ArticleVolume 32, Number 2 (2017)

“Rape-Adjacent”: Imagining Legal Responses To Nonconsensual Condom Removal

Nonconsensual condom removal during sexual intercourse exposes victims to physical risks of pregnancy and disease and, interviews make clear, is experienced by many as a grave violation of dignity and autonomy. Such condom removal, popularly known as “stealthing,”can be understood to transform consensual sex into nonconsensual sex by one of two theories, one of which poses a risk of over-criminalization by demanding complete transparency about reproductive capacity and sexually transmitted infections. Adopting the alternative, preferable theory of non-consent, this Article considers possible criminal, tort, contract, and civil rights remedies currently available to victims. Ultimately, a new tort for “stealthing” is necessary both to provide victims with a more viable cause of action and to reflect better the harms wrought by nonconsensual condom removal.