Updated: Sep 25, 2021
They say a woman’s work is never done. Well, if the work is vigilance, yeah, you sure got that right. A man and a woman meet for a first date. He’s worried she won’t be pretty enough. She worries he might kill her.
And now there’s stealthing. What is stealthing? Just take the word apart. Steal + thing. It’s a steal thing. In this particular case, what’s stolen is a woman sense of trust not just in this guy but all the rest of the guys she’ll ever meet. Also the risk that her health, well being, and very future will be stolen.
How? By the women consenting to sex with the guy as long as he wears a condom, the man agreeing but then, somehow, stealthily removing the condom so he can enjoy fucking her with full skin on skin sensation. Regardless of the risk to which he puts her. Regardless of the betrayal of her trust. Because he’s, like, gambling she’ll never find out.
You can read more about it in this excellent piece in Buzz Feed.
So why am I talking about this here? To get you scared or riled up?
As always, I want to be positive. To make things better between people. So with stealthing on the table, let me take a stab at that right here.
First of all, for women who are “out there,” as they say, the more you know a guy and know about a guy before you give more and more of your heart and body to him, the better off you are. I mean, do what you want. I’m just saying that your risk of, say, being stealthed goes down the more you’ve vetted the guy you’re sleeping with. I’m just saying.
It also needs saying that no woman deserves to be stealthed or betrayed in any way, and it’s never her fault.
Second, for the guys who would do something like stealthing. I’m not going to even bother telling you that it’s wrong. Clearly you know this and don’t care, though you should. But what you may not know is that by doing things like this you are setting yourself up for a lonely and bitter life. You should care about this. The only reason you’d stealth a woman is that you don’t see her as a person. Well, okay, buddy, keep it up. And guess what? You will have a long string of failed relationships, failed marriages, and strained relationships with children who don’t live with you, plus having your net worth cut in half with each divorce, plus child support. Does that sound like a good plan to you? Something worth not thinking of women as people for?
I thought not.
Third, for all guys. I know: you don’t understand women. They are to you mysterious, complicated, contradictory, volatile creatures. So much so that it’s not even worth trying to figure women out. Because it can’t be done.
Well, not true. There’s a rule I follow: behavior makes sense in context. No matter how weird someone’s acting, the chances are that if you knew his or her context you’d understand their behavior. If you were in their context, you’d behave like them.
So, take women. In general—and of course this is just a generalization—women are floating along on a bubble of anxiety, hypervigilance, and suspicion. Why not? We’ve been hurt and betrayed in the past, and we’re waiting for it to happen again. Obviously this will be more active in some women than in others, but it’s usually there.
In the article on stealthing we find this horrifying nugget. A woman told the reporter that
the man she was hooking up with had dismissed her insistence that he wear a condom and removed it halfway during sex.
When she told him that what he had done was "really messed up," she recalled him replying, "Don't worry about it, trust me."
"That stuck with me because [he’d] literally proven [himself] to be unworthy of [my] trust,"
Why? Context. Maybe most women haven’t been stealthed. But going all the way back to high school, most women have been told lies so some dopey guy can get to feel up her tits or get a blow job. And these lies usually involve the girl meaning more to the guy than she actually does. And it’s not just about meaning more. What good does it do a woman for a guy to care more about her as an appliance than some other guy did? The real question is, Do you see me and know me as a person, and then beyond that actually care about me? And then does your caring about me translate into effective action, because if it doesn’t then all that talk about caring, all that time spent seeing and knowing was just a lie.
And then women get mad. Really mad.
And then men get scared. Really scared, because men are really scared of angry women. And then, because they’re scared of the woman in their life, they lie to her and she finds out and gets even more mistrustful and enraged. And the beat goes on.
So now you see. It’s kinda not complicated at all! A woman will have reactions to things you do and say, but if you’re
then things should go pretty darned well.
For more, do check out our book I Love You but I Don’t Trust You