Exposing the Truth: What is Exhibitionism?

This article was scientifically fact-checked by Human Sexuality expert Dr. Laurie Mintz.

Exhibitionism (along with its opposite, voyeurism) is one of the most common of kinks, and one that tends to get a very bad rap. When we hear the term ‘exhibitionist’ we tend to conjure up the mental image of a flasher in a long trench coat; but we’d like to expose you to the truth of what exhibitionism is really all about. Remember the latter is not only illegal, but it is violating the person you expose yourself to and so this is not the type of exhibitionism explored here. Here we explore consensual exhibitionism.

Exposing the Truth: What is Exhibitionism?

What Is Exhibitionism?

‘Exhibitionism’ is a broad term that generally refers to everything from having sex outside to exposing yourself to other people publically. While there are different degrees to consensual exhibitionism―like the naughty, but (relatively) situationally-appropriate, act of skinny dipping on an isolated beach compared to having sex in a busy park.

What’s the Appeal?

Half the appeal of naughty behavior is the idea that you might get caught, and that is the thrill that many people can relate to when it comes to having sex someplace you shouldn’t. Your blood will pound and your senses will get heightened when you’re being wary of being discovered, whether it’s in the supply closet of your office after hours or you and your partner have found a quiet road to try out some new car sex positions.

How Can I Explore Exhibitionism?

The key to exploring your fetish for exhibitionism is the same as any other kink (or vanilla sex, for that matter). You need to make sure it stays Safe, Sane, and Consensual.

The legality of having sex in public can depend on where you live and the circumstances surrounding the act―for example, public sex is against the law in Canada, yet precedent indicates that you can have sex in your car in an isolated area, as long as there was a reasonable expectation of privacy. Be sure to explore the laws where you live—and expose! 

There are, however, several discreet sex toys that you can use in public, both of the cable-free and the remote control variety.

There is another way to explore exhibitionism that is a thoroughly modern outlet. Through taking sexy selfies, recording short videos or engaging in Skype sex, you can experience the same thrill of showing yourself off from the comfort of your own home­―while practicing safe sext to keep your content secure, of course.

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Facts checked by:

Dr. Laurie Mintz

Dr. Laurie Mintz, Ph.D.Laurie Mintz, Ph.D., is a professor at the University of Florida, teaching Human Sexuality to hundreds of students a year. She has published over 50 research articles and is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Mintz also has maintained a private practice for over 30 years, working with individuals and couples on general and sexual issues. She is also an author and speaker, spreading scientifically-accurate, sex-positive information to enhance sexual pleasure.

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