“Condoms suck” is sentiment reverberated by men and women alike. Some condoms claim to be barely noticeable, marketing themselves with phrases like “THINtensity” and “extra SKYN.” But the truth is that, as much as we’re thankful for condoms, they’re usually just annoying no matter how thin.
People opt out of condom use all the time—they try out other methods of birth control, they’re trying to get pregnant, they’re both STI-free, whatever—but doing so is supposed to be consensual. Non-consensual anything is fucked up, and secretly slipping off a condom during sex—dubbed “stealthing”—makes you rape-y.
The term stealthing really doesn’t do the atrocity justice. A new study calls the phenomenon of stealthing a form of gender-based violence that violates several civil and criminal laws. It sheds light on rape culture by stressing that any nonconsensual sexual act is sexual assault, and there are situations like stealthing that we too often brush under the rug.
It also explores why the hell people are stealthing anyway. Well, online communities and spaces praise the practice—they tell men that they should “spread their seeds” because it is a “man’s natural right.”
Squirming in your seat yet?
Let’s get something straight: Stealthing is dangerous. Stealthing is stupid. Stop stealthing.