Understanding Voyeurism

Voyeurism is a sexual preference which involves watching others engage in intimate activities without their consent. Voyeurs are usually men or women who enjoy watching other people having sexual relations with each other. Some voyeurs may even participate in these acts themselves, but they do not wish to be seen doing so. They prefer to remain anonymous and pretend that they are just observing the activity from afar, although most voyeurs have no problem admitting that it is them being observed.

The term “voyeur” itself is derived from the French verb voyager, which means “to watch.” Voyeurs typically view the activities through a peephole or similar device. A common misconception among those unfamiliar with voyeurism is that voyeurs only look at naked bodies while viewing them. In fact, voyeurs will often take pictures of the participants or otherwise record the event for later viewing.

While there is some debate over whether voyeurs actually feel any sort of pleasure from their actions, many do admit that they enjoy the experience. Some claim that voyeurs derive great enjoyment from watching others have sexual relations with each other; however, others believe that voyeurs derive little to no pleasure from such behavior and instead find it repulsive. This latter group of voyeurs may be more accurately described as scopophiles (people who derive pleasure from looking at nude or partially nude bodies) or macrophiles (people who are attracted to larger people).

A number of famous celebrities have been known to engage in voyeurism. Such celebrities include John F. Kennedy, Bob Hope and Ernest Borgnine, just to name a few.

Sources & references used in this article:

Cultural voyeurism: A new framework for understanding race, ethnicity, and mediated intergroup interaction by O Appiah – Journal of Communication, 2018 – academic.oup.com

Representation, voyeurism, and the vacant point of view by J Rudinow – Philosophy and Literature, 1979 – muse.jhu.edu

Seeing things: Violence, voyeurism and the camera by E Carrabine – Theoretical Criminology, 2014 – journals.sagepub.com

The value of self-reports in the study of voyeurism and exhibitionism by K Freund, R Watson, D Rienzo – Annals of Sex Research, 1988 – Springer

Voyeurism by S Duff – Voyeurism, 2018 – Springer

To unfriend or not: Exploring factors affecting users in keeping friends on Facebook and the implications on mediated voyeurism by SS Wang – Asian Journal of Communication, 2015 – Taylor & Francis

Voyeur nation? Changing definitions of voyeurism, 1950–2004 by JM Metzl – Harvard review of psychiatry, 2004 – Taylor & Francis