Stealth (part 1): The only story I want to tell right now

CN: rape

I wanted to sit down this morning and write something horny about the hot guy I shagged the other day. And I will, I promise. But unfortunately, around the same time I shagged that hot guy, I got raped. And while this delicious brand of calm, white-hot rage still flows through my veins, that’s the only story I’m interested in telling.

Before we begin, a few things. Firstly, this post was written shortly after The Incident but I’ve deliberately left a gap before publication. I have also removed identifying details to try and reduce the risk of legal action, because in the UK if you can’t get your rapist convicted they can sue you for defamation if you talk publicly about what happened and identify them. To that end, please don’t try to guess who this person is. I promise if you’re thinking ‘is it so-and-so?’, you’re wrong, and it would break my heart to have any of the lovely guys who feature on this blog tainted by idle wondering. I will delete any comments which imply identity (don’t be mean to my boys!) or fish for further info (I have no interest whatsoever in identifying this man). Secondly, I’m not writing this to try and garner sympathy or help – I am fine. Since this happened I have had friends and family supporting me, legal advice on how/whether to report, and invaluable help with libel before hitting ‘publish’ (huge thanks to Neil Brown of – he’s a hero and I’m so grateful). I am extremely privileged to have this support, without it I’d have swallowed this story, as so many people have been forced to swallow theirs. It’s also important to me to say that even with Neil understandably (and professionally, and correctly!) advising me to change a few things as a belt-and-braces approach to minimising libel risk, I decided I couldn’t bear to fictionalise even tiny details. I’ve made lots of cuts for anonymity, but nothing is invented: every word is true to the best of my recollection.

He stealthed me. That’s the short version. This man I had known for long enough that I considered him a friend, he pretended to put on a condom and then – knowing I would not have consented to a shag without one – he fucked me.

Partway through fucking, he pulled out and started wanking as if he was going to come on me, and I realised there was no condom on his cock. I told him ‘oh shit! Looks like we lost the condom!’ and sat up quickly. Put my hand down to my crotch to see if I could find it where it must, surely, have just slipped off. He responded: ‘don’t worry, don’t worry’, then tried to kiss me and nudge me back into lying down so we could continue with the fuck.

That’s when the first alarm bell started ringing. It rang loud and clear in every nerve ending of my body. It rang in my head and made me feel dizzy and sick. No matter how much I enjoyed this man’s company (and I did!), and how much I’d been enjoying fucking him (I really had!) there was nothing on this planet that could have persuaded me to lie back down and not worry in that moment.

I couldn’t quite compute why he might want me to.

I didn’t kiss him back. I pushed him away from me, sat up again, said ‘no, seriously, we’ve lost the condom’ and started looking round on the bed. Put my fingers up against my cunt again to double-check it hadn’t come off inside. In that moment I still desperately wanted to believe this was an honest mistake. I said, again: ‘seriously, where did it go?’ and he looked at me, an expression on his face that could so easily have been ‘oops! Cheeky/silly me!’ and my head started swimming.

I didn’t want to believe he would do that, not then. I still didn’t want to believe it as I ran to the bathroom and sat on the toilet to fish around inside myself and see if the condom was there. I remember he knocked on the door and asked me a random horny question, as if nothing was wrong, but I had instinctively locked it, because something definitely was.

While alone in the bathroom, I ran through every possibility. Maybe I’d go back out and find it on the bed all crumpled, and we could put this behind us? Maybe when I got back he’d be frantically hunting for it, worried for my health if he couldn’t find it on the bed. Because if it wasn’t there then that might mean a trip to A&E… to fish out the condom that could only have slipped off and gone up too far inside me… because he had definitely put one on.


I desperately wanted one of those things to be the case. In that moment, even with alarm bells ringing and him knocking on the bathroom door like we were still in ‘horny’ mode, I was still trying to convince myself that I was mistaken. Looking for loopholes. Eager to make excuses. Hoping with my whole heart that this would be an embarrassing misunderstanding, for which he’d be kind enough to forgive me. I’d go back into the room, he’d be hunting for the condom, and he’d turn round with an expression of concern and say ‘did you find it? I can’t find it here, do you need me to help you fish it out?’ then I could relax.

