Read Gemma's comments for the Metro on the issue of stealthing:
Is stealthing illegal?
As a nonconsensual, penetrative sex act, stealthing is rape – although there is no specific offence of removing a condom during sex.
‘The practice of removing a condom when an individual has provided consent on the basis of one being worn is clearly a serious matter,’ Gemma Lindfield, a barrister at 5 St Andrew’s Hill, told Metro.co.uk. ‘If a condom is removed without the knowledge of the person being penetrated then the question arises where they have the capacity to make the choice to engage in intercourse.
‘Sexual intercourse is supposed to be an act between two people who are fully aware of the circumstances of the act that they are engaging in. If someone has agreed to have sex on the basis of a condom being worn that is the act that is the free choice that is made and to remove it withdraws the consent.’
She added that ‘sex should be an enjoyable act between two consenting adults’.
‘Where a person chooses to remove a condom they are removing choice and as a result, consent,’ Lindfield added. ‘At the heart of the act of rape is control. The removal of a condom during sex is plainly a highly controlling act that exposes the victim to sexually transmitted diseases and in the case of a woman, pregnancy.’
Robert Conway, director of criminal defence at law firm Vardags, agreed.
‘The issue is whether consent was given on the understanding that contraception would be used,’ he told Metro.co.uk.
‘If so then surreptitiously going behind that agreement could be judged to undermine the original consent and mark the end of consensual sexual activity.’