The Sexual Exhibitionist Next Door
My personal experience with an exhibitionist and the science behind it
I woke up on a rainy Sunday morning. I love rainy mornings. Hell, I love Sundays. Dark-hued haziness makes me feel like I’m in my element.
As I walked downstairs to the kitchen and wiped the sleep from my eyes, I performed my morning ritual by drawing the blinds and opening the windows. I refused to open my windows before because I live directly across from another set of apartments and people can just peer inside my space whenever they want, but this day I wanted to feel the cool breeze on my skin.
I wanted to smell that bi-polar mixture of cold and heat and hear it as it hit the street.
While preparing to brew bean juice, I saw a man across the courtyard. I could faintly see into his house. He looked like he didn’t have on any clothes, but I wasn’t about to make sure.
I mean, I hadn’t even had my coffee.
As I waited for the percolator to complete its duty, I went to the bathroom. Returning to the kitchen, I realized the man was still there…
Granted, I couldn’t see any details because I didn’t have my glasses on, so to make sure, I closed the blinds in the kitchen and went upstairs to retrieve my glasses.
After donning my gear, I walked into my office (which is directly above the kitchen) and peeked through the blinds. I was right. This man was holdin’ his d*ck right in front of his sliding door with the blinds pushed all the way to the side.
I had a clear view.
I watched him for about a minute. He stood about 6 inches from the glass, stared straight ahead, and worked himself through. Then he backed into the darkness of his living room a bit as not to be seen (really?)
The strokes became more rapid, then he stopped, looked at his hand, and walked away.
I was confused and in disbelief. I understood what I had just seen, but it hadn’t fully processed. This had never happened.
I walked back downstairs and drank my coffee…with the blinds closed.
Fast forward to Saturday. I left early in the morning to hang out with one of my friends. When I came back home it was twilight. It was time to “lock up,” so I began to close the slightly parted blinds from that morning.
And guess what I saw…
The same motherf*cker with his blinds drawn and d*ck in hand.
I noticed he had been searching for someone to watch him. I knew this because he was surveying the windows on my side of the courtyard when I caught him.
This was no mistake.
I realized that this was going to become a pattern, so I took advantage. As I pushed aside the blinds, looked him right in his eyes and mouthed, I’m calling the police!
He appeared in shock and disbelief and hurriedly shut his blinds. I did the same.
As I dialed 911, I knew this wasn’t an emergency so I was concerned. I didn’t want to potentially congest the line if someone had a life or death situation, but I’d never been taught the non-emergency number.
I was relieved how calm the lady was on the other end of the phone. She gave me the number I needed and hung up.
I called the number and gave the dispatcher my information. “I’m sending a car your way. It’ll be about 15 minutes,” she said.
This is not okay.
I didn’t call the police because this was some sort of prank or juvenile mistake. I called the police because this was a grown ass man exposing himself within clear view of Fisher-Price and Mattel purchases on the porch next to mine.
There are kids, children, BABIES, that take virtual classes during the day and play outside in their free time.
When the police arrived, I was surprised to see a male and female officer arrive in the same vehicle. I was very happy about this because I had two different perspectives. This made me feel safe.
I described both Sunday and Saturday:
…I didn’t think much of it on Sunday because I believed it may have been a mistake, but when it happened again on Saturday I felt this was about to be a routine. I mean, this man is jackin’ his d*ck in front of my house. I don’t wanna see that sh*t and there are kids next door! As someone that experienced sexual assault in their youth, I don’t feel these kids should be exposed to that.
As they listened, I flung open the blinds for effect and hoped he was watching as I told the authorities what happened.
I must’ve struck a nerve in one of the cops because he told me he’d just spoken with the man next door but he was going to speak with him again. He made it clear that if he attempted to jerk off through his window once more, he was going to be arrested.
Apparently, there was a grey area in this situation because the man was in his home and not in public. He wasn’t masturbating outside, so they couldn’t detain him.
Honestly, I never wanted him to get arrested. I just wanted him to stop beatin’ his meat in front of me. At the very least I wanted to have a choice.
I’d never been in this situation before let alone felt the need to call the police on someone, so this was all new to me. So far I’d learned the number to the non-emergency line and discovered a real life, sexual exhibitionist.
I wanted to do my own research on this subject, so I referred to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th ed. or better known as, the DSM-5.
Evidently, sexual exhibitionism is a paraphilic disorder. This just means that the sexual activities or targets one enjoys brings personal distress and distress to others.
Para = disorder, phil = love. A disorder with something you love (enjoy) doing.
In paraphilic disorders, the person may enjoy the activity of the sexual interest more than copulation with another person. In a sense, the other person may become a tool for pleasure rather than a meaningful connection.
The two main types of paraphilia are erotic activities and erotic targets.
Examples of erotic activities would include “intense and persistent interests in spanking, whipping, cutting, binding or strangulating another person.” On the other hand, erotic targets are “intense or preferential sexual interests in certain classes like children, corpses, or amputees.” They can also be nonhuman animals and inanimate objects" (APA, 685).
Erotic activities seem to involve the actual physical engagement, whereas erotic targets appear to be preferences towards certain groups of people, animals, or objects.
Onto exhibitionistic behavior.
The DSM-5 indicates that it takes about 6 months of “recurrent and intense sexual arousal from the exposure of one’s genitals to an unsuspecting person, as manifested by fantasies, urges, or behaviors” and the individual must have "acted on these sexual urges with a nonconsenting person, or the sexual urges or fantasies cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning" (APA, 689).
I can’t say for sure whether or not the man had been repeatedly engaging in this behavior over the course of 6 months because I don’t know him, but I sure as hell wasn’t about to find out.
It’s fair to say that he was “sexually aroused by exposing [his] genitals to prepubertal children and to physically mature individuals" (APA, 689) because the courtyard is scattered with children’s toys and it was clear he saw me as he masturbated.
What was really interesting was an article I read by therapist Michael Bader. As a practicing psychologist, he believes this behavior is due to anxiety and "originates in the man’s need to reassure himself that his penis, his manhood, is not bad, defective, or insignificant" (Bader, 2017).
“[T]he highest possible prevalence for exhibitionistic disorder in the male population is 2%-4%" (APA, 690).
I wondered how someone experiencing anxiety would opt to whip their d*ck out and whack off in front of their window instead of shutting themselves inside and curling up into a ball. When I thought about it a bit longer, it made sense.
Despite the fact that everyone expresses emotional distress in different ways, I remembered that anxiety stems from fear. Most negative emotions do. So Dr. Bader’s statement seems to hold some truth.
There’s no way I can diagnose anyone with a mental health disorder as I am not a licensed mental health professional, however, I do enjoy psychology and researching unique topics of interest. This actually happened to me, so that makes it even more interesting and more credible as it comes from personal experience.
I’m glad I chose to put a stop to this man’s behavior as it happened twice in 7 days and children are in close proximity. I find that using your intuition in cases like this proves to be a good idea.
I hope you enjoyed my story and found the information on sexual exhibitionism helpful. This blog is meant to be used as a tool to express my personal experiences and hopefully shed some light on confusing and misunderstood situations.
Baders, Michael. “Why Do Some Men Engage in Sexual Exhibitionism?” Psychology Today, 10 Dec. 2017, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/what-is-he-thinking/201712/why-do-some-men-engage-in-sexual-exhibitionism.
“Paraphilic Disorders.” Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-5, 5th ed., American Psychiatric Association, 2017, pp. 685–690.