19 Apr Exhibitionism is Often Misunderstood: The Truth Behind the Disorder
Exhibitionism is the act of exposing oneself in a public or semi-public environment. Typically, the exhibitionist will expose parts of the body that are not normally exposed, such as the genitals, breasts or buttocks. The person may have a compulsion to expose themselves to friends, acquaintances or complete strangers. For example, streaking is a well-known form of exhibitionism. Exposing oneself to an intimate partner is not normally classed as part of the disorder.
Some of the types of behaviour that characterise an exhibitionist include:
- Anasyrma: the lifting of the skirt when not wearing underwear, to expose genitals.
- Candaulism: when a person exposes his or her partner in a sexually provocative manner.
- Martymachlia: a paraphilia which involves sexual attraction to having others watch the execution of a sexual act.
- Mooning: the display of bare buttocks by pulling down of trousers and underwear. The act is most often done for the sake of humour, disparagement, or mockery.
- Reflectoporn: the act of stripping and taking a photograph using an object with a reflective surface as a mirror, then posting the image on the Internet in a public forum
Exhibitionism is often widely misunderstood as many people believe the exhibitionist wants their victims to feel scared or frightened when they are exposed to, when in fact, that is not always the case. A recent survey suggests that the majority of exhibitionists would have liked their victims to partake in consensual intercourse with them. Second to that, they were not looking for any particular reaction from their victim which means the act is more about the exhibitionist, rather than their victim. The smallest percentage of exhibitionists (0.5%) would have liked their victims to display fear.
If you think you may have a problem with exhibitionism, seek professional help today.