That was not what went down.

When I went back into the bedroom, he was reclining on the bed. Casual. Easy-breezy. Chill as fuck. This was not a man hunting for a condom, worried that it might have slipped off inside my cunt. This looked to me like a man who knew that we would never find it there.

He seemed surprised by how much I cared about finding that condom! Surprised! Meanwhile I couldn’t fathom why he was acting as if I should just continue with the shag: shrug my shoulders and say ‘oops! A disappearing condom! Common problem, happens all the time, now let’s get back to fucking!’

Seeing him like that, a sense of calm descended over me. Believe it or not, despite being an anxious twat most of the time, I didn’t panic. I didn’t cry or shout at him. As he lay nonchalantly on the bed, I paid attention to the little doubting heartbeat that I’d been nurturing in the bathroom as it pounded away (maybe this is all a mistake?!), and the alarm bells that were working double-time to drown it out, to warn me (this is real!). I listened to both of those things and I knew that I’d live forever with this discordant cacophony unless and until I knew what had happened for sure.

I was very lucky to be able to cling on to that sense of calm. In that moment, instead of fight-or-flight, my adrenaline helped me to focus on one thing and one thing only: finding that condom. If I could find the condom, I could prove what had happened.

Not ‘prove’ like ‘good enough for court’, though! I still mean ‘prove’ like ‘good enough for me to accept what he’s saying and continue to shag my friend without having to worry that I might be fucking a rapist’.

I still wanted to believe him, you see. I wanted to find the condom somewhere, giving myself enough certainty that future me would never have cause to doubt.

I asked him: ‘did you actually put on a condom? Look me in the eye and say it. Tell me you put one on.’

He said what you’d expect him to say. Something along the lines of: ‘what?! Of COURSE I did! We ALWAYS use condoms! I definitely did!’

So I said: ‘OK, in that case help me find it. It isn’t inside me, so if you put one on it’s here on the bed. Help me find it.’

We looked.

We looked for that condom together, me and the guy who raped me.

He moved slowly. So slowly and so inefficiently, while I frantically ran my hands all over the patterned duvet cover, hoping I’d find a crumpled condom somewhere beneath a crease or a wrinkle. It was so empty and expansive, though! There was nowhere for anything to hide – we’d barely ruffled the sheets! I looked and looked as if I believed it might magically materialise, making a fool of me for missing something so obvious in my initial search.

I think he was surprised to realise that I wouldn’t stop until I’d found the condom, and he started to help me look with a little more fervour. Suddenly he went from ‘slow’ to ‘excited’. He’d found something on the floor.

‘Here it is!’ he exclaimed triumphantly. ‘I found it! It must have just fallen off the bed.’

He held up a condom, pinched between thumb and forefinger, from where he’d just grabbed it off the floor. Like ‘look! It’s here! I’m not lying!’ – as if the simple act of finding the condom would be enough to prove that he genuinely put one on.

But my friends, that condom proved the opposite.

I’ll tell you the fact that I emailed to my mates the second I got on the tube. The fact I made sure to document in WhatsApp messages to other people that night, and write in my journal so I would never forget it. The fact I told the nurse in the STI clinic the next morning, so she could make careful notes on my medical records. The fact that I read every day, and then re-read and re-read so I never give in to that heartbeat of doubt, even as he pops up in my messages to say this was all just an honest mistake. Here’s that fact:

The condom he grabbed from the floor had never been worn. It was packet-fresh. Rolled up neatly, as they are when you first pull them out of the foil.

