Ali Howarth, a program specialist at 1800RESPECT, explained that men who stealth see their victims as possessions rather than people who have a right to make their own consensual decisions about sex. There are several online forums dedicated to teaching men how to stealth, sharing stealthing stories, as well as providing encouragement and praise for men who stealth. In her 2019 research paper Dr Sumayya Ebrahim, academic and gynaecologist, explores these online forums and the misogyny and hegemonic power of masculinity that is embedded in the idea of stealthing. Dr Ebrahim recounts the reasons discussed by these men for stealthing: the pursuit of sexual pleasure, the “thrill of degradation”, the belief that they have the right to “spread their seed” and it “feels better with no condom on”. Dr Ebrahim says these reasons are reflective of the dismissive attitudes that stealthers have towards their partners and of stealthers prioritising their own sexual gratification at the expense of their own health and their partner’s health, rights and wishes.
Open discussions and growing awareness around stealthing is important and will help survivors recognise and process the trauma associated with their experience/s. Stealthing is not okay and is a clear violate of someone’s rights.
If this has happened to you please reach out of your local sexual support services, tell someone you trust or you can also contact your local police station if you wish to report the incident.
Consent, safely and mutual enjoyment always comes first. If you’re using condoms use ones that are good for you, the environment, triple tested for safety and easy to use!
If you need help:
National Sexual Assault, Family & Domestic Violence Counselling Line – 1800 737 732
1800 Respect National Helpline – 1800 737 732
Lifeline 24 Hour Crisis Line – 131 114
Beyond Blue – 1300 224 636
NSW Child Protection Helpline – 132 111