What is Voyeurism, and Why Is It So Sexy?

woman standing front of mirror

Let’s talk about watching other people have sex, AKA, voyeurism. While you might associate voyeurism with some creepy guy across the street with a pair of binoculars, we promise that it’s more nuanced than meets the eye.

Voyeurism is defined as getting sexually excited from watching others when they are naked or engaging in sexual activity. In its most innocent form, voyeurism is as simple as watching your partner get undressed. But some people, like in the example above, take voyeurism to an extreme, and even so far as to creep on others without their consent. This is obviously not okay.

Some of us like seeing other people have sex, including ourselves. (Sex in front of a mirror, anyone?) When done ethically, voyeurism can be totally hot—and even bring you and your lover closer together. Here’s what you need to know. 

Why do people like voyeurism?

There’s no one right answer to why people enjoy voyeurism. Some people love to see sex from a different perspective. Some people get off on the idea that they’re participating in something “taboo” by watching something private. Like all kinks and fetishes, voyeurism means different things to different people, and people have varying degrees of this desire.

 Let’s discuss how to understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy voyeurism and how you can practice it. 

Healthy vs. Unhealthy Voyeurism

Like anything, voyeurism can be totally healthy so long as it doesn’t interfere with other areas of your life and it’s totally consensual. Voyeurism crosses the line from healthy to unhealthy when a) your kink/fetish is distracting you from other areas of your life, or b) you haven’t gotten consent from the person you’re watching. 

For example, informing your partner about your interests in voyeurism and then watching them masturbate with their consent is totally healthy. Watching your neighbor undress through the window? Not so much. 

How can I practice voyeurism?

If voyeurism is something you’re interested in experimenting with, there are lots of ways to practice it in a way that’s healthy and hot AF. 

  • Watch your partner undress, shower, or bathe. 
  • Watch your partner masturbate. You could either sit in the room with them or “secretly” watch them through a crack in the door.  
  • Have sex in front of a mirror. 
  • Give your partner a sex toy and watch them play with it. 
  • Bring another person into the bedroom and watch your partner have sex with them or participate in a threesome. 

If voyeurism is something you’re interested in exploring, bring it up with your partner, and suggest one or two ways you might investigate this kink in your relationships. Just remember that consent and communication are essential when exploring this or any other kink. Happy playing and enjoy the view! 

Amanda Kohr is the Content Manager at Sex With Emily. She also writes for VICE, Refinery29, Betches, and Hello Giggles. You can visit her via her website and Instagram.