home
RSS
Are you an exhibitionist?
August 4th, 2011
07:47 AM ET

Are you an exhibitionist?

Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author, blogs about sex on Thursdays on The Chart. Read more from him at his website, GoodInBed.

Are you an exhibitionist? Maybe even a little bit of one? Have you ever fooled around in the backseat of a taxi, or gotten it on at your parents’ house, or made out in an elevator or stairwell, or enjoyed some great sex amidst the great outdoors?

In my experience as a sexuality counselor, exhibitionism tops the list of frequent fantasies for both men and women and is also the inner desire that couples are most likely to translate into action. So what is it about being potentially caught in the act that’s such a turn-on?

On a simple level, the thrill of possibly being seen or heard while otherwise sexually engaged increases the brain’s transmission of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that’s a close cousin to adrenaline and plays a big role in sexual excitement.

As psychologist Elaine Hatfield says, “Adrenaline makes the heart grow fonder.” And for those couples whose hearts are already deep in the throes of infatuation, exhibitionist behavior may simply be a byproduct of that all-consuming, can’t-keep-your-hands-off-each-other feeling, in which love is not only blind to the opinions of others, but also to their gaze.

And of course, for some, exhibitionism is more a matter of practicality (like when you’re living at home or with roommates) than a function of actual desire.

But still, a propensity for exhibitionism runs far and deep and many psychologists theorize that its broad appeal may be strongly related to our first youthful experiences with the intense pleasure of orgasm, which most of us experienced (whether on our own or with someone else) when the possibility of getting caught was close by - say, in our parents’ house.

And, not unlike the development of a fetish, these formative experiences may establish a powerful link between the particular risk of getting caught and the singular pleasure of sexual gratification.

As a result, even years later, the possibility of getting caught as manifest in our exhibitionistic urges elicits powerful feelings of sexual desire. We may be far from our teenage years (and even have kids of our own), but that doesn’t mean we’re not above acting like horny, hormone-addled teenagers when home for the holidays.

With exhibitionism, there is also an underlying sense of power that comes from being observed - a power in knowing that we may be arousing the watcher(s).

In their recent book on the Internet and sexual desire, authors Ogi Ogas, Ph.D., and Sai Gaddam, Ph.D., note that “one in four webcams on the free webcam network ChatRoulette are aimed at a penis.”

This strong compulsion to experience power through the premise of arousing others would explain why guys like Anthony Weiner “sext” photos to women they’ve never even met. It’s not about specific sexual gratification, but more about a general feeling of power.

While most women probably don’t get turned on by random photos of guys’ genitals, that’s not to say that women don’t also experience a power and pleasure in being desired, hence the female propensity to engage in other acts of exhibitionism just as much as men.

Classical paintings of nudes often featured women who were more interested in soliciting the sexual gaze of the disembodied spectator than anyone else with whom they happened to be depicted, and today much amateur porn features women who are often making love as much - even more - to the person on the other side of the camera as the person they’re actually with.

Exhibitionism is not just about the thrill of getting caught, it’s about being seen, admired, loved and appreciated. Not long ago there was a spate of Hollywood starlets — Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan — who were exposing themselves “accidentally” while wearing short skirts with nothing on underneath.

Clearly, this could have just been their desperate ploy for press, but it also felt like their desperate attempt to be wanted and sexually craved by one and all.

In the end, a little playful exhibitionism can be fun and exhilarating and may well be part of our innate sexual psychology—but remember, it can also get you arrested. While you may enjoy drinking a fruity cocktail like Sex on the Beach, don’t take that as a suggestion to actually have sex on the beach, as one young couple recently did. You could end up in jail.

It’s one thing not to be able to keep your hands off each other in public; it’s quite another when you can’t keep your genitals off each other. In that case, go get a room. Odds are you can find one with a view.

Follow @CNNHealth on Twitter


soundoff (1,383 Responses)
  1. SEO Marketing Agency

    https://mustiquecompany.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=consciousgrowthmarketing.com/

    June 23, 2021 at 05:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Google Marketing Experts

    You've made some really good points there. I looked on the web for more information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this site.

    http://oasisatredding.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=consciousgrowthmarketing.com/

    June 23, 2021 at 05:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Best RV Repair Near Me

    https://community.esri.com/external-link.jspa?url=https://www.ocrvcenter.com

    June 23, 2021 at 05:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Social Media Marketing Market

    Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thank you so much, However I am having difficulties with your RSS. I donít know why I am unable to join it. Is there anybody having similar RSS problems? Anybody who knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanx!!

    http://2brush.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=consciousgrowthmarketing.com

    June 23, 2021 at 06:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. RV Awning Repair Near Me

    Very good info. Lucky me I found your website by chance (stumbleupon). I have book-marked it for later!

    http://diversity4children.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.ocrvcenter.com

