Making love to your partner with consent is the most cherished activity. Sexual pleasure is not restricted to a mere physical activity but also involves sharing of emotions, feelings, and deepest thoughts. It becomes more enjoyable when mixed with a perfect blend of correct techniques and positions.
Often partners consent to the protected sex with a condom on during the sexual activity. But here is a catch, Even though a partner has consented for protected sex only, yet they are at the risk of stealthing making them susceptible to STIs or getting pregnant.
What is Stealthing?
Stealing is an act of non-consensual condom removal, where a partner stealthily removes the condom without knowing their partner who has consented to protected sex only. Yes you head that right.
Now, Why do people stealth?
There are myriad reasons for a sex partner to stealth, some of them can be-
- To get their partner pregnant and stuck in a relationship.
- Some rationalize it by saying it feels good without a condom
- Their are some archaic and mysoginistic ideas that back stealthing such as’ It is a man’s right’, ‘It is a man’s natural instinct’ or women deserve to get impregnated’.
Implication of stealthing
The coercive act of stealthing not only affects the physical health of the victim but has various mental health implication. It might cause depression, anxiety and excerbate to the level of self-harm. Such a coercive behaviour maybe therefore regarded as rape or sexual assault or sometimes a form of reproductive coercion.
“I was really angry, emotional, and confused. I texted the guy but he didn’t think it was a big deal and told me it was only about £50 to get an abortion – but it changed so much in my life.
“In the end I decided to get a termination but it was a very difficult decision to make – I beat myself up about it so much because I wanted a baby but knew it wasn’t the right circumstances.”
Gemma did report her experience to the police, but the case wasn’t taken any further.
“I actually went to them when I realised it is rape and because I got pregnant.”
She says the police spoke to the man but said there wasn’t enough evidence as it was “my word against his and he denied it”. As Gemma told BBC
How can you protect yourself against stealthing?
A relationship is primarily based on mutual trust and consent but the act of stealthing involves the breach of both trust and consent. Thus, to keep yourself safe from such a coercive act. Take care of the following things-
1. Before going for sexual intercourse make sure you take along your own condom.
2. Prior to sexual activity make it explicitly clear that you are consenting for protected sex only.
3. Ask your partner to ejaculate outside your body(even with a condom on)
Legal aids against stealthing
The legal status of stealthing in India remains unclear due to the absence of legal precedence. It is covered in the Indian Penal Code(IPC) under rape. But only if a woman explicitly states that she has consented to protected sex only. However the law in India deals only with consent, It’s black and white. It doesn’t have a finesse that can make such an act punishable.
However, In countries such as Germany and the UK stealthing is punishable as a form of sexual violence.
If you have ever been a victim of stealthing, Do not blame yourself. The moment you discover about immediately get yourself tested for STIs or pregnancy tests. And always remember to trust your gut! Even if you have a slight doubt about stealthing during sex, check it out immediately.
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