Uncovering the basis
October 18, 2021 7:27 PM   Subscribe

*Trigger Warning* *Feminist Melodrama Ahead* I'm hyper-offended about a rude action performed despite my explicit refusal. I had a date with someone I thought I very much could trust. (DETAILS AHEAD)

My date was not the first between us, nor had it been in the works. This was maybe date 4 in as many weeks. In date two we slept together because of a prior texting and working relationship and a pretty obvious physical attraction. Ok so before the date he asked in text would I be open to having unprotected sex and I said Absolutely Not and clarified that we were not monogamous nor would we be. Fast forward to the date itself things were on, things were right...then a sudden drop in the good... when I realized right after sex he had removed the condom during sex without telling me. It was so disgustingly arrogant of him I am still contemplating filing assault charges. Is this overkill, overthought or should I just get over it? I'm finding no mercy for him since it was made explicitly clear that my consent stopped without my protection. I'm not infected with anything thank God,, but a nausea at such chauvinistic gall. Would this be considered rape? Sexual assault? Fraud??
posted by The_imp_inimpossible to Human Relations (29 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
This is called 'stealthing' and will soon be illegal in California. It would be considered sexual battery there.
posted by kinoeye at 7:35 PM on October 18, 2021 [46 favorites]


Whether stealthing is legally considered sexual assault depends on where you're located. There aren't any criminal laws about it on the books in the United States, though in California it's now a civil offense (i.e. you can sue). You are right to be hurt and horrified by this—you feel like you've been assaulted because it is an assault—but right now U.S. law won't back you up. I'm so sorry this happened to you.
posted by babelfish at 7:41 PM on October 18, 2021 [13 favorites]


Stealthing is considered rape in some jurisdictions. I’m very sorry this happened to you.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 7:44 PM on October 18, 2021 [2 favorites]


This isn't melodrama, it's sexual assault. Adding to the chorus saying I'm so sorry this happened to you.
posted by merriment at 8:06 PM on October 18, 2021 [37 favorites]


I’m so sorry this happened to you. It is an assault and you should treat this person like someone who has sexually assaulted you and change your relationship to them accordingly. It’s absolutely not melodrama to feel angry and violated.

If you’re in the US there’s no precedent for legal action for stealthing except the new CA law. If you had caught something you would have grounds based on his knowingly exposing you (although I’m so glad to hear you remain healthy). But you can still try to report it as an assault or attempt a civil suit. The stress of doing that when there’s no clear legal way forward may or may not be something you want to go through with. But I hope you find some comfort and closure in whatever you choose.
posted by assenav at 8:06 PM on October 18, 2021 [4 favorites]


I'm so sorry this happened to you. It may not yet be within the scope of the law in your state, but he is an absolute scumbag and you have every right to tell him so and never speak to him again. If you want to, do consider consulting a sexual assault hotline or crisis center for help processing this--you may feel you don't "qualify," but you do.
posted by praemunire at 8:12 PM on October 18, 2021 [2 favorites]


If he removed the condom without your knowledge or consent, knowing you wouldn't want him to do that, I think that's flat out a form of sexual assault. I don't know the legal jargon. I don't know if he technically broke the law, but what he did should absolutely be a criminal offense. I'm also not a psychiatrist, but this creep acted like a sociopath. I don't know what you should do or how you should do it, but I hope you find justice and peace.
posted by Beholder at 8:25 PM on October 18, 2021 [3 favorites]


What a cruel and arrogant bastard. I mean FFS with a colleague no less, that’s so fucked up.
It’s even in goddamned writing that you unequivocally would not consent. No grey areas, no weasel excuses from him could counter this. File a complaint for sexual assault if you feel you can face doing that. Even if it can’t be legally enforced right now where you are, it’s on record.
posted by honey-barbara at 8:55 PM on October 18, 2021 [2 favorites]


This is absolutely sexual assault and a number of jurisdictions, including Canada, are on the cusp of formally recognizing it as such. You have every right to be angry and to treat this man like the criminal he is.