Condoms fall off during sex sometimes: it happens. It’s happened to me a few times before. But when a condom comes off during sex, it ends up in one of two places: on the bed or sofa directly beneath where we’re fucking, or more often just hanging limply from my vagina. Either way, it’s noticeably used. Once you’ve rolled a condom on, you can’t roll it back up neatly so it looks like it’s never been worn – especially by fucking accident! Grab one for yourself and have a go. You cannot unfuck a condom that’s slipped off, just as you can’t tell a sex blogger who’s used thousands in her lifetime that the pristine specimen you just picked off the floor has ever been unrolled onto a cock.

Condoms fall off during sex sometimes. But they do not fall entirely off your dick, roll themselves up so they’re packet-fresh, then leap three feet off the edge of the fucking bed.

The moment he held that condom out to me, my body rang all the alarm bells it had. They brought the fucking house down! I was certain that this man had stealthed me. He’d taken the condom out of the packet, pretended to put it on, dropped it onto the floor and then fucked me.

There was a voice in my head telling me I should probably look more upset. I was meant to cry and feel small and vulnerable and frightened. But luckily, I didn’t feel frightened. I didn’t cry. I felt humiliated and used and disgusted and monstrously disappointed in him, but I did not feel ‘raped.’ I felt incensed. Many other feelings too, of course, but broadly this white-hot calm rage: the wave I’ve been riding through so many of the days since. That anger has carried me through all the admin and clean-up that I’m going to label ‘the aftermath’, which I’ll tell you about in a different blog post. Few tears, though: very few tears.

And that’s quite dangerous, for me at least.

Gathering my stuff from his flat with measured movements, putting my clothes on carefully, calmly drinking a glass of water to help my dry mouth before I left, delivering a stern, calm bollocking in which I informed him that what he did is a sex crime… all the things I am proud of myself for managing also ring out in my mind as reasons why I’m not a ‘proper’ victim. Why calling it rape (which it is) makes me feel silly and melodramatic. Even my own brain, the one that’s supposed to love me, is still throwing out internalised misogyny: is it really rape if you’re not weeping? Is it really ‘proper’ rape if all he did was trick you?

In the moment I realised what had happened, I was extremely lucky that a calm, angry version of myself popped by to hold my hand through the immediate aftermath. But the immediate aftermath was just the start. The hardest part has been holding firm to my knowledge of what he did in the face of his post-hoc lies. Shortly after it happened, as I was on the tube heading home, he messaged me to tell me – absurdly – that he’d found the condom after I’d left. It was next to the bed all along! If I would only let him come round to talk to me, he’d be able to explain. This was all just a misunderstanding.

The hardest part of living this is holding firm on what I know to be true. But the hardest part about telling this story honestly is admitting just how desperately I wanted to believe him. This guy. My fucking friend. My brain was ready to jump through all manner of hoops to not have to accept what he’d done. I am convinced that if I’d said yes to him right then, he’d have come straight round to my place and charmed me into forgetting what I knew to be the truth.

He could have easily sweet-talked his way around the soft parts – the ones that rely on my own instincts and knowledge and boundaries. The fact that he tried to kiss me and nudge me down, saying ‘don’t worry, don’t worry’ when I realised there was no condom?

Ah he was just being eager!

The fact that he followed me to the toilet to distract me with a random horny question?

He just didn’t realise that losing the condom would be such a big deal!

The fact that he showed no interest in finding the condom, as if he knew it had never truly been ‘lost’?

Maybe he thought I’d found it already? Haha!

The fact that, honestly, condoms just don’t tend to hurl themselves three feet away from where you’ve been fucking?

Maybe we’d been more vigorous in the shag than I remembered?

How about the fact that when we were making out just before that shag, he’d been more pushy than usual with his bare dick to the point where I had to roll my eyes and nudge him to get a condom from the drawer?

That didn’t happen, I’m misremembering! …Wait – why didn’t I mention that before? Seems suspicious.

Or how about the fact that at this very moment I have some draft stream-of-consciousness notes about an evening with him a couple of months prior to the stealthing in which I say [direct quote]: “this time he pushes me for bareback and I realise I do want him gone now – I don’t like the person I have to be when I tell him, repeatedly, ‘no’”.

