From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Exhibitionism (also known as Lady Godiva syndrome and Apodysophilia) is the psychological need and pattern of behavior to exhibit naked parts of the body to other people. In exhibitionism the individual shows a tendency to an extravagant, usually at least partially sexually inspired behavior to captivate the attention of others in a display of a body part, or parts, that would otherwise be left covered under clothing in nearly all other cultural circumstances.
Exhibitionists who view exhibitionism as a lifestyle as opposed to a rare thrill carefully select their target audience and make the exposure brief, inconspicuous and apparently unintentional. It is a fetish, and many such practitioners see it as an art form. Many night clubs and goth bars encourage mild exhibitionism to enhance the venue's atmosphere. This contrasts with non-sexualized social nudity, in which the exposure is not connected with sexual expression, such as sunbathing or swimming at nude beaches or other participation in public nudity events where nudity is the norm.
Some exhibitionists wish to display themselves sexually to other people singly or in groups. This can be done consensually as part of swinging or group sex. When done nonthreateningly, the intent is usually to surprise and/or sexually arouse the viewer, giving the exhibitionist an ego rush. Some people like to expose themselves in front of large crowds, typically at sporting events; see streaking. Some like to use the internet to distribute their stories and pictures. A similar phenomenon is when, at the conclusion of a sporting event, a woman may flash her breasts while sitting atop someone's shoulders in a dense crowd of people.
Various forms of exhibitionism, usually by females, that are captured by various forms of media, such as the Girls Gone Wild video series, have proven highly popular among Western society's male market.
- urge to walk around naked or show one's genitals, breasts or buttocks at times
- urge to display for example one's wealth, for example by driving around in a conspicuous expensive car