“All the world’s a stage” (Shakespeare’s As You Like It), on which some of us love to play, and some of us prefer to watch. The players tend to get the glory, but without an audience there’s not much of a show.
Let’s face it: lots of us like to watch. We’re not talking Shakespeare here, though that can be erotic as well… we’re talking about sex. We’re talking about the thrill of watching another’s most intimate activities, getting turned on by seeing someone else get turned on.
Would you say this is you? If so, you might be a voyeur. Everyone’s a little bit of one, at least. We can all get turned on by the sight of something or someone really sexy. But some of us are more voyeuristic than others. Some of us like to cultivate our voyeuristic tendencies like wine connoisseurs cultivate their palettes, tasting different vintages. Perhaps you like to look through the silver screen into erotic worlds you’ve never seen. Maybe it’s a film or a digital stream on your computer or phone. Porn, after all, is the most common kind of erotic voyeurism going on in the modern world. And despite its popular explosion in the early 21st Century, visual erotica has been with us since humanity first started cave painting.
Then again, maybe you like to see it live, perhaps in a strip club, or fantasize about the quintessential live sex performance, with you sitting back like a sultan with your harem of exhibitionistic sex performance artists titillating your fancy in every way imaginable to delight your eyes and ears. Then again, maybe your favorite type of voyeurism is a bit more secretive. Do you like to sneak a peak through a keyhole, a hole in a shower wall or up through the floorboards of an old porch, like a child discovering something naughty? Do you like to look through your neighbor’s window, catching them in an intimate moment: a couple arguing and then making passionate love, a he-man flexing his naked muscles in his home gym, a beautiful woman undressing alone in her bathroom, stepping into the Jacuzzi, spreading her legs and masturbating to an aquatic orgasm on one of the ferociously whirling jets? Or do you like to combine exhibitionism and voyeurism, and just watch yourself in the mirror?
What does it mean to be seen? To be seen is to be a star. A sex symbol–immortal, if only for a moment. So what about seeing? To see is to glimpse a special secret, to go behind the curtain, to gain knowledge. Knowledge is power, and sexual knowledge is sexual power. No wonder you feel so excited and even powerful when you see someone or something special in a sexual way. No wonder we all can appreciate the erotic pleasures of voyeurism.
The passive delights of voyeurism are especially popular among the rich and powerful. Pope Alexander IX was one of history’s most decadent voyeurs. That’s right, a Catholic pope was openly enjoying banquets such as what follows, as described by his master of ceremonies Burchard, Bishop of Ostia: “Fifty reputable courtesans supped at the Vatican…and after supper they danced about with the servants and others in that place, first in their clothes and then nude…candelabras and lighted candles were set on the floor and chestnuts were strewn about and the naked courtesans on hands and feet gathered them up, wriggling in and out among the candelabras…Then all those present in the hall were carnally treated in public… The pope gave prizes to the men who copulated the most times with the courtesans.” Pope Alexander IX of the notorious Borgia family ruled the Catholic faithful from 1492 until his death in 1503 and was known for his libertine pleasures as well as for his relatively benign treatment of Jews, slaves and others. Possibly all that voyeuristic entertainment helped to make him more “Catholic,” at least in the liberal, compassionate sense of the word. Other famous voyeurs from the annals of history include Lord Byron, Casanova, Charlie Chaplin, King Farouk, Errol Flynn, Maxim Gorki, Victor Hugo, Martin Luther and the notorious Marquis de Sade.
Some call voyeurs “Peeping Toms,” stemming from the medieval story of Lady Godiva—obviously an aristocratic exhibitionist—who rode through town naked to protest her husband Lord Godiva’s unfair taxing of the townspeople (a bleeding heart liberal show-off if ever there was one). All the townspeople were supposed to close their shutters and not look upon the naked Lady on her horse. But one naughty, rather horny young man named Tom couldn’t resist taking a peep (can you blame him?), so that’s where we get the term “Peeping Tom.”
