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RELATIONSHIPS

Is Your Man Stealthing?

When he oversteps your boundaries

BY Joan Thatiah

Feb 26, 2021, 09:10 AM

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I heard the most unfortunate story the other day. A group of job-seeking Kenyans gave a ‘recruitment agent’ a total of Ksh 100,000 each for job placement in Dubai sometime in December.

Come January, the agent had acquired all the paperwork necessary including visas, passports, and plane tickets. All was set for them to begin their trip to the land of milk and honey. Their flight, they were told, was booked for 5 am on a Monday. They met the agent at the JKIA where he handed them passports before he informed them that they would be taking off from Wilson Airport.

I am not sure why that did not raise any red flags but they let him bundle them into a van and get them on a jet at Wilson airport. An hour later, they found themselves in Kitale in an airstrip tucked in the middle of a sea of maize plantations. By the time they landed, their agent, of course, had tossed his phone line and gone on the prowl for his next set of victims.

It’s interesting how, as the economy continues tightening its noose on our necks, Kenyans are becoming even more creative on ways to get that extra shilling. This unfortunate story reminds me of something else that is happening in our dating circles- stealthing.

Stealthing is where after agreeing with a woman to have safe sex, a man secretly removes the condom in the middle of the sex act. Sometimes, he will record himself in action to share with other men in secret Facebook and WhatsApp groups. I asked a male friend what he thought of it the other day and he told me that it was nothing, that it was just bad sex.

Stealthing is not nothing. It is not bad sex. That it is happening and that some people see nothing wrong with it means that we should keep having the conversation of consent. Here is the rundown; A drunk woman can’t consent to sex. Consent should be sought from both parties before every sex act, it doesn’t matter that you have had sex a thousand times. Consent can be withdrawn at any point during the act and new consent must be sought to continue with a sex act.

From where I stand, because it turns a consensual act into a non-consensual one, it’s an act of sexual assault. Other than the fact that a woman is exposed to the risk of unplanned pregnancy and STIs, there is the trauma from the deception and the violation. Add that to our culture of victim-blaming in sex assault cases and it makes it even harder to talk about it or pursue legal redress following a case of stealthing.

What Can A Woman Do?

Waiting to get a grip of a man’s personally before having sex with him might help curb stealthing but there is no guarantee. Just like rape which happens even in marriage, depending on the type of man and his beliefs on a woman’s place, stealthing can happen even in committed relationships.

What a woman can do is trust her gut. That sinking feeling you get in your gut sometimes when you meet someone and feel that they are up to no good, trust it. It’s your body’s warning system.  Also, before every sexual act, be clear about your boundaries and what exactly you are consenting to. This includes the sex positions, the level of kink, and the number of people involved.

If it does happen, seek medical treatment to prevent unplanned pregnancies and STI’s. For your emotional health, it is important to remember that what happened was not your fault. That it’s on them, not you.

Read: Things To Stop Doing To Your Vagina