Two states just introduced bills that make secretly removing a condom sexual assault

May 17, 2017

Earlier this year, the “trend” of stealthing, in which a man removes his condom without his partner’s consent, made its way around the internet. Luckily, two states, Wisconsin and California, have introduced bills labeling stealthing as sexual assault. Because that’s exactly what it is, and calling it a “trend,”  like it was just some fun, new sexual position all the kids are trying these days, is dangerous for everyone. Condoms protect people from unwanted pregnancies and STDs, and removing one without consent puts people at risk. Wisconsin Rep. Melissa Sargent said Monday when she introduced her bill, “this is clearly a sexual crime.” She added:

Toson Rueangsuksut/Shutterstock

Earlier this year, the “trend” of stealthing, in which a man removes his condom without his partner’s consent, made its way around the internet. Luckily, two states, Wisconsin and California, have introduced bills labeling stealthing as sexual assault. Because that’s exactly what it is, and calling it a “trend,”  like it was just some fun, new sexual position all the kids are trying these days, is dangerous for everyone. Condoms protect people from unwanted pregnancies and STDs, and removing one without consent puts people at risk. Wisconsin Rep. Melissa Sargent said Monday when she introduced her bill, “this is clearly a sexual crime.” She added:

“This behavior is predatory and disturbing, and people should know we not only find it reprehensible, but that we won’t tolerate it. Ignoring it is simply not an option.”

The Wisconsin bill, LRB3346 says,

“If an actor removes a sexually protective device such as a condom before or during sexual intercourse or other sexual contact without his or her partner’s permission, there has been no valid consent to that sexual act.”

There isn’t any mention of what the punishment would be for a person who removes a condom without permission, though there is bound to be a lot of conversation about it. The culture of rape and victim shaming is so strong that even people who’ve been the victim of stealthing aren’t quite clear about whether it’s rape or not.


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