When you’re sexually attracted to someone,
there’s something close to transgression.
When you observe how we get
stimulated sexually and what
makes sexual attraction very
strong, the moral taboo plays a role.
Sex Therapy Classes
She claims there are a range of benefits
to come out of the group sessions,
including “strengthening the bond between
the women and their yoni (vaginas) and
helping them learn about pleasure.
The classes can also help members reach
profound orgasmic states and help to awaken
erectile tissue for more pleasure during sex.
“Come and help rid our society of shame and
taboo around sexuality and come back to
your own erotic innocence.”
The mixed- and single-gender sessions are
initially guided through a masturbation session.
The philosophy of Sex
Philosophers claim to explore the most fundamental
features of existence, but have been disappointingly
silent on one all-important subject: Sex.
Sure, Michel Foucault addressed the sociological
discourses around sex and Simone de Beauvoir
definitively demonstrated the value of sexual
equality, but what about sex and sexual desire?
Philosophy professor Jeanne Proust is frustrated by
the near-absence of philosophical discussion about sex.
“If the role of philosophy is to get deeper
about things in life, daily preoccupations,
then sex should be more analyzed and studied.”
European continental philosophy failed to address
sex in large part because the Judeo-Christian
luggage is still heavy to carry.
Religious teachings in the West portrayed the body
as the enemy of the philosophical process, and a
dangerous distraction from intellectual thought.
It didn’t have the worth or dignity that traditional
philosophical subjects are supposed to have.
Philosophy also typically strives for objective,
universal truths, and Proust believes this approach
is largely incompatible with the inherently
subjective sexual experience.
It’s not that philosophy in the canon can’t
be applied to sex: Proust argues that
philosophical discussions of desire in general
are often relevant to sexual desire.
The 17th century rationalist Baruch Spinoza,
for example, wrote: “We neither strive for,
nor will, neither want, nor desire anything
because we judge it to be good.
On the contrary, we judge something
to be good because we strive for it,
will it, want it, and desire it.”
We don’t desire someone because they’re attractive.
We think they’re attractive because we desire them.
Proust has developed her own philosophical theory
of sexual desire. One of its central tenets would
surprise many in this sex-positive age.
She believes that taboos, though restrictive,
are essential to build such desire.
“When you feel sexual attraction, there’s something
close to transgression. When you observe how we get
stimulated sexually and what makes sexual attraction
very strong, the moral taboo plays a role.”
Voyeurism & Exhibitionism
It’s is highly unlikely that a voyeur or an exhibitionist will become physical or try to have sex with a person. Both, however, will actively seek out people and situations that may provide them with an erotic outlet to engage their desires.
For some, their desire to engage in these acts centres less on psychological turmoil and more on the pure arousing eroticism of the behaviour. For others, psychology, arousal and compulsive thoughts and behaviours prove to be a powerful combination they struggle to control.
What does the research
say about these fetishes?
There’s relatively little research on either voyeurism or exhibitionism, which makes it difficult to have reliable statistics. Most studies focus on people who have never had these desires or people who have experienced legal consequences as a result of satisfying their desires; both variables will produce very different percentages. Therefore, the numbers vary in regards to prevalence.
A major Swedish study using 2,450 randomly selected 18-to-60-year-old subjects found that 3.1% of people (4.1% male, 2.1% female) reported at least one incident of being sexually aroused by exposing their genitals to a stranger.
In that same study, they also found that 8% of people (12% male, 4% female) reported at least one incident of being sexually aroused by spying on others having sex.
Another study found 42% of university-aged males reported having had at least one incident of secretly watching others in sexual situations.
I wonder if this difference in male voyeuristic behaviour (12% versus 42%) has anything to do with Sweden’s sex-positive society and comprehensive sex education for children/teens versus America’s sex-negative society and abstinence-only sex education for children/teens. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
Satisfy your erotic desires
As with any sexual behaviour, too much of a good thing and lack of consent can have destructive outcomes. Voyeurism and exhibitionism are like water: Sometimes they’re refreshing and nourishing, and other times, they can boil and burn you.
We’re all sexual beings, and fulfilling our sexual desires is a basic part of life. Use your imagination and take advantage of all the possibilities out there for safe, consensual sexcapades.
So be careful, make smart choices and find positive outlets for your erotic desires. They’re out there if you’re really looking.