Stealthing – the act of non-consensually removing a condom during sex – has been the subject of much discussion since a study into the act was published last month.
Rape Crisis have condemned stealthing as a sex crime, and this week it was added to the definition of rape in California law.
“Stealthing is rape,” said Cristina Garcia, who chairs the Legislative Women’s Caucus. “Penetration without consent is rape.”
Many people share this view, and yet a lot of men routinely stealth their sexual partners.
One such man has now anonymously spoken out to explain why he does it.
The main reason? “Because it feels better with no condom on.”
In an interview with Hack, Brendan* said he wasn’t too concerned about the risk of spreading STIs either. “I really don’t want to get them pregnant so I definitely wouldn’t be leaving a trace. As for STIs, I don’t want to get them but I would run the risk.”
Brendan is confident he has no STIs, but admits he “definitely” doesn’t get checked between every sexual encounter with a different person.
“There’s a risk crossing the road and we all do that,” he says.
Brendan admits that he stealths someone “most of the time” he’s asked to wear a condom – but he says, this “isn’t as often as you might think. People are pretty chilled with doing it bareback.”
He didn’t give much detail regarding at what point during sex he removes the condom: “Pull it out, take it off, put it back in. Everyone’s happy.”
And, worryingly, Brendan says that most of the time his sexual partners don’t notice. He has been caught before though.
“No one’s ever angry but if someone asks me to put it back on I’ll put it back on for sure. That’s fair,” he says.
According to Brendan, no one who has caught him has been too angry about it either. Apparently the usual reaction is along the lines of: “Do you mind – it’s safer.”
He doesn’t see stealthing as breaking an agreement made before sex and seems not to care at all about violating the rights of his partner: “I just put one on and if nothing is said I take it off. I don’t think it’s breaking the law.“I’d be more worried about getting an STI than getting someone pull a lawyer on me for fraud when I’m having sex and I take a condom off.”
And most worryingly, Brendan says his view is shared by most of his friends.
But hopefully, with more awareness about the sex crime, that will soon change.
*Name has been changed