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Unidentified photo of a peephole
Unidentified photo of a peephole

"A little later a thousand hungry eyes were bending over the peepholes of the stereoscope, as though they were the attic-windows of the infinite. The love of pornography, which is no less deep-rooted in the natural heart of man than the love of himself, was not to let slip so fine an opportunity of self-satisfaction. And do not imagine that it was only children on their way back from school who took pleasure in these follies; the world was infatuated with them." --The Modern Public and Photography, Baudelaire, tr. Jonathan Mayne

peeping tom

Venus at the Opera (1844) by Grandville (French, 1803 – 1847)
Venus at the Opera (1844) by Grandville (French, 1803 – 1847)

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Voyeurism is a practice in which an individual derives sexual pleasure from observing other people. Such people may be engaged in sexual acts, or be nude or in underwear, or dressed in whatever other way the "voyeur" finds appealing. The word derives from French verb voir (to see) with the -eur suffix that translates as -er in English. A literal translation would then be “seer” or "observer", with pejorative connotations.

Also, the word voyeur can define someone who receives enjoyment from witnessing other people's suffering or misfortune; see schadenfreude.


Popular culture




Examples in art

See also

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

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