    June 23, 2021 at 06:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. RV Engine Repair Near Me

    http://oneofakindworldwide.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.ocrvcenter.com

    June 23, 2021 at 07:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. RV Chassis Repair Near Me

    Excellent blog you've got here.. Itís difficult to find excellent writing like yours these days. I honestly appreciate people like you! Take care!!

    https://www.docin.com/jsp_cn/mobile/tip/android_v1.jsp?forward=https://ocrvcenter.com

    June 23, 2021 at 10:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. RV Air Conditioning Repair Near Me

    http://phillypa.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.com

    June 23, 2021 at 10:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. RV Tire Repair Near Me

    Having read this I thought it was extremely informative. I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this information together. I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

    http://www.1a-sexsuchmaschine.de/browse.php?url=http://ocrv.mobi/

    June 23, 2021 at 11:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. cvs covid testing near me

    Hello there! This post couldnít be written any better! Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept talking about this. I most certainly will send this information to him. Pretty sure he's going to have a great read. Thank you for sharing!

    http://wip.lt/meniu/r.php?u=https://masternearme.com/

    June 23, 2021 at 12:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. RV Repair Near Here

    I need to to thank you for this very good read!! I certainly loved every little bit of it. I've got you book-marked to check out new stuff you postÖ

    http://au-health.ru/go.php?url=https://ocrvexperts.com/

    June 23, 2021 at 12:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. 99 cent store near me

    https://worldpress.org/frametop.cfm?https://bestshopnearme.com/

    June 23, 2021 at 16:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. RV Brake Repair Near Me

    http://vauxhall-angels.de/wbb/redir.php?url=http://rvcollisionrepairpaintshop.com/

    June 23, 2021 at 18:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. recycling near me

    I was more than happy to uncover this great site. I need to to thank you for ones time due to this wonderful read!! I definitely liked every little bit of it and I have you book-marked to check out new information in your website.

    http://www.magrabioptical.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=quotenearme.com

    June 23, 2021 at 18:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. michaels near me

    An impressive share! I've just forwarded this onto a friend who was conducting a little research on this. And he in fact bought me dinner simply because I stumbled upon it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time to talk about this issue here on your blog.

    https://tieba.baidu.com/mo/q/checkurl?url=https://bulknearme.com

    June 23, 2021 at 19:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Internet Marketing Near Me

    http://www.sunlightmktg.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.searchinteraction.com

    June 23, 2021 at 22:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Video Marketing Agency

    http://www.kentuckyheadhunters.net/gbook/go.php?url=https://juicycalls.com/

    June 24, 2021 at 00:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. mechanics near me

    I used to be able to find good advice from your blog posts.

    http://vacationconcerts.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=bulknearme.com

    June 24, 2021 at 01:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Internet Marketing Consultants Near Me

    Hi there! I simply would like to offer you a big thumbs up for the great info you have here on this post. I'll be coming back to your blog for more soon.

    http://eta.ecommzone.com/lz/green4/00ATFA/065361c951e8f05f036502b7199e3315da/actions/redirect.aspx?url=https://postfallsvideographer.com/

    June 24, 2021 at 03:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Verlie Chojnowski

    How can I add a hit counter to my blogger blog?

    https://www.instagram.com/katekdesigns

    June 24, 2021 at 06:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Digital Marketing Services

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this website. I'm hoping to view the same high-grade content from you in the future as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my very own blog now 😉

    http://www.continentalpark.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=postfallsfitness.com

    June 24, 2021 at 06:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. SEO Marketing Agencies

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this blog. I am hoping to view the same high-grade blog posts from you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own blog now 😉

    http://cappuccinomachine.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.whatisdisplayadvertising.com/

    June 24, 2021 at 10:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. RV Mobile Repair Service Near Me

    http://cohen-1918.us/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=orangecountyrvrepair.com

    June 24, 2021 at 11:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. RV Refrigerator Repair Near Me

    There is certainly a lot to find out about this topic. I really like all the points you have made.

    http://camillaeriksson.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrv.world/

    June 24, 2021 at 12:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. coffee shops near me

    http://outdoortextile.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=bestlocalnearme.com

    June 24, 2021 at 12:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. RV Repair Shops Near Me

    I really like it when individuals get together and share views. Great site, keep it up!

    http://www.bitranet.com/adrotator/webdesigning.asp?url=http://ocrvcenter.com34zxVq8

    June 24, 2021 at 13:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Sprinter Repair Shop Near Me

    https://bhhsmarketingresource.com/l/fb014b0fbb4cb259a173cc3f5ec49559/4867997/?url=ocrvcenter.com2Ppvro1

    June 24, 2021 at 14:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. RV Camper Repair Near Me

    http://odeki.de/bw/redirect?external=https://ocrvcenter.com

    June 24, 2021 at 14:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. RV Repair Shop Near Me

    https://finalcashback.net/link.php?i=4ec4a98f6a6b4&m=54a556a3a9f3e&guid=ON&url=ocrvcenter.com/