If you are so inclined, it would be worth consulting a sexual assault crisis centre for advice and support. They could give you advice about your legal options. For example, although stealthing is not yet a specific crime in Canada, offenders may be convicted of sexual assault if they put someone at risk of additional harm. You might also have options under civil law.

I'm sorry this happened to you.
posted by rpfields at 9:01 PM on October 18, 2021 [4 favorites]


I don't know if he can be charged where you live, but maybe he should be 'outed' to other women you may know. This is a completely unethical (and hopefully soon to be illegal) act.

You say you're not infected, but I hope also that you are not pregnant - especially if you are in Texas!
posted by TimHare at 9:18 PM on October 18, 2021 [2 favorites]


You are not being melodramatic, you are having a natural reaction to having your consent violated in an intimate moment.

Whatever you decide to do about this asshole, please be gentle with and take care of YOURSELF. You experienced something that most people find pretty traumatic, your anger and disgust is entirely justified and not overkill, and you might find it useful to talk to a crisis counselor or therapist about it.

I'm sorry this happened to you.
posted by rhiannonstone at 9:50 PM on October 18, 2021 [11 favorites]


I am sorry that this happened to you and you have every right to be fuckin pissed. I would tell every potential sexual partner of his that you know that he is a boundary-breaker of the near-worst sort. He deliberately committed an act which you had expressly denied consent. That's sexual assault in almost any legal mind and is gradually being translated into law.

Stealthing in popular culture (via Wikipedia)
The phrase "rape adjacent" appears in Michaela Coel's 2020 television miniseries I May Destroy You, which includes a scene depicting non-consensual condom removal. In episode five, Arabella (played by Coel) publicly describes how Zain (played by Karan Gill) removed a condom during sex without her consent or knowledge and identifies him as rapist under U.K. law: "not rape-adjacent or a bit rapey, he's a rapist under U.K. law."[35][36] She goes on to distinguish U.K. law from that of the United States and Australia, explaining "if you're in the States, he's rape-adjacent and if you're in Australia, he's a bit rapey."[37]
Last week, the Australian Capital Territory passed a bill to incorporate stealthing into the Crimes Act. The bill amends current consent provisions under the Act to explicitly state that a person's consent is negated if it is caused by the intentional misrepresentation by the other person about the use of a condom.

Take care and please be kind to yourself.
posted by Thella at 11:15 PM on October 18, 2021 [2 favorites]


If this has been a very recent experience, you will likely need to be tested more than once. It may be worth reporting even if you aren't sure if it's currently a chargeable offense.

Also, consider contacting a domestic violence and sexual assault organization near you, if you haven't.
posted by stormyteal at 12:14 AM on October 19, 2021 [5 favorites]


This is not feminist, melodramatic, or about a rude action. This is sexual assault and 2000% inexcusable. Depending on where you are, report this piece of garbage. If you can’t file a criminal suit you may be able to file a civil one. I would look into it.
posted by cultureclash82 at 1:35 AM on October 19, 2021 [4 favorites]


Response by poster: Oh man I am soon happy you all agree with me. I am on a texting basis with his immediate superior and she was actually on his side. Im thinking I had an ally in her since she was the one who introduced us. She thinks of him as a mentor to her son i have actual regurg reflux at the idea of him touching me. Its going to be a hard fight but damn knowing that I didn't just make up a wrong is solid fuel. Thank You guys
posted by The_imp_inimpossible at 3:45 AM on October 19, 2021 [7 favorites]


Please make sure to screen grab and save the text convo you had where he asked if you would be willing to have unprotected sex and you explicitly said no. Write down/document everything.
posted by cultureclash82 at 4:16 AM on October 19, 2021 [24 favorites]


