News & Opinion | May 9, 2022 11:42 am

A Woman Was Charged With Sexual Assault for Poking Holes in Condoms

Poking holes in condoms: is it sexual assault or is it sexual assault?

An opened condom wrapper with an unused condom
Yet another reason men need birth control of their own.
Larry Washburn

As a woman who has spent the entirety of my sexually active life trying to avoid pregnancy at all costs, I always assumed the whole “baby crazed women poking holes in condoms” thing was one of those old wives’ tales, like the one about razors in Halloween candy. Unfortunately for women everywhere, however, it turns out some of us actually are doing this shit — namely, a woman in Germany who was recently found guilty of sexual assault for pulling the stunt.

After her 42-year-old “friend with benefits” pressed charges upon discovering his condoms had been intentionally compromised, the woman reportedly received a six-month suspended sentence in what the judge described as a “historic” case of “reverse stealthing,” according to Deutsche Welle.

Stealthing, which usually refers to the act of a penis-having partner removing a condom during sex without their partner’s knowledge or consent, has been the subject of increased media attention in recent years and movements calling for the act to be recognized as a criminal form of sexual assault.

While prosecutors in the case were reportedly unsure what specific charges could be levied against the woman, the judge ultimately determined the act was comparable to stealthing, as “the condoms were rendered unusable without the man’s knowledge or his consent,” and thus warranted a charge of sexual assault. “No means no here as well,” Judge Astrid Salewski reportedly told the court.

Obviously condom pricking is extremely reprehensible behavior and thankfully justice has been served, but the question of why someone would feel compelled to do this remains. For one thing, even if you are desperate to have a baby and/or trap a man by having one, we all know that never, ever works. Forcing people into parenthood has never once been a good idea for anyone involved (which is something I bring up apropos of this situation and this situation only and definitely not in reference to any other highly publicized issue over reproductive rights that may or may not be a topic of debate right now).

But aside from all of that, if you really wanted to trick a man into impregnating you (to be clear, you shouldn’t, but just hypothetically speaking), there are much easier ways to do it. In my experience, anyway, it is usually much more difficult to convince a man to actually wear a condom than to get him to have sex without one. In most cases, you probably don’t even have to lie about being on birth control. If you don’t bring it up and don’t ask him to use a condom, he’ll probably just assume you’ve got it all taken care of and gleefully board the next train to rawdog city. In case you haven’t heard, men tend to be pretty reckless when it comes to this stuff and are generally very willing to let women assume the burden of contraception. Still, that doesn’t mean men deserve to get duped into fathering a child, and intentionally misleading a partner about your shared risk of pregnancy is absolutely inexcusable behavior.

Anyway, all this just to say that this is why men need access to long acting reversible contraception of their own; because everyone, regardless of gender, deserves complete control over their reproductive health and shouldn’t have that control threatened by the desires, beliefs or actions of another person or entity — which again, is something I just happen to be bringing up for no particular reason, why do you ask?