This week, Chiamaka takes a quick look at the dangers and appeal of voyeurism and exhibitionism.
An exhibitionist is a person who becomes sexually aroused by being observed while naked or engaging in sexual acts. Often times as a result of social conditioning, many exhibitionists merely fantasize about it prior to ever actually performing these acts in front of people or in a public space. The term exhibitionist is closely connected to the term voyeur. A voyeur is someone who is sexually gratified by observing people. Voyeurs typically become turned on watching people engaging in private acts, including sex. The exhibitionist is the person who puts themselves on display and the voyeur is the person who derives pleasure from watching the exhibitionist. Exhibitionists can be people of any gender or sexuality.
For most exhibitionists, their exhibitions are usually done in a consensual manner. They are usually careful not to reveal their kinks in children’s spaces or to immature audiences. The exhibitionist also applies discretion and does not showcase their kink in inappropriate settings. The people seeing their bodies or hearing their words usually understand the situation and accept it. They are mostly in control of the situation and choose whether they leave or stay. This differs completely from those who have a mental health condition called ‘exhibitionistic disorder’. An example of this disorder is flashing or a person who flashes themselves. This condition is characterized by a compulsion to unexpectedly expose one’s genitals or sexual activities to strangers or other non-consenting people.
Engaging in or fantasizing about being an exhibitionist is a common fantasy. A good number of folks are turned on by the thought of having sex in communal spaces, such as workplaces, bathrooms, restaurants and more. In a recent article I wrote, I mentioned that since a select few kinks have become mainstream, they seem to be desired by the bulk of society. For instance, many people (even vanilla) are now more open to things like spankings, choking and touching themselves in front of their partner than were before.
In general, when the shame about a particular topic is removed, more people are obviously more comfortable or interested in engaging in it. The less scandalized kinks or kink life becomes, the more people want to participate in it. Unfortunately, this may give way for pretenders to position themselves as experts or authority on the lifestyle. As a person practising kink life, it is important to watch out for such people and avoid them completely; people who are looking to hurt you or put you in harm’s way. For example, a scene in a public space must take into account lighting, the proximity of the other people to that space and the general safety of that area. If a public area is devoid of these things, one could place themselves and others in harm’s way.
Voyeurism and Exhibitionism are very fun ways for people to spice up their sex life. They can also improve a person’s confidence, and enable them to be more secure in their own body’s responses during sexual activity or playing in front of their partner. However, they can also go wrong and end in dire consequences for the people involved. For instance, a voyeur watching two people have sex who have not consented to being watched would be considered sexual assault. Practice discernment, communicate clearly prior to any sexual activity and always play safe.