-By Swati Joshi
Let’s talk about Stealthing!
Probably wondering why this word echoes with stealing? Well, symbolically it is stealing a lot of things and here we discuss the same. Stealthing is an act of deliberate removal of condom mid-sex without the consent of the other partner. In short, a non-consensual condom removal.
Why is it a big deal?
When a person nonconsensually removes a condom, it turns consensual sex into a non-consensual one, and hence, it counts as a sexual assault. In some countries, it is even considered rape but however, some think rape is too strong a word to use. It, regardless, is sexual assault because the victim only consented to protective sex in the first place.
Why is it dangerous?
Here are a few dangerous aftermaths of stealthing:
It can cause unwanted pregnancies.
There is a high risk of exposure to STDs for both partners.
It is straight away invasion and violation and autonomy.
It causes long-term psychological impact such as post-traumatic shock and increases emotional distress and especially for people with a history of sexual assault.
This act of sexual assault is rooted in misogyny and male supremacy where the man thinks its normal to feel entitled to their partner’s body.
Stealthing is the betrayal of a partner’s trust and the crossing of healthy boundaries, hence defining their relationship to be toxic.
What to do if your partner commits stealthing?
The first and foremost thing to do if you experienced this form of sexual assault is to know that it’s not your fault. The whole sole person to be blamed is the perpetrator.
Secondly, file a lawsuit. Ignoring will only structure its normalization and hence increasing the number of cases.
A wave of fear rushes through my spine when I think about all the women who went through this traumatic experience but did not really understand what was wrong with it. However, what we can do now is create awareness.
Talk about it and spread the word