He was just being enthusiastic, that’s no reason to call him a rapist! And besides, who’s to say you didn’t write that after you’d come home? And maybe you were misremembering! And besides, he was just being eager! And if you already knew he was pushy why did you keep fucking this guy?? What’s wrong with you???

I can see my certainty and resolve go up in petrol-soaked flames so quickly if I let him get to work. My brain already wants to tell me that I’m stupid and dramatic and wrong. I probably just have a victim complex and I’m making it up and exaggerating and besides won’t this blog post Do Numbers plus I’m a fucking sex blogger I write all the time about how much I love bareback maybe he thought I’d enjoy it and anyway he’s been pushy before and I kept shagging him who’s to say this isn’t exactly what I wanted…

If he managed to persuade me to dismiss all those alarm bells… my judgment and my instincts and experience… who’s to say he couldn’t also have convinced me that I never saw that condom in his hand?

It was packet-fresh, people. Pristine and neat and unworn.

It’s disgusting to have such a visceral, personal reminder of why people often don’t believe stories like this one. Because the truth is, if I hadn’t sent an email to my friends in the immediate aftermath, and the WhatsApp messages into the group chat, made notes in my journal and let the health worker in the STI clinic the next morning log the salient details on my medical records… told the fucking story in the moment… I genuinely think he could have nudged me into disbelieving myself. Sweet-talked me into joining him as we rewrote history together.

Far better to embrace the comfort of forgetfulness than live with the knowledge that this man – my friend – raped me.



Part 2 of this story is here.

Meanwhile here’s the incomparable Michaela Coel. I don’t think I’d have had the certainty or courage to call this behaviour out in the moment if it weren’t for I May Destroy You. Thank you x


All comments are pre-moderated. I mean what I said in the intro – do not try to guess who it is. If you think you know, you’re wrong. And if you guess on social media anyway, you will be instantly blocked. Even if you’re my friend/a regular commenter, and even if (especially if?) you’re joking.



  • If you ever need someone to talk to, or anything, let me know. I’m only still here because of extensive and lengthy support from RASASC and I only turned to them years later.

  • MintSpies says:

    I know this means precious little, a comment from a random internet stranger, but I’m so angry on your behalf.

  • Tess says:

    I’m so sorry that happened to you :(

    This is such a powerful peice of your writing. Every emotion comes through with intensity.

  • Clair says:

    I’m so sorry this happened to you. The event itself and the loss of trust in someone you thought was a friend. I hope you’re getting a lot of support from your trusted networks.

  • Rhube says:

    I am so angry on your behalf. And so glad you’ve had good friends an legal advice to support you. Thank you for writing frankly about your experiences, I know it cannot have been easy. I hope it will make a lot of men rethink attitudes they may have to this sort of thing – it’s so not OK.

  • Di4naO says:

    I think what always come back to me and haunt me when I work with people that have been abused is exactly what you describe here.

    How easy it seems for our brains, our minds, to prefer to gloss over it. To forget it. To let it disappear. Being through education or not wanting it to be true, not wanting to force a re-evaluation of past memories and feeling… I do not know enough about the why and the mechanisms.

    But yeah. Seen it so much. Did it myself. Thank you for talking about it and thank you for talking about that part so well. It is always the hardest part for me. It… Hurts in different ways. Not what was done to the person but the length at which our minds go so they may gloss over it and not accept the act.

  • Guy says:

    It’s horrible that this man did this to you.

    It’s even more horrible that you have to tread carefully lest you accidentally identify him and give him grounds for a libel action against you.

    I’m so sorry.

  • Valery North says:

    First, I’m glad you’ve had so much support and advice, so that you’ve been able to tell this story and highlight that this is a thing that happens, and shouldn’t.

    Stealthing is such an insidious form of sexual assault (rape), for all the reasons you pick out in this piece. And even in groups where I would have thought the people were better informed and better placed to understand, I have had to argue and explain why it really does count as rape.