Though the word “voyeur” comes from the French, voir, “to see”, let’s not forget it really encompasses more than just the eyes. Sound is a big part of the pleasure of sensual observation. Ever find yourself overhearing the muffled moans of a housemate or neighbor banging away across the hall? Maybe you put your ear up to the door for more? Perhaps you’ve passed by an open window and had to stop yourself, listening to the excited breathing, a headboard hitting the wall, heightened voices… coming from just beyond. Did it turn you on? How could it not? Feelings are contagious, after all, and sound transports feelings, especially if the sound is someone sighing or crying out in ecstasy.
Speaking of feelings, do you need to talk about your voyeuristic desires, experiences or fantasies? Are your voyeuristic feelings getting you into trouble—or on the verge of trouble? Are you watching “too much” porn—maybe to the point that you feel (or someone you love feels) you are “addicted”? Are you spending so much time watching that you have no time or energy to actually do anything with your sex life? Would you sometimes rather just watch porn than have sex with your lover, even if she’s right in your bed waiting for you? Are you looking at stuff that’s illegal? Are you spying on someone without their consent? Do you find yourself going to strip clubs instead of doing the hard work of playing the dating game? Are you spending all your money on erotic entertainers who dominate you, turning you into a helpless “money slave” to their demands? Are they humiliating you, cuckolding you and taking advantage of your voyeuristic needs? Has your voyeurism morphed into cheating? Are you doing things that make you feel ashamed and guilty afterwards? Are your natural voyeuristic desires spiraling out of control?
If the answer is yes to any of these questions, you would greatly benefit by talking with someone who understands your desires and can help you regain control and keep them from ruining your life—without being forced to “abstain” or give up the natural, positive pleasures of voyeurism. This is a specialty of ours here at the Dr. Susan Block Institute. Many “regular” sex therapists aren’t comfortable addressing these topics, or perhaps you don’t feel comfortable talking to a regular therapist about your most personal feelings. Whatever your concerns, rest assured, you can talk to us. World-renowned sexologist Dr. Susan Block, a Yale graduate with two doctorates, and the therapists of the Institute, are all excellent in their various fields, utilizing telephone sex therapy to listen, talk to you and help you deal with all your voyeuristic pleasures, problems, questions and desires. You can talk to us about anything, and usually we can help, as we have helped people all over the world for over two decades.
And yes, you can masturbate, if you like, during sessions. And, no, there is no other sex therapy or phone sex service quite like ours. Our form of sex therapy is unique in that we can discuss and help you with your real-life situations, and/or we can enter the Erotic Theater of the Mind (your mind or ours or a combination) and roleplay your voyeuristic fantasies—even the forbidden kind that would get you into serious trouble if you acted them out in real life. In fact, one of our specialties is “the forbidden,” the stuff you can’t talk about to anyone else. After all, pretty much everything is safe on the phone—where you can close your eyes and fantasize the wildest scenes possible through the hidden camera of your imagination. Moreover, rest assured that your secrets are safe with us. Therapy with the Institute is completely private, discreet and confidential. Of course, we can’t tell you their names, but we count many celebrities and world leaders among our clients, so we understand the importance of strict confidentiality. We have been around and we intend to stay around, and we value your privacy as we value our reputation.
Voyeuristic phone sex therapy is fun, satisfying, edifying, defuses desires (so you’re less likely to get into trouble) and often leads to great insights into your sexuality and other aspects of your deeper self. We’ve found the phone—private, intimate and essentially non-visual—to be an excellent vehicle for this kind of erotic insight. Then again, voyeurism is primarily a visual interest, and you can also enjoy a very personal voyeuristic experience tailored to your desires with one of our webcam sex therapists.
Whatever your voyeuristic pleasure or problem, we’re here for you, 24/7, every day and night, including holidays, whether you need to talk…or just watch. Give us a call anytime at 213.291.9497.