Why I stealth: 'Because it feels better with no condom on' Featured

Why I stealth: 'Because it feels better with no condom on'

 

When Hack put stealthing on the radio earlier this month, Brendan* was listening in - now he had a name for what he had been regularly doing with sexual partners, without their knowledge.

Stealthing is where one partner removes a condom during sex without the consent or knowledge of the other. A study from Yale Law School found it's been happening more often - part of a disturbing trend of gender-motivated sexual violence.

Since that story, we've been contacted by readers and listeners with their own stories of manipulation and deceit - of being stealthed.

 

Brendan thought this was bullshit.

"I've only just heard about stealthing now and I think it's a ridiculous claim," he said.

He agreed to an interview with Hack host Tom Tilley to explain why he stealths "most of the time" and isn't phased by the risk of unplanned pregnancy or STIs.

Is it sexual assault? Yes, according to the president of The Law Society of New South Wales, Pauline Wright. "Removing a condom after there's been a prior agreement that a condom is going to be used, basically undoes that agreement. Because there is no consent," she said. 

It's almost impossible to verify Brendan's story, though we have verified his identity. This is what he says he's done.

Listen to the interview at 5.30 on Hack. Here's the full transcript:

Tom: Why do you do it?

Brendan: Because it feels better with no condom on.

Shouldn't you negotiate that before sex?

I should, but if I have no reason to wear a condom then I don't really see the problem.

What about the risk of transmitting an STI or getting a person pregnant?

I really don't want to get them pregnant so I definitely wouldn't be leaving a trace. As for STIs, I don't want to get them but I would run the risk.

But you're making them take the risk?

Yeah I am. But I'm confident I get checked regularly. I'm pretty safe in saying I'm clean when I'm clean.

So every time you've stealthed someone you've been tested between that occasion and the last sexual partner you've had

Definitely not.

So there is a risk?

Yes there is but there's a risk crossing the road and we all do that.

So you really don't care? It's all about the pleasure?

Of course I care. But I can still look at it from the point of view where I'm pretty sure [about my sexual health], and where I'm pretty sure ... then I'm happy to do it.

How many times would have stealthed someone?

Most of the time. If I'm asked to put one on - which isn't as often as you might think. People are pretty chilled with doing it bareback.

And therefore chilled about their sexual health?

I guess so. I'm not a dirty-looking guy.

So what does that mean? You have less chance of having an STI?

I think so. 

Have you ever been busted stealthing someone?

Yeah. I've been asked to put a condom on before and normally I will.

So you put one on and then take it off without them knowing. How long into having sex before you sneak it off?

I don't know. Pull it out, take it off, put it back in. Everyone's happy.

Most of the time do they notice or not notice?

Not notice.

Have they ever got angry at you?

No-one's ever angry but if someone asks me to put it back on I'll put it back on for sure. That's fair.

So no-one has ever said 'how dare you do that to me, I don't know if you're going to give me an STI and get me pregnant'?

No. No-one's ever said that.

So what's the usual reaction?

'Do you mind - it's safer'. Something to that effect.

But you made an agreement to wear a condom and then you breach that without the person knowing.

I don't know. I don't think I really make an agreement. I just put one on and if nothing is said I take it off. I don't think it's breaking the law.

But if that person has asked you to put on a condom, they're having sex with you on the understanding that's what's going on.

I'd be more worried about getting an STI than getting someone pull a lawyer on me for fraud when I'm having sex and I take a condom off.

Well, both could happen.

Well, I'll take those chances.

Is this a view held by most of your mates?

Yeah I'd say so.

*Name has been changed.

-From http://www.abc.net.au

 

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