed what had happened to me for quite some time, as I felt it was my fault.”
It seems that far too many men believe they have the right to blur the lines and take advantage of loopholes, without doing the decent thing and finding a partner who will openly consent to the acts they wish to partake in.
Current laws present a grey area in regards to “stealthing”, as it is not considered a distinct offence. There are certain state laws in which it can be classed as a breach in consent. But the battle to get victims of any form of sexual assault the justice they deserve, is still obviously lacking.
In Australia. only 6.5% of sexual assault cases result in a conviction of the original offence charged.
This staggering fact only reinforces the truth that we all know; Victims are blamed more often that they are believed.