Stealthing, The Less Talked Rape; When You Breach Trust And Break Rules Of Consent For Your Pleasure
‘Papa, can I go out today?’ ‘Darling, I wanna buy some groceries. Let me go?’ These are not anything strange and I should also say that these are indeed many familiar dialogues. Every girl and woman in India has to seek ‘permission’ for whatever they do and wherever they go. All the women reading this piece, kindly excuse me for ruining your day by placing these ‘allowing’ phrases in my article. But the fact is fact and we are living in a society where men are custodians of women’s liberty.
However, it is ironic that while women have to ask for permission, men are not even concerned about the consent part. Yeah, this is 2021 and I am telling about the word ‘Consent’. You have to believe this because the police authorities investigating the horrifying Hathras case stated the girl was not raped. Do you know why? Because there were no traces of semen and no one addressed the non-consensual act which she had to deal with, that costed her life.
So that is where we stand. Neither the surroundings nor the systems give a shit about consent. In such a complicated context, stealthing is another grey area to be addressed. What is stealthing? Why is not yet illegal in India?
Well, to put in simple words, stealthing or non-consensual condom removal (NCCR) is cheating the other for one’s pleasure. It is removing the condom during sex without consent. This is against the protected sex for which the partner may have agreed upon. Stealthing also puts the partner, more specifically the woman at risk of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and pregnancy. Thus stealthing also adds up to the burden of contraception on a person alone.
The weirdest revelation about stealthing is that there are sites that encourage men to do it. Yes, you read it right. The internet itself provides infinite ‘tutorials’ to successfully take away the condom without the partner’s knowledge so that he can derive sexual satisfaction. Isn’t it too selfish?
To be precise, stealthing is not about the binary genders. It also affects the LGBTQI communities as well. A study by a clinic in Melbourne found that 32 percent of women and 19 percent of men who engaged in penetration with other men were stealthed.
To the men, if you ever feel inspired from such tips, keep this is in mind that stealthing is not a skill to master instead it is a breach of trust. It is all same as you breaking the rules of consent and raping someone on bed. Never do that to anyone because it’s not only about the body, but also about mental health. Unfortunately, many do it and most of the cases are unrecorded.
Do you know why? Because sex is a taboo!
Is stealthing illegal in India?
Even though we don’t have the term stealthing mentioned in our laws, the Indian Penal Code covers it under rape. Under Section 375, consent the much-underrated word is very well explained. It is evidently written that consent is an unequivocal voluntary agreement when the woman by words, gestures, or any form of verbal or non-verbal communication, communicates a willingness to participate in the specific sexual act. In that case, if a woman agreed upon protected sex and a man compromises her safety, the act goes against the law. This is serious and amounts to rape.
But where we fail is in getting insufficient legal aides to prove stealthing. Our system does not have enough data to substantiate it. We have no research to back it because no one ever dared to talk about it and not because no one ever tried stealthing.
Besides the legal aspect, we don’t have the talks going on about stealthing. We deny the process. Despite the fact it is more connected with gender privileges, enhanced pleasure, and that it will expose a person to a high risk of diseases and pregnancy, we ignore being loud.
Primarily what we need is a reframing of rape laws. And it’s high time that our laws should clearly mention terms like stealthing. So that it would change the way we look at sex and make people aware. People irrespective of their genders should be given space in courts and similar entities to talk about their intimate problems. This will help the legal system to have adequate data to help people prove stealthing- like issues.