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Kinks Laid Bare: Voyeurism

Kinks Laid Bare: Voyeurism

Kinks Laid Bare: Voyeurism

By Ksenia Sobchak

You’re probably wondering what that strange word is doing there, don’t think for long. Voyeurism is a derivative of the French word “Voyeur” which means; “to watch.” It is the act of watching other people or a person having sex or masturbating. It is no longer limited to sexual activity, some voyeurs are content just watching a person undress, have their bath, get dressed, and take a swim or other activity that reveals the body.

The act of Voyeurism usually involves two or more parties. The “Voyeur” and the “Performer(s).” As a smart person, you have probably figured out what role which party plays, but I’ll tell you anyway.

The Voyeur is the one who watches the sexual or nude activity. He or she could do this from a distance or at close range, with a camera, camcorder or with bare eyes, with or without the knowledge of the performer. The Voyeur usually achieves Orgasm by masturbation either during the performance or after it (dwelling on the memory of the performance). He or she also has fantasies about having sex with the performer but most times, these fantasies are not fulfilled.

The performer(s) on the other hand are those who carry out the sexual activity. It could be taking place in private or in the open (for instance, the backyard lawn or the woods). They may or may not be aware of the company of the voyeur. The performers are usually strangers to the Voyeur, but in desperate situations, a familiar person could be the object of attention.

Voyeurism is a sexual fetish. The Voyeur does not take part in the sexual activity directly but they get sexual satisfaction from watching others do it, or they get turned on by watching others indulge sexually especially if they run the risk of getting caught while doing it. They also feel a sense of privilege and power knowing that they are watching a performance alone like a private audience of some sort.

Voyeurism can be a group or lone activity. Group activity in the sense that more than one voyeur watches the show as well as one voyeur watching their partner touch themselves in order to turn them on. If your partner is a voyeur who loves to watch you but prefers not to be seen, you would either have to wear a blindfold whilst touching yourself or let them peep through the door hole or window as you masturbate or touch yourself.


Yeah, I know I had said that it is a fetish, but it is also a disorder. As a disorder, Voyeurism is a form of paraphilia and it is also known as “Peeping Tom Disorder.” It has causes, symptoms and treatment procedures.


Well, no scientific, foolproof cause of the disorder is known. However, an accidental experience of watching a person undress, masturbate or engage in sexual activity could trigger this. I some persons, it takes a repetition of this activity, but in others, that one time is sufficient to make them seek the experience over and over again. At this point they begin to peep, and even record the private sexual activities of unsuspecting persons, they have thus become Voyeurs.


  • A Voyeur could be a male or female, but most voyeurs are males.
  • The Voyeur is usually not dangerous but if the performance stops abruptly or the performer discovers them, some of them become paranoid and try to eliminate the perceived threat.
  • Voyeurism usually sets in before the age of fifteen (15) years.
  • If it is not recurrent (for a minimum period of six months) and solely for the purpose of sexual gratification, it is not voyeurism.
  • In some jurisdictions, Voyeurism is prohibited because it involves non-consenting individuals.
  • Watching pornography for sexual aggrandizement is also an act of Voyeurism.
  • Positioning a video camera or camcorder in a place for the purpose of capturing (videos or images of) a sexual activity done in private, without the consent of the performer is also an act of Voyeurism.
  • Selling videos or pictures of persons engaging in sex, masturbation or just getting naked without their consent is Voyeurism. It does not matter if the images or video were captured with their consent.


The first step to getting treatment is accepting one’s status as a Voyeur and agreeing to the need for treatment. If this does not happen willingly, a person may be forced to do so. Compulsion is usually achieved by court order.

After admittance (of status) and submission (to treatment), therapy is recommended. The usual type of therapy is Behavior therapy where the Voyeur is trained to resist the urge to watch non-suspecting people have sex, masturbate or strip themselves as a means to achieve sexual gratification.

The therapists also work with the Voyeurs to discover alternative means to get turned on or to achieve sexual gratification.

In most cases, the fear of embarrassment or actual embarrassment upon being caught is sufficient to deter the Voyeur from engaging in the act of Voyeurism.

Legal Status of Voyeurism

In places where Voyeurism is legally prohibited, it is classified as a misdemeanor. Because of this classification, the punishment is not major.

In addition, prosecuting them is difficult because it is difficult to prove mens rea (intention to watch for sexual gratification). Therefore, most suspects or accused persons often deny this intention as a means to escape conviction and sentencing.


As stated earlier, Voyeurism mostly starts as a result of an accidental experience watching others engage in sexual activities. The society has a role to play in preventing the prevalence of this fetish or disorder.

Persons can draw blinds, lock doors, ensure privacy by whatever means possible when they indulge themselves or each other in sexual activities.

Stricter measures can be put in place to make hiding and peeping more difficult. The law against Voyeurism should be reviewed to include stiffer penalties which will be sufficient to deter persons from indulging in Voyeurism.