exhibitionism (noun, exhibitionist): a paraphilia of the solicitational/allurative type in which sexuoerotic arousal and facilitation or attainment of orgasm are responsive to and contingent on evoking surprise, dismay, shock, or panic from a stranger by illicitly exhibiting an erotic part of the body, including the genitals [from Latin, exhibere, to exhibit]. The reciprocal paraphilic condition is voyeurism, also known as being a "Peeping Tom." See also peodeiktophilia. The condition of being responsive to, or dependent on the surprise, debasement, shock, or outcry of a stranger (usually female), unexpectedly exposed to the sight of the penis, in order to obtain one's erotic arousal and facilitate or achieve orgasm. The actual event may be replayed in a masturbation or coital fantasy.

Dictionary of Sexology Project: Main Index

What is Exhibitionism?

Although the word exhibitionism is thrown around lightly in our society, sometimes associated with little more than Mardi Gras or trenchcoat sight gags, this sexual fetish can have far more serious overtones. And while exhibitionism can often be good dirty fun, it can also be perverted to the point of personal addiction. According to the American Psychiatric Association, exhibitionism is diagnosed when:

A. Over a period of at least 6 months, the person experiences frequent and recurring fantasies about exposing the genitalia to a complete stranger.

B. The person has acted on these urges, or the sexual urges or fantasies cause marked distress or interpersonal difficulty.

Of course, meeting these requirements or not meeting them does not necessarily destine you to the looney bin. However, if you or a friend you know (Yes, I sound like a PSA , but bear with me here) exhibit some of these qualities, it might be worth it to look into those desires.

By no means should a certain sexual tilt or preference be squelched or repressed- for it is our own unique likes and dislikes about sex that make us into the highly sexual beings that we are. What differentiates healthy exhibitionism from non-healthy exhibitionism is an awareness of doing it in the right place of time. Tits for beads is fine and okay at Mardi Gras, but it will result in your arrest if you decide that the local day care would benefit from the sight of your exposed pussy. And exhibitionism in jail is certainly of a different nature than that in the real world.

That said, there are some tips and tricks for being a safe exhibitionist- without having to join some psycho nudist colony. There are business that cater torwards exhibitionists- even vacation spots where nudity is encouraged (ever heard of Hedonism, Jamaica)? Most big cities have BDSM/fetish sub-communities that not only welcome but embrace your sexual fantasies. And of course, the online community deserves a fair mention as a place where you can find people who share your same desire to fuck in a Brooklyn fire escape. I won't list the porn, but I know janesguide.com is a very informative site/ link page to communities on the internet.

I wish I could say there was a safe way to have a safe expose- unfortunately there isn't, without killing the adrenaline rush the exhibitionist gets from the fear of discovery. My recommendation? Experiment with the mild- go braless or without underwear for instance- but keep people guessing. In my experiences, this gives a bigger thrill than taking out Mr. or Miss Happy for the entire world to see. And keep in mind that exhibition fantasies are that- a fantasy. Sometimes a fantasy is better thought about than acted on.

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