Exhibitionism  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

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.

The part(s) of the body exposed can be the female breasts or the genitalia or buttocks of either gender.

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.

Etymology

From Latin exhibitus, perfect passive participle of exhibeō (“I hold forth, present, show, display”), from ex (“out of, from”) + habeō (“I have, hold”); see habit.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Exhibitionism" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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