Exhibitionism | Sex Addiction | Sex Addiction Australia
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Private Counselling For Sex Addictions: Sydney&Online

Exhibitionism has been historically documented for centuries, and can take many forms. Sex Addiction Australia discusses exhibitionism in the context of psycho-sexual disorder.

Exhibitionism was first described as a disorder in a scientific journal by a French physician in 1877, and by psychiatrist Charles Lasegue, (1809-1883).


Exhibitionism is considered to be a disorder when it interferes with normal sexuality and quality of life, and when an individual’s normal daily capacity to function becomes impaired by exhibitionism.

Like any other addiction, exhibitionism develops over time, and may become a compulsive disorder, also referred to as ‘Apodysophilia’.

Persons who have addicted to exhibitionism often describe their sexual gratification experience as ‘above and beyond’ the sexual act itself. The preceding stage of preoccupying, fantasising, and planning to act out the behaviour provides a superior sense of achieving a ‘high’, not matched by the sexual acting-out act itself, or any other sexual acts. This is a classic and significant part of sex addiction.

Exhibitionism can be classified as;

  • Paraphilia/Fetish
  • Sexual Addiction


  • Flashing is an exhibitionist’s behaviour, involving the exposure of a person’s genitals, often in private settings for the purpose of fun and getting attention, and less for reasons of causing sexual arousal in others, or the self.
  • Mooning is a display of bare bottoms by pulling down trousers and underwear, intending mockery or causing embarrassment, and less for reasons of intending sexual arousal in others, or the self.
  • Streaking is an extreme exhibitionist’s behaviour of running in the nude through public places, to boost ego and personal gratification.
  • Candaulism is a specific exhibitionist’s behaviour, when a person exposes their spouse or partner in sexually explicit ways, for reasons of personal gratifications.
  • Reflectoporn is an act of deriving a sexual thrill and gratification from stripping and taking photographs of one-self or an other person, using reflective surfaces or mirrors, with the intent to exhibiting such images in public places, including uploads to the Internet.
  • Anasyrma is a exhibitionist’s behaviour of lifting a skirt, towel, or blanket when not wearing any underwear, to expose genitals.
  • Martymachlia is classed as a paraphilia, wich involves sexual arousal and sexual attraction when enticing others to watch the performance of a sexual act.


A survey included 185 exhibitionists to research the preferred reactions they would have liked their victims had displayed.

  • 35.1% would have liked consensual intercourse with the victim.
  • 19.5% reported not needing any reaction at all.
  • 15.1% wished their victims had exposed their genitals.
  • 14.1% were seeking admiration.
  • 11.9% said that any reaction would do.
  • 3.8% chose anger and disgust as a preferred reaction.
  • 0.5% would have been more satisfied if their victims would have displayed fear.


Exhibitionism is a treatable complex sexual addiction and fetish disorder. Please contact Sex Addiction Australia if exhibitionism causes distress in your life. Call (+61) 02 9380 4486 during EST office hours, or email info@sexaddictionaustralia.com.au for information or booking a confidential consultation with Heide.

Exhibitionists may offend against the law. Please consult our legal LEGAL page.