    But what comes across most of all is how it made you feel, your always evocative writing skills convey the experience and emotions.

  • DGAF says:

    Is this really a thing now? What is wrong with boys these days that they can’t follow simple rules of engagement like put a rubber on the dick when inside someone?

    Thanks for sharing your story and a roadmap to all the feelings that happen in sexual assault.

    • Girl on the net says:

      I highly doubt it’s a recent problem. This has been happening for a very long time, it’s just that in the past people weren’t as able to share their stories about it. Even today, people are often dismissed or belittled or disbelieved. I suspect in the past there was just more of that disbelief and dismissal, and even fewer stories, because the more of the former there is, the less we get of the latter. I think it was only the Sexual Offences Act 2003 that actually made stealthing illegal in the UK. That doesn’t mean no one did it prior to then, just that’s when it became prosecutable. There’s only been one stealthing conviction in the UK since that law came into force, despite it being (according to a specialist I spoke to – more on this in a later post) likely the most common form of rape.

      Over half the women I spoke to in the wake of this incident had a similar story. It’s not new, and it’s not rare. Sorry, I’m not trying to be antagonistic it just feels very important for me to clarify that it’s not just a thing *now* if you see what I mean. It’s not a new trend, it’s insidious and rife and has been for a very long time.

      Thank you so much for your kind words about the post too, really appreciate it ❤️

  • megan says:

    that guy is a complete waste of perfectly good oxygen.

    i’m glad you caught him at it n that you documented it.

    i’m glad your friends n family are supporting you.

    keep believing yourself.

  • SpaceCaptainSmith says:

    Oh god. I know I’m coming late to this one, as usual, but so sorry to read it. What an awful, evil thing to do to someone, and especially to a trusting friend.

    Very impressed by how you say you handled this, both in the immediate aftermath and beyond, up to writing this powerful blog. Well done. I hope it gets the attention it deserves.

    (I never watched I May Destroy You because I find the subject matter too upsetting, and too close to my work. But made myself read this, and I’m glad I did.)

  • Terry Bull says:

    Oh no, I’m so sorry to hear this. I hope you get all the support, love and care you need, this just shouldn’t happen

  • 'Alice' says:

    I’m so sorry that this happened to you. All strength and power to you. ❤️

  • Simon says:

    I think this is a very brave post and I am impressed at the way you handled yourself, you did absolutely nothing wrong and as a bloke I think you got your man and his action worked out correctly.

    I wish it could be read out to teenage kids at school as part of sex education.

    I am now in my 50s but my life has always been driven by my sex drive, boys and men need some controlling sometimes and should be taught what loosing control of those urges can mean, especially in these days of access to free porn, the women should always lead even if the man is in a dominat position.

    Thanks for posting.. I hope more people see this.


    • Girl on the net says:

      Thank you Si, that’s kind of you. I think I need to pick up on the idea of ‘urges’ though and just clarify on this.

      I hope that the evidence of all my work here on the blog shows that I, too, have urges. Really intense and powerful ones. I love sex, I have a really specific and intense kink for *bareback* sex even, and yet I have never felt the need to trick or coerce a man into having the kind of sex I want.

      I don’t think this is about a man losing control of his urges, or that men need special training to learn to control themselves. His sex drive wasn’t something uncontrollable or wild like a hurricane or snowstorm, and the problem wasn’t that he was horny (as I say in the post, I’d been enjoying having sex with him – sex was already on the table!). It isn’t really about his ‘urges’, it’s about the fact that he treated my boundaries like they weren’t important, and me like I wasn’t a person. I don’t believe rapes like these happen because men are horny, I believe it happens because they value their desires over the humanity of the person they’re raping, and they often believe they’ll get away with it. So from this, I don’t think the solution is to educate men, I think the solution is to hold them accountable. But – as we’ll cover in a later post – I don’t think under the current justice system it would ever be possible for me to do that.

  • Mosscat says:

    Beyond angry for all the harm that has been done to you. Betrayal on so many levels. You are right to feel rage. Sending support.