I opened this expecting melodrama, but this is 100% not melodrama, as everyone above has confirmed. You have every right to be furious because this was sexual assault, and I'm so sorry you are going through bullshit on top of this. I'm furious on your behalf.
posted by bighappyhairydog at 7:01 AM on October 19, 2021 [2 favorites]


By the way, when I say document everything I mean everything - the whole chain of events, any phone/text/verbal exchanges, anybody you told about this, the name of any doctor you may have seen, etc etc.
posted by cultureclash82 at 8:14 AM on October 19, 2021 [4 favorites]


I am so angry on your behalf. What a fucking dickhead.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 8:16 AM on October 19, 2021


Just adding to the chorus: beyond unacceptable, your reaction is more than reasonable, and you are not being melodramatic. I'm not a lawyer so I can't speak to the legal aspects, but there is no doubt in my mind that morally this is assault. I'm so sorry this happened to you.
posted by primethyme at 8:48 AM on October 19, 2021


You should publicly out this person as an abuser. I don't think you'll be able to contrive as satisfying a situation as that in I May Destroy You, but you should expose this person as the shitty individual that they are, if you can do so without completely upending your own life.
posted by ivanthenotsoterrible at 10:53 AM on October 19, 2021


A very recent article about this and it reaffirms what everyone has said above.
posted by maxg94 at 10:55 AM on October 19, 2021


. I am on a texting basis with his immediate superior and she was actually on his side. Im thinking I had an ally in her since she was the one who introduced us.

I personally would quit discussing this with his employer (I assume that's what "superior" meant?).
posted by tristeza at 2:51 PM on October 19, 2021 [11 favorites]


I personally would quit discussing this with his employer (I assume that's what "superior" meant?).

Yes, this! What the hell?!! Absolutely don't text any more about this situation to anyone at your work place until/unless you decide what you want to do about the situation and have found someone better than internet strangers to advise you.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 3:27 PM on October 19, 2021 [7 favorites]


Sounds a lot like rape to me.
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:41 PM on October 19, 2021 [1 favorite]


I work for a domestic violence/sexual assault agency and we would consider this to be rape. You are not being melodramatic.
posted by MexicanYenta at 9:10 PM on October 19, 2021 [1 favorite]


>I personally would quit discussing this with his employer

>>What the hell?!! Absolutely don't text any more about this situation to anyone at your work place


OP, this is ridiculous advice. You are not obligated to keep sexual assault a secret from anyone - not the perp's employer, not his family and friends, not the whole damn internet. Please continue to discuss his crime with anybody you damn well please, including his superior. I will personally pay for you to take out a full page ad in your local newspaper naming his name if you like, and I am serious as a heart attack. Anyone who encourages you to keep this a secret against your will is blatantly helping rapists cover up their crime. For shame.
posted by MiraK at 12:36 PM on December 1, 2021


MiraK, my advice to the OP comes from not wanting to give the guy any advance notice that OP is going to do anything about this, durring which time the guy can potentially do OPall kinds of damage. Perhaps I should have been more clear, but I am not telling OP not to report and tell whomever they want to, I'm saying gather people who are able and prepared to fight for you before you do. It's all very well to out the rapists, but it can come at emense personal cost ,especially if you begin the battle all alone.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 5:51 AM on December 11, 2021


Thank you for clarifying, WalkerWestridge. What you wrote earlier remains pretty terrible even though you didn't mean it to. I've personally been in a position where I wanted to talk about my rapist and have not been able to, due to social pressures. What you said (no matter what your intent) was exactly the sentiment that silenced me and has silenced many, many, many other victims besides.

Especially since OP is inclined to speak up, it was beyond the pale to say what you said. I fervently hope you'll word your responses differently from now on: it's fair to explain where you're coming from and what your concerns are, it's fair to give gentle caution, but don't ever - EVER - presume to tell a rape victim not to talk about their rape if they have expressed a desire or wish or plan to do so.
posted by MiraK at 7:16 PM on December 11, 2021


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