How Exhibitionism and Voyeurism Are Different From Each Other?

Admit it or not, we all have unique kinks and fetishes that keep us going. From this to that, we enjoy different ways of receiving sexual pleasure. Some might be more extreme than others, but that doesn’t make the latter vanilla by any means. Being into feet is as okay as enjoying bondage or other forms of BDSM.


Yet, there’s always the matter of negative portrayal in mainstream media. Fetishism and the overall kink culture might appear dangerous to normies or those looking to join in on the action because of what they have seen on TV. In the following text, we’ll discuss the differences between these two common fetishes — exhibitionism and voyeurism.

General Thoughts About Fetishes

Before we explore these two fetishes, let’s explain what the term itself means. Well, for someone to have a fetish, they need to have a sexual fixation on an object, certain act/action, or body part that’s not genital. The object of their fixation is what we call a fetish, and they are fetishists.


Fetishes mainly come down to two groups — pathological or non-pathological. The first group consists of mental disorders that cause distress and prevent one from living a happy life. On the other hand, non-pathological fetishes are simply means to experience more sexual pleasure and are of no concern.

Contrary to popular belief, most fetishes revolve around clothing, footwear, certain materials, etc. Next up are body parts and types of sexual activities. Clothing fetishes mostly come down to uniforms and formal wear, and footwear and materials revolve around leather and rubber. Body parts include feet as most common and activities vary hugely.

Thoughts on Exhibitionism

In essence, being an exhibitionist means getting sexual pleasure from showing others your genitals and private body parts. But to be an exhibitionist, one doesn’t need to do the dead. The only requirement is that they fantasize about it. Exhibitionism mainly manifests in the need to appear in front of others naked or while participating in sex.

In case you’re into exhibitionism, it’s pretty important to do it with people who give consent. Otherwise, exhibitionism can easily cross the line and become sexual harassment. It’s also significant to understand the law when it comes to public nudity and sex. In most cases, unfortunately (or not), doing it like mammals on Discovery Channel isn’t okay.


But don’t despair — there are many ways of enjoying exhibitionism. This is especially true nowadays with the rise of social media and chat apps. You can consensually send or receive photos from other fetishists or simply go to a swinger club and witness public sex legally. All in all, just like with all other sex acts, consent is the main thing.

View on Voyeurism

Unlike exhibitionists, voyeurs don’t enjoy others watching them. In fact, they love to watch others while naked or mid-intercourse. They’re Peeping Toms, in simple terms. Either way, voyeurs don’t enjoy just watching others have sex or be naked. They experience sexual stimulation from looking at people while in private.


Aside from the term Peeping Tom, you might hear people refer to voyeurs as Jags too. The term comes from French, where it means “to see.” And even if you can enjoy voyeurism in public, most Peeping Toms love to do it secretly. The fact that they’re hiding is what additionally turns them on, adding a dose of danger to the mix.

However, some acts of voyeurism are paraphilias. That’s how APA (American Psychiatric Association) sees them, at least. According to them, if voyeurs act impulsively and can’t control their urge to look at people in private, they suffer from mental distress. To have a diagnosis like this, one must be over 18 years old and needs to show symptoms of this behavior for at least six months.

Striking Differences

Like we’ve said, most people will associate one fetish with the other. They’ll mistake voyeurs for exhibitionists, and that’s okay. Their portrayal in the mainstream is often confused, so it’s not their fault. However, why not use this opportunity to discuss what makes these two so different from one another? After all, they have striking differences.


Namely, voyeurs enjoy watching other people. They don’t find the idea of someone watching them amusing. Well, some might, but that’s not the point. The whole turn-on for voyeurs is to do it in secret and to make the whole thing as kinky as possible. Of course, to practice it safely, it’s key that the other party gives consent, making the deal make-belief.


On the other hand, exhibitionists love for others to look at them. They love the attention and would do anything to have the entire world stare at them while they masturbate, walk around naked, or have sexual intercourse. However, some might mistake exhibitionism with nudism. The difference is that nudism isn’t explicitly about sex as much as it’s about living without clothing — all-natural and hippie-like.

What Do People Say About These Fetishes?

Although it wouldn’t be surprising if most people you ask about these fetishes on the street dismiss them as perversions and immoral acts, there are tons of kinksters online who connect through a common cause. Namely, voyeurs and exhibitionists work hand-in-hand if you think about it. Some love to watch, while others enjoy being watched. So, if you add two and two, well, you get a perfect combo of voyeurism and exhibitionism.


In case you and your partner love to have sex in front of others, but you don’t have an audience, you can always go online. And no, we’re not talking about camming. Although, that’s a great idea and a safe one, which is pretty important. No, we’re talking about posting on subreddits that include exhibitionists and voyeurs. You leave your contact for voyeurs to come and watch you have sex. It’s pretty simple, and you can arrange all kinds of fun.


Of course, we’d be naive to leave out the safety aspect of this practice. Meeting strangers for sex and acts that revolve around it isn’t the best idea. After all, you never know who you and your partner are going to bump in, right? So, before you invite someone to your home, make sure you meet in a public space, talk a bit, and have time to assess them. Only then will it be safe and okay to bring them over and have them watch. The same goes if you’re on the other side of things and you love to peep.