  • Regular reader says:

    Your writing remains magnificent. I’m so sorry this happened, and what’s really sticking with me is how casual it sounded for him. How easily he lied, and how easily he tried to cover it up with another lie. Because your boundaries weren’t important to him, it sounds like he assumed they just weren’t a big deal.

  • Chris says:

    It’s hard to find an authentic way to express love to someone you haven’t met before, so what do you write when that’s the sentiment you want to share? It’s a relief you are taking care of yourself, that you’ve found help, and it’s an inspiration to us, your readers, to do the same. As with all your writing, you do a wonderful job of communicating passion and direction while also acknowledging how complicated some of this can be. Thank you for being you.

  • Girl on the net says:

    Thank you all so much for your kind comments! I want to stress that I am OK – as I say, this happened a while ago, and I’ve been very lucky to have support and help dealing with the aftermath and other such stuff. I generally only post about the dark things when time has passed and I’m in a place where I’m comfortable to do that, just to try and make sure I’m not using my blog as a kind of in-the-moment therapy (which probs wouldn’t be healthy for me). Kinda like in this post I wrote while going through the break-up in 2020:

    But yeah. It was massively shit and I was so angry with him. I appreciate your solidarity and rage. He’s a prick. But this behaviour is depressingly common – he’s not special or evil or monstrous, just a common-or-garden prick.

    I’ve got a few more posts lined up about this to cover off some of the other aspects, but for now I’m gonna write some of the stuff that’s way more fun: porn. Yay! Thank you all for being so fucking lovely, especially those of you who have satisfied my ravenous ego by complimenting my writing (I always love that) and please don’t worry about me <3

  • Simon says:

    I cannot believe that people still behave like this. You don’t deserve to be treated this, and I’m really glad you’ve managed to find people to support you.

    I’m not normally a violent person, but my first reaction on reading the post was ‘any man who does that should have his dick cut off!’

  • Mariella says:

    I hope you went to the police about this. He needs to be reported in case he tries it on again. A pos like this guy, especially an arrogant one doesn’t deserve to be let off.

  • SpaceCaptainSmith says:

    Replying to comment from Mariella above, in case this doesn’t land in the right place. While I agree in principle that anyone who does things like this should be reported to the police and get the punishment they deserve… there are many good reasons why victims don’t report, and why that may not in fact be a practical option. (Which might be the subject of a future blog post I’m guessing.) So ‘go to the police!’ is not always the best advice.

    • Girl on the net says:

      Thanks SCS, and yes you’re right – I’ll definitely cover this off in a later blog post but yes you’re right, there are many good reasons why people don’t and I’ve weighed all of those up against the reasons to do it, the evidence I have (which is good!) etc etc. Mariella, in the UK, there has only ever been *one* successful stealthing prosecution, even though (according to a criminal barrister I spoke to who specialises in rape and sexual assault cases) stealthing is likely the most common form of rape, so the odds are not in the favour of anyone who has this happen to them. If they choose not to report, it’s probably not because they believe the person deserves to be ‘let off’ or because they don’t care whether it happens to others, it is almost certainly a combination of recognising the risks to themselves, the stress of going through the process, and the futility of trying to get a case any further than the police or CPS. As I say, more later but yeah this is a tricky one so I want to tackle it in depth. It’ll be part 3 or 4 of the series I think, I’m still editing it at the mo.

  • Ferns says:

    Ugh ugh ugh :((.

    Devastating, horrific.

    And the fucking gaslighting on top JFC :(.

    Thank you for sharing it: I know it can’t have been easy.

    All the love.


  • Ro says:

    First of all, I’m so horrified to read this. It doesn’t matter how many times you say you’re ok, it’s still devastating.
    After that, it’s admirable that you are so honest and open about this. I just hope it could help make people (even one person) think twice before committing such an awful act.

  • Bec says:

    I’m so sorry he did this to you. The entitlement is mind boggling. Hope you’re surrounded by good people.

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