    June 24, 2021 at 14:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. RV Collision Repair Near Me

    http://ccedip.com/about/redirect.asp?url=http://ocrvcenter.com/

    June 24, 2021 at 15:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. RV Body Repair Near Me

    Good web site you have here.. Itís hard to find high quality writing like yours nowadays. I really appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

    http://homedy.com/ads/click?id=79&url=ocrvcenter.com/

    June 24, 2021 at 15:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. RV Repair Mission Viejo

    http://www.ccedisp.com/about/redirect.php?url=www.ocrvcenter.com/

    June 24, 2021 at 17:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. RV Repair Near Me

    http://www.anonymz.com/?ocrvcenter.com

    June 24, 2021 at 17:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. RV Sales And Repair Near Me

    Good write-up. I absolutely love this site. Keep it up!

    https://fjb.kaskus.co.id/redirect?url=https://ocrvcenter.com

    June 24, 2021 at 19:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Nearby RV Repair

    A fascinating discussion is definitely worth comment. I do think that you need to publish more on this topic, it may not be a taboo matter but usually people do not talk about these issues. To the next! Best wishes!!

    http://everesttech.net/1350/cq?ev_sid=10&ev_ltx=&ev_lx=44113318857&ev_crx=8179171971&ev_mt=p&ev_dvc=c&url=https://ocrvcenter.com

    June 24, 2021 at 20:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Best RV Repair Near Me

    The very next time I read a blog, I hope that it won't disappoint me as much as this particular one. I mean, Yes, it was my choice to read, however I actually believed you'd have something interesting to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of complaining about something you could fix if you weren't too busy seeking attention.

    http://www.tapatalk.com/redirect.php?app_id=4&fid=59573&url=ocrvcenter.com

    June 24, 2021 at 22:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. RV Body Repair Shops Near Me

    Very good article! We will be linking to this particularly great content on our website. Keep up the great writing.

    http://poster1.weather.com.cn/r.php?url=https://ocrvcenter.com/

    June 24, 2021 at 22:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. auto repair shop la palma

    Hi, I believe your site could be having browser compatibility issues. When I take a look at your blog in Safari, it looks fine however, if opening in IE, it's got some overlapping issues. I simply wanted to give you a quick heads up! Aside from that, wonderful site!

    http://www.mjsa.org/get_url/?url=https://ocrvcenter.com

    June 24, 2021 at 23:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. RV Repair Places Near Me

    A motivating discussion is worth comment. I do think that you ought to publish more on this subject, it may not be a taboo subject but typically people do not speak about such issues. To the next! All the best!!

    https://future-group.ru/bitrix/rk.php?goto=ocrvcenter.com/

    June 24, 2021 at 23:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. RV Repair Near My Location

    http://www.iezvu.com/share/UnboxingyanálisisdeChromecast2?page=ocrvcenter.com

    June 25, 2021 at 00:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. RV Repair Near Me Now

    https://www.aom.org/verifymember.asp?nextpage=ocrvcenter.com/

    June 25, 2021 at 00:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. RV Repair Fountain Valley

    https://pages.audioteka.com/app/rdir.php?rdir=https://ocrvcenter.com

    June 25, 2021 at 01:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. truck body shops near me

    Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon everyday. It's always useful to read through articles from other authors and use a little something from other websites.

    http://bbs.diced.jp/jump/?t=http://ocrvcenter.com

    June 25, 2021 at 06:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. RV Repair San Clemente California

    https://go.20script.ir/index.php?url=https://ocrvcenter.com/

    June 25, 2021 at 06:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. RV Repair Shops Near Me Now

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this write-up and also the rest of the website is very good.

    http://www.greatmindsinstem.org/Redirect.aspx?destination=https://ocrvcenter.com/

    June 25, 2021 at 07:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. RV Repair Near Me

    https://www.0rz.tw/create?url=https://ocrvcenter.com

    June 25, 2021 at 08:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Best RV Repair Near Me

    https://www.epson.com.au/WebPageLinkLogger.asp?Pageid=151014159&LinkID=2&URL=https://directory10.biz/listing/trailer-shop-near-me-261865

    June 25, 2021 at 09:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Reggie Shelton

    Are there any good schools where you could double major journalism and creative writing?

    https://twitter.com/katekdesigns

    June 25, 2021 at 09:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Relational Leadership Model

    http://enseignants.flammarion.com/Banners_Click.cfm?ID=86&URL=www.backboneleaders.com

    June 25, 2021 at 10:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Nursing Leadership

    http://texasbedandbreakfast-com.securec55.ezhostingserver.com/hit.cfm?InnID=1&website=http://backboneleaders.com/

    June 25, 2021 at 11:25 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.