Unlocking the facts of exhibitionism

  • By Team TDO

‘Flash Gordon’ holds an important role in a multinational organization. His friends know him as hardworking and somewhat distant and aloof. ‘Suzy’ is a cheerful girl who is studying for her honours in English Literature. Come the night, both fulfil another important role for a worldwide organization - the World Wide Webcam!

Exhibitionism is a term used for people who like to expose their bodies especially their genitals or pubic areas to other people and can be categorized as a behavioural quirk or aberration.

In pre-internet days exhibitionists really had to choose strategic locations like swimming pools or windows to do their job. It could be changing clothes with the windows open to posing nude in public or even urinating in public. Yes, they might love to expose their bodies but exposing their identities while they do it could be a bit of a bother! The advent of the internet proved to be a blessing to exhibitionists, who could now safely expose their bodies to the whole world with virtually no danger of exposing their identities.

Is exhibitionism a perversion?

Well, we all take our clothes off from time to time don’t we? However it entirely depends on what your motivations are while taking your clothes off that will decide whether you are just a ‘clothes changer’ or an ‘exhibitionist’… and most importantly from the point of view of who is watching! Taking clothes off in front of lover/partner is normal but if it is done for the benefit of the gardener, the milkman, the neighbour and the webcam, then that can label you as abnormal.

Why do humans behave the way they do? Why is certain behaviour acceptable and a few other ones frowned upon? The exhibitionist is a person who craves attention and probably isn’t being appreciated enough for the person he is, which makes him go berserk enough to show it all.

Mental nudity

Exhibitionists have an entirely mental need to ‘go nude’. Physical nudity or exposing themselves while masturbating is a symbolic need for them to get noticed or call attention to themselves in some way. Their basic craving is for appreciation and attention, and yes, there is an injured psyche behind the exposed flesh which retaliates in anger and thrusts itself or forces itself upon the attention of strangers.

Exhibitionists in online chat rooms can safely expose themselves where such things are allowed and encouraged. It probably would give them the much-needed appreciation, where there is an audience of voyeurs who would love to see them exhibit.

The obvious danger here is that minors could be exposed to such dangers and influenced to act out in similar ways by exhibitionists. This could really cause some social and mental damage to them. Some of these compulsive nudists could well be doing it with some serious sexual intent and this is where it gets murky.

Is the exhibitionist a sick person?

Sometimes relationships get into trouble or sexual dysfunction can cause people to get their kicks by exposing themselves, as to them this is safer than the pain of sexual rejection. Others do it because of sexual guilt! Sexual guilt for having bad thoughts or wanting to do perform certain sexual acts makes them want to expose their guilt-ridden selves by assuming another identity in front of the webcam and performing those acts only to free themselves off the guilt. These acts could range from just plain nudity (flashing of genitals), masturbation to sexual Intercourse. Most exhibitionists don’t show their faces while performing these acts as that could easily expose their identity. So it isn’t like the person isn’t aware of the consequences of his or her actions.

A psychological evaluation is necessary and therapy might differ for different individuals, however we can reach a common ground here by stating most exhibitionists expose because they don’t feel good about themselves in some way or are compulsive attention-seekers. And of course, not to forget the hundreds of voyeurs who would gladly watch an exhibitionist in action and then point fingers and call it really sick!

Is there a deeper psychological need for people who bare it all? Smoking in PUBLIC places… A take on exhibitionism!

Let’s peel the covers.