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Stealthing: the risks of this practice in sex

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Human sexuality is varied and diverse, and today most of the population can enjoy it to a greater or lesser extent, with a large number of possible ways to exercise it. However in recent times they have appeared and have become popular different sexual practices that pose a health risk of the subjects involved, and even some that are directly a sexual assault.

In this last group is stealthing, a recent worrying practice.

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What is stealthing?

Stealthing is a sexual practice in which one of the people involved in the relationship (usually a male) she voluntarily removes the condom she was using during intercourse without your sexual partner knowing or consenting to an unprotected relationship. Both members have consented to having sex with a condom, but one of them unilaterally decides to remove the condom during intercourse. In this way, the sexual freedom of the subject is being violated and is putting him at risk.

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It must be taken into account that stealthing is a voluntary action on the part of the subject: it is not considered as Such is the existence of accidents such as the condom breaking or accidentally coming off during the penetration. Nor is it such if the withdrawal of the protection mechanism is something agreed by both parties.

This practice is more common in heterosexual couples, but also in same-sex couples. The subjects who carry it out usually use posture changes or stops in the relationship to remove the condom. In some cases, it has been reported that the subject has removed the condom and subsequently put it back on, the event not being obvious to the victim.

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A high-risk practice

Stealthing poses a high risk to the person who suffers it, and even for the person who practices it voluntarily. And it is that the risk of pregnancy is increased, as well as the contagion of various sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV, syphilis and gonorrhea.

This dangerous practice is becoming popular especially among young people despite its extreme danger, due to the transmission of information regarding it on social networks.

Why is it done?

Experts consider that this practice has its origin in groups that considered they had the right to spread their genes, even though their sexual partners were unaware of the fact that were at risk of becoming pregnant or infected with a disease.

Some of the subjects actively seek to cause a pregnancy. Other subjects carry out this practice to increase sexual pleasure. Another common reason is that the person takes it as a challenge that the partner does not notice the removal of the condom, motivated by the risk of being discovered.

Legal consideration: stealthing as sexual assault

Despite the fact that the sexual relationship itself is accepted by both parties, the practice of stealthing is a form of sexual abuse: the person has agreed to maintain relationships under certain conditions that the person who carries out the stealthing breaches. The victim of abuse in question believes that he or she is maintaining a protected relationship, which is withdrawn without her consent.

Ultimately, it is a non-consensual sexual practice, which is punishable by law. As stated in the Spanish Penal Code, the person who without consent performs acts that attempt to against sexual freedom or indemnity will be held responsible for sexual abuse, which the stealthing complies. The penalties can range from one to three years in prison or fines of between eighteen and twenty-four months. And this does not happen only in our country. For example, in states like California it has been incorporated into the definition of rape.

  • Related article: "The 9 types of abuse and their characteristics"

The need for prevention and awareness

In a large number of cases, both those who practice it and those who suffer it fail to consider that a crime is being carried out or that their action is dangerous.

Many of the cases are not reported because some of the victims are unaware that it is a crime or even who consider that having consented to sleep with the aggressor that practice in question is also implicitly spoiled. As for the aggressor, many do not consider that they are breaking the law or carrying out an abuse, or they downplay their act.

This issue must be worked on at a multidisciplinary level. In addition to working at a legal level, it is necessary to establish prevention strategies that they can avoid this type of non-consensual practices, inform them of their risks and their seriousness and make the population aware of it.

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