Fetish Spotlight: Voyeurism
Curiosity may have killed the cat, but for humans it’s second nature—especially when it comes to the body. Which is why it’s no surprise that we get a rush from catching someone in an intimate act.
In fact, it’s one of the most common fetishes around. It’s called voyeurism.
Although, as is typically the case, that word can entail many different things. So let’s dive into the real-deal meaning of this particularly sexy scenario.
WHAT IS Voyeurism?
Voyeurism, in a nutshell, means getting sexual gratification by watching other people engage in sexually oriented/intimate behavior. This behavior can be undressing, doing sexual acts, or anything else of the “private” persuasion. And as the nickname “Peeping Tom” also suggests, it can sometimes involve watching from an “unsuspecting” vantage point as well.
Like a lot of fetishes, some enjoy carrying it out in real-life, whereas others keep it at a fantasy-level. But either way, there’s no denying it is a surprisingly popular fetish.
OK, SO WHY?
A lot of voyeurism’s appeal all boils down to curiosity. There’s something humans innately enjoy about seeing a glimpse of something we’re conditioned to think of as “perverse” or “taboo”. It makes us curious to see more.
But let’s be clear, textbook voyeurism IS illegal. So even though we all arguably have a little voyeurism inside, what sets us apart is how much we’re each willing to embrace and ethically act upon it.
WAYS TO (CONSENSUALLY) DO IT
Instead of opting for a creepily on-brand telescope like Joe(/Will) in You, the best rule of thumb is to carry out your voyeurism with someone who actually wants to be watched. Which, interestingly enough, can come in a variety of forms:
Whether it’s watching video, listening to erotic podcasts, or even reading erotica to let your imagination run wild, porn provides a slew of opportunity to simulate that “forbidden” erotic peep. Even though the exhibitionists are in on it, one can still suspend disbelief and get turned on just the same.
Since the number one rule of voyeurism is to ensure it’s 100% consensual among all involved parties, role playing can be another extremely effective way to dabble with the concept.
Play a game of sexy stranger, stage a peeping scenario from separate rooms, maybe even set your partner up with a little webcam they conveniently “forget” to turn off inside their bedroom – there’s a ton of possibility to play around with the idea. So long as you discuss the boundaries beforehand and stay on the same page as your partner, of course.
Then, there’s always the good old-fashioned mirror trick, too! Whether it’s placing one next to your bed or mounting it on the ceiling above, you may not be watching someone else get it on, but even the act of seeing yourself go to town can cause a similarly sensual rush.
And finally, the crème de la crème: sex parties. Or, any other specially organized event where people can watch other people get down to business in front of everyone. Naturally this is a slightly more adventurous option, but it does go to show how voyeurs and exhibitionists can be a match-made in sultry heaven.
WHEN MIGHT IT CROSS THE LINE?
As with any fetish, it’s always important to keep the behavior in check.
Anytime it’s done within the confines of mutual consent, it’s pretty safe to say that voyeurism is A-OK. As we’ve established, it is a super common fetish, so urges to partake in it are nothing out of the ordinary. However, if anyone’s personal boundaries or privacy are ever legitimately violated, crossing the line into non-consent – that’s an issue. And you should definitely just not.
If it starts to cause you distress whenever you can’t do it, impede your daily life in any way or you can’t get aroused without it, those are also major problem signs as well. So at the end of the day, just be mindful if any red flags begin to show.
Exploration is a huge part of charting a fulfilling sex life, and fetishes can be great tools to help lead the way. So if voyeurism is something that piques your own sexual interest, then have fun with it and relish in the fact there are tons of safe and sexy methods for experimenting to the fullest.
Alex Anderson is an LA-based lifestyle designer proactively raging against the cultural grain. By day she works in television production, and by night enjoys writing, sewing and seeking guidance from the stars. She also finally has an all black kitty named “Cher.” You can follow her alt-lifestyle blog MSFT Living and on Instagram!