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Stealthing

Updated: AUGUST 3, 2022
Reviewed by Kinkly Staff
on August 3, 2022

Stealthing refers to the act of removing a condom without consent prior to sexual intercourse without a partner's knowledge. This may occur when a person removes the condom prior to inserting their penis into their partner, or when a person simply claims to be wearing a condom when, in fact, they are not. Victims of stealthing are at risk of sexually transmitted infections as well as pregnancy. Because it is a non-consensual sexual act, many courts consider it a form of sexual assault or reproductive coercion, including Canada, Germany and the U.K..

Stealthing may also be known as "non-consensual condom removal." Although it is hard to say how common it is, one survey out of Australia found that one in three women and one in five men had been victims.

Civil rights attorney Alexandra Brodsky was one of the first people to write about the act of stealthing in a legal context in her paper for the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law in 2017. As of 2022, California is the only U.S. state with laws that specifically pertain to stealthing.

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More About Stealthing

Brodsky says stealthing is an act of gender-based violence as it stems from misogyny and a lack of respect for women and their choices. She believes stealthing may also encroach upon a number of civil and criminal laws.

It’s important to note that while women are most commonly the victims of stealthing, gay or bisexual males may also become victims, although this is not classed as gender-based violence since both partners are of the same gender.

Men may report not liking condoms because they affect the quality of their sexual experience. As a result, some men say they feel entitled to unprotected sex and will resort to stealthing to get it. There are even online communities for men who regularly practice stealthing, where they share stealthing tips and offer one another support.

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