At AdultFriendFinder.com, we take the safety of our valued members seriously. As such, there’s an alarming new trend we want you to be aware of called “stealthing.”
“Stealthing” is when one person removes or tampers with a condom during sex without the consent of their partner. How the trend started is a topic of debate, but it’s a disturbing practice that happens in both heterosexual and gay circles. Some studies1 indicate the behavior comes as a result of misogynistic attitudes that make some feel entitled to “spread their seed.” Others just like the way it feels and don’t care if it comes at the expense of the other person.
While “stealthing” is largely considered a vile practice, it has gained traction over the last few years thanks to advice sites that teach men how to “stealth” their partners. Most of them have been deactivated since the trend came to light in early 2017, but there are still a few “stealthing” chat rooms lurking in the dark corners of the internet. There, “stealthers” discuss their most recent conquests and chat about why they feel entitled to “blow their load” anywhere they choose.
Aside from being a really shitty thing to do, “stealthing” can have grave consequences like unplanned pregnancies and the transmission of STDs. So the question is how do you protect yourself without taking the fun out of all the amazing hookups you find on Adult FriendFinder? Here are a few tips to help you stay safe.
Awareness is the first line of defense.
It’s easy to get distracted when things get hot and heavy, but you should still be aware of what’s happening at all times. Watch your partner put the condom on to ensure they did so correctly, and check periodically to ensure it’s still in place. Most “stealthing” occurs while switching positions, so take a quick second to check things out before getting back down to business.
For extra security, try using a textured condom you can feel, or one that glows in the dark so you can clearly see if it’s being flung off under the cloak of darkness.2 If you’re worried about partners tampering with condoms (poking holes etc.) then just bring your own and make sure it’s put on properly. You may want to consider bringing your own lubricant as well, as in some cases “stealthers” will use oil instead of lubricant in order to break the condom down and make it less effective.
It’s okay to say STOP.
Always remember that you are in control of your body and have every right to say STOP if something is happening that you didn’t agree to. Many “stealthing” victims don’t stop the person who is violating them because they think the fact they consented to sexual intercourse means they have no right to stop it.1 WRONG. You have the right to say no at any time, for any reason — especially when you didn’t consent to an act that could have a serious impact on your life. Make it known that safe sex is a must, and don’t hesitate to leave if at any point that verbal agreement is not honored. Remember that you consented to sex, not unprotected sex, and anyone who doesn’t respect your wishes has violated your trust.
If “stealthing” happens to you.
If you’ve been “stealthed,” the first thing you need to do is see a doctor. Tell them what happened, ask to be checked for STDs, and get an emergency contraceptive if unplanned pregnancy is a concern. If you’re worried about HIV, also talk to your doctor about PEP (post exposure prophylaxis) medications. According to the CDC,3 these can prevent the HIV virus from entering your system if taken up to 72 hours after you’ve been exposed. You’re probably feeling violated and it may be very hard to think clearly, but remember that just because you consented to sex doesn’t mean you deserve what happened, and it certainly doesn’t mean you have to just accept whatever consequences may arise from it. Act fast and protect yourself.
Is “stealthing” considered a crime?
If you’re considering legal action, it can get a little tricky as most state laws haven’t caught up with this new trend. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try anyway. At the very least you should seek legal advice and file a police report with your local precinct.
According to a report by The Guardian4, a man in Switzerland was recently convicted of rape after “stealthing” a partner he met on Tinder who had consented to sex, but NOT condom-less sex.5 He only received 12-months in jail, but it’s still a landmark decision that sets precedence for other victims to pursue legal action. That doesn’t necessarily mean guilty verdicts will be handed down for similar offenses in other parts of the world (yet), but it is a great sign that people are starting to recognize “stealthing” is in fact a crime, and a huge violation of someone else’s human rights.
Make your voice heard.
Most importantly, tell someone what happened to you. A friend, a family member, a counselor, or anyone else you can trust. If you’re too embarrassed to talk to a loved one or don’t have someone nearby you can confide in, call a rape crisis center in your area or seek the help of a mental health professional. RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) and The National Center for Victims of Crime are both great resources to check out should you ever need them.
Above all, just remember that it is not your fault, you did not consent to it, and you do not need to carry this burden alone.
Adult FriendFinder prides itself on having a large community of active members who look out for one another, and discuss topics that are vital to sexual health. If you would like to join the discussion, check out the “Stealthing” thread on the Member Advice Lines. There, members from around the world are voicing their opinions, sharing tips for condom safety, and lending support to those with first-hand experience. Log in now and join the conversation!