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Voyeurism: That’s behind it!

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 363 views

Voyeurism is a sexual orientation in which a person feels aroused by watching others undress, be naked, or engage in sexual activity. You can read here whether this is a fundamental disorder and whether treatment is necessary.

What does voyeurism mean?

The term voyeur comes from French and literally means “spectatorship”. Sexual psychology refers to someone as a voyeur who becomes sexually aroused by secretly observing other people when they are naked or engaging in sexual practices.

Voyeurism is a form of paraphilia, a sexual preference disorder. This includes sexual tendencies that deviate significantly from the norm. Examples of paraphilias are fetishism or sadomasochism.

To a certain extent voyeurism is quite normal. However, if the preference is so pronounced that those affected are liable to prosecution for their actions and their sex life is severely influenced, one can speak of pathological voyeurism.

Characteristics of voyeurism

Voyeurs covertly observe other people changing, undressing or being sexually active. It makes you feel excited.

An important feature here: They do not engage in sexual acts with the objects of their desire, but are only passive spectators. Voyeurs are mostly concerned with secretly observing themselves.

With pronounced voyeurism, those affected often spend hours looking for opportunities to observe. This can restrict them in their everyday life so much that they neglect their actual duties and become punishable in their activities.

There are forms of voyeurism

There are different forms of voyeurism. Mild manifestations of this behavior are considered normal in society when it includes willing adults.

General voyeurism

The viewing of sexual, pornographic content is referred to as general voyeurism. This form does not count as a paraphilia, since the consumption of pornographic materials is widespread in society and is therefore not considered abnormal.

Pure voyeurism

The “pure voyeur” achieves his own sexual satisfaction exclusively by observing someone else’s sexuality – mostly by watching other people having sex. He does not become active himself.

Voyeurism involving sexual activity

For another type of voyeurism, observing other people’s sexual practices is the incentive to become sexually active themselves.

Voyeurism with a preference for certain practices

Some forms of voyeurism in turn refer to certain sexual practices – such as oral sex.


With candaulism – a special form of voyeurism – the partner is observed during sexual intercourse with another person. This is done by mutual consent.

Voyeuristic Disorder

When voyeurs spend long hours in search of opportunities for sexual gratification, neglecting their duties or other areas of life, the addiction takes on the character of a sexual disorder.

Those affected are often under great stress due to their behavior , especially if they make themselves punishable by living out their fantasies. This happens, for example, when they secretly observe a person who does not agree and are caught doing so. Because: Observing people without their knowledge and consent can lead to criminal prosecution.

This is how voyeurism arises

Voyeurism develops as early as adolescence or young adulthood. The inclination can be a substitute for one’s own sexuality, for example in the case of social isolation, erectile dysfunction or physical disability.

As a rule, voyeurs are afraid of their own physicality and sexuality and avoid taking responsibility for a real and active sexual partner – this is when they have low sexual self-confidence. In passivity they feel protected and unassailable. Being a spectator gives them control over their own sexuality.

Fear of commitment can also lead to those affected feeling comfortable in the role of spectator instead of becoming active themselves.

Read more about fear of commitment here .

Tips for dealing with voyeurism

Affected people are often ashamed of their inclination and do not confide in anyone. There are ways to live out voyeurism sensibly.

Voyeuristic offers and services

For example, there are establishments and services that offer voyeurism within a legal framework. These include peep shows, strip or swinger clubs. Spectators are allowed or even encouraged. So-called voyeur webcams are also an option where the customer can watch people undress or masturbate themselves. Basically, the Internet offers many opportunities to pursue voyeurism legally.

deny voyeurism

There is also the possibility of making arrangements with people who would like to be observed changing clothes, undressing and engaging in sexual activities. Since they benefit from each other, agreements between both parties can be a solution. Role-playing games are also suitable for playing in the secret observer.

Voyeurism: when is professional help needed?

When voyeurs feel compelled to engage in illegal activities in order to experience sexual satisfaction, therapy should be considered. Because: In most cases, problematic behavior and complaints only get worse if they are not treated. That’s why it’s important to get help.

In addition to self-help groups, online forums and telephone hotlines for acute emergencies, therapy can help to change behavior in the long term.

In addition, there is an opportunity to reduce sex drive by taking medication. These lower the hormone testosterone in the body. The patient must consent to drug treatment beforehand.

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