What Is Stealthing — And How To Tell If You've Been Stealthed

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woman looking down

I want to point out, before I start this article, how alarming it is for me to have to report on this. 

What is stealthing? Stealthing, as many people know, is the trend of men removing condoms during sex without the girl knowing. This is a form of rape and abuse known as reproductive coercion. The fact that I feel the need to write this article is terrible on so many levels.

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Sex without a condom is still unprotected sex. It can get you pregnant. It can give you STDs. If you’ve been stealthed, you have every right to call the police and warn others of what he did, and honestly, you should. But first, you need to know how to tell if you’ve been stealthed.

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Here is how to tell if you've been stealthed:

1. Semen is leaking out of your vagina

This is the most obvious sign, and also the sign that’s the most damning. If this happens, demand to see the condom. If the condom is on the bed and there’s no semen inside, raise hell, get Plan B, and refuse all further contact with him.

2. You turned around and noticed the condom was no longer on his penis while he was inside you

Yes, this is as obvious as it gets. If this happens, cease all sex immediately and decide on what you want to do as far as recourse.

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3. Immediately after sex (like, within a single second), you see the condom on the bed

If you literally just finished having sex, how could the condom have ended up on the bed? The answer is that he removed it during sex.

4. The texture of his penis changed during sex

Most women know the difference between the feeling of a latex condom and the feeling of a man’s skin down there. If you notice a sudden difference, stop having sex, get off of him, and look to see if there’s a condom. It could have broken... or it could have been slipped off.

5. He swapped positions and focused on having you facing away for half the session

This is not a surefire sign that you’ve been stealthed, as sometimes, guys just really like Doggy Style, but if you notice this issue with other signs on here, it’s very likely that he stealthed you mid-coitus.

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6. Right after sex, he runs to the bathroom with the condom in hand and won’t let you see it

This is not always a surefire sign, but it’s a very good indicator that he may have stealthed you and wanted to avoid you realizing that he didn’t ejaculate in the condom. When in doubt, ask to see the condom beforehand.

7. You inspect the condom wrapper and find holes poked in them

Yep, this can happen. This is another form of stealthing.

8. You reach out to his penis during sex, but can’t feel the condom

A good way to make sure you’re having safe sex is to regularly check down there with your hand. If you no longer feel the condom, you may have either had it fall in you or you could have been stealthed.

The truth is that there’s no way to fully trust someone else when it comes to having sex. However, you always can watch out for warning signs of stealthing, ask your partner to show you the filled condom after sex and work to screen men carefully.

If you notice that you’ve been stealthed, confronting him is 100 percent acceptable. So is calling the police, because technically, stealthing is a form of sexual assault and rape, and guys who do this deserve to be put in jail. In the event it does happen, getting checked for STDs is a must and so is picking up a box of Plan B.

Once again, it’s really depressing that I have to write this. It’s sad that we have so many men who don’t view women’s right to bodily autonomy and consent as worth anything. It’s even sadder when you think how little men who do this respect women.

But, with enough knowledge, we can protect ourselves from being victims and hopefully ensure they stop doing this ever again. 

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Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer whose work has been featured in Yahoo, BRIDES, Your Daily Dish, New Theory Magazine, and others.