Called “stealthing,” aka nonconsensual condom removal, Brodsky describes the act as “rape-adjacent,” and its executors not only see it as their right — they’re spreading the gospel online.
In conducting research for her report, Brodsky uncovered online communities of men who not only engage in stealthing, but teach their “techniques” to other men.
One member (who, appropriately, took the username “onesickmind”) on the website Experience Project wrote up an entire guide to stealthing.
“The rush I experienced was more intense than I can describe,” he wrote. “It’s a perfectly natural and normal instinct for a man to desire to drop his load in a woman just as it’s a women’s [sic] natural instinct to receive and welcome that load into her body. Don’t hesitate to do what you’re intended to do,” followed by dozens of other men applauding him, thanking him, and expressing their desire to try stealthing themselves.
This is the kind of rhetoric that men who stealth follow — one that highlights a man’s “right” to spread his seed, and one that insists women (and even some gay men) deserve to be treated this way.
Stealthing puts the unknowing partner at risk of unwanted pregnancy and STDs.
And more than that, Brodsky continues, “it feels like a violation of trust and a denial of autonomy, not dissimilar to rape.”
Sarah*, 28, had this experience with a man after a date.
“I told this guy I wouldn’t sleep with him without a condom, and when I was drunk he did it anyway,” she told Revelist. When she realized he wasn’t wearing a condom “I basically jumped off the bed. He was 0% apologetic. Pretty sure he said I was being lame or something along those lines,” she said. “And so I screamed at him and left because it felt so gross.”
“The weird part is I’m not like a condom nazi, by the way,” she added. “There are plenty of times where I’m like, ‘eh.’ But this time I was wary of the guy, and of course this was the time he had ulterior motives.”
Anna*, 29, found herself the victim of stealthing twice in her life.
“Both times the fellas initially put the condom on, but then quietly took it off in the middle of doing the deed. I guess they hoped I wouldn’t notice,” she said. “By the time I did it was kind of too late. … It made me feel really stupid and like, I guess betrayed.”
“It’s like if a chick doesn’t demand [a condom], they think they can get away” without one, she said.
In 2014, New Jersey state assemblyman Troy Singleton introduced a bill to create the crime of “sexual assault by fraud.”
The bill defined as “an act of sexual penetration to which a person has given consent because the actor has misrepresented the purpose of the act or has represented he is someone he is not.” In layman’s terms the bill sought to make deceiving someone in order to get them to have sex with you a crime.
Including, you would think, promising someone who will only have sex with you if you wear a condom that you will wear one — and then removing it halfway through the act.
“In theory, the fraud vitiates putative consent, rendering the intercourse nonconsensual and thus punishable as rape,” wrote Ben A. McJunkin in another report for the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law. “As the justifications for contemporary rape laws coalesce around the protection of autonomous sexual decision-making, the rationale for treating rape by fraud as rape is increasingly obvious.”
Consent in one scenario doesn’t equal consent across the board. And the intent to deceive, in any capacity, definitely crosses over to into nonconsensual territory.