Stealth: what you need to knowTracey R
If you are not familiar with the term, it is when a man who is having consensual sex and has agreed to use a condom removes the condom, without the consent of his partner, immediately before or during sexual intercourse. From a physical perspective, this action puts pregnancy at risk for a woman and, for both sexes, involves sexually transmitted diseases. Psychologically, stealth ignores the couple’s sexual agreement, breaks trust and violates the victim’s consent.
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Who is at risk? The practice is being reported in heterosexual and homosexual communities, and even between married couples.
Is it a widespread phenomenon? While Brodsky’s article relates the personal testimony of the victims, it does not affirm any quantitative data on the frequency of stealth.
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Why would someone do this? While the most frequently claimed excuse seems to be to experience the pleasure of having a “raw”, “bareback” or no condom sex, the real desire of the perpetrator is the pleasure created by the affirmation of power combined with the risk of a violation. Unfortunately, people who distort sex in this way have a poor and internal plumb line of what is morally wrong. The breaking of boundaries creates a slight emotion for the perpetrator while exercising dominance over the autonomy of another.
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How it is legally classified? At present, there is little consensus of the legal rooms on how stealth should be defined. Some argue that it is not a crime against consent but a violation of informed consent that causes harm, but not on the same scale as the violation. Another legislature is being developed to call this violation or, at least, clarify it as sexual assault, which makes it criminal.
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How to protect yourself? Although the duration or depth of your relationship with someone is no guarantee against stealth (as evidenced by cases that occur within a marriage), taking the time to meet someone before having sex can reduce the risk.
If you experience stealth, know that the perpetrator is morally committed and that what happened is not your fault. Seek medical attention immediately. And see a therapist or talk to friends to deal with the potential psychological trauma of the assault.
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