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• Erotic Display
• Exhibitionism for the Shy: Show Off, Dress Up and Talk Hot
Author: Harold Litten, Author of The Joy of Solo Sex and More Joy
It doesn't matter whether I'm writing about heterosexuality, homosexuality, solosexuality, indoors, outdoors---inevitably I'll come across cases of erotic display. I use that term---display, rather than exhibitionism---because it's considered a natural phenomenon among males of many species. In fact, some primates use the erect penis to indicate dominance as well as lust. Although our society considers the man who wants to show off his genitals deviant, the opposite is true: males of many species court their mates by exhibiting their engorged genitals.
It is a most successful technique, and not one learned from books but hard-wired into the genes. At age fifteen, when four of us boys were huddled in my basement talking about penis size, I never though twice about stripping to the skin to show mine off when all I had to do was unzip the fly. When the other boys, two years younger and too shy to undress, asked to play with it. That seemed the natural thing for them, having seen it, to want to do.
Such is not always the case, of course. Vera Palumbo was perfectly delighted to have me take out and play with her titties, but when I showed her my pride and joy, she screeched, "It's ugly" and ran from the basement. The fact that I ever went to bed with another woman is a testament to the hard-wiring of heterosexuality.
Another example of genital display as courtship ritual: One night I invited my friend Joe, who, like me is a naturist, to visit. He asked if he could bring two friends and urged me not to dress. The four of us sat in the family room overlooking the pond and chatted for perhaps half an hour while I lounged on the sofa. The conversation, as I recall, was about real estate.
Suddenly, Chuck, one of Joe's friends and a stranger to me, got up, walked across the room, sat next to me and fellated me to orgasm while Mike and Joe looked on. Following that unforgettable experience, I thanked Chuck and asked why he had done it. He said, "Well it was there, wasn't it?"
Erotic display is fun for reasons other than its instinctive courting value. In this particular sexually sick society, it's naughty to show the genitals to others, especially strangers. And what is forbidden, for reasons no one has satisfactorily explained, is very hot stuff. Thus, turning the light on in my room at the Westside Y in Manhattan and then standing naked by the window playing with my erect phallus while half a dozen guys in rooms across the courtyard watched led to one of the ten most mind-blowing orgasms of my life. So did driving naked along a country road at two a.m., stopping in the middle of an intersection, turning out the lights, getting out of the car and jerking off while sprawled across the hood. This was not actual but simulated display---I could certainly have seen the headlights long before any car approached close enough to see me. But the idea of being seen, of doing what is forbidden, was an overwhelming high.
I lived in the woods of Pennsylvania for twelve years with my wonderful wife, and for most of that time I never dressed. Sometimes for weeks on end, day and night, I lived as an animal, and even entertained friends and sometimes strangers nude. After a while I became unself-conscious, even unaware that I appeared different from others. The tax man came to find me building a garage nude. A neighbor discovered me splitting logs. When I apologized, he said, "You ain't got nothin' I ain't seen before." But within hours, the entire neighborhood knew that Harold Litten didn't wear clothes.
The results were twofold. First, for want of a better word, I became much more philosophical. I recognized the unity of all things, and the plight of my mortality that had troubled me from childhood ceased to be important. I actually wanted to be a part of nature in all that it entailed.
The second result was that I became body-centered. Until then, I saw myself primarily as a self-conscious brain living in a body. During those years in the woods, I gradually became an unself-conscious body possessing a brain. From that perspective, fundamentalist body-negativism seems ridiculous beyond words.
As I think back on it now, shoveling snow wearing nothing but boots, ice skating on the pond, building rock walls and chopping wood, picking wild elderberries and blackberries, swimming in the pond on those steamy summer days, hiking through briar patches with not a single scratch, always nude, I think the joy of even those experiences was somehow rooted in erotic display. Not that anyone ever saw me---at least as far as I know. But the animals did, just as I saw them. Nature did. The Other did. And it was this exposing myself at the very core of my nature, my genitals, to the universe that struck a cord, that hard-wired cord that I mentioned in the beginning that says, "I am born to display."
[Dr. Litten's two books, The Joy of Solo Sex and More Joy...An Advanced Guide to Solo Sex are dedicated to increasing the pleasure of masturbation for male readers.
Author: Carol Queen
Discover and awaken your inner sexual persona! This instructive, inspiring, and comprehensive sex manual manages to be simultaneously hot, dirty, and nasty---and politically correct! Sex educator Carol Queen offers a road map for enhancing individual and partnered erotic pleasure. She gives women and men of all sexual persuasions permission to be sexy and move back and forth at will between a public persona and a privately enticing sexual jewel. No matter how reserved you are---or aren't---Exhibitionism for the Shy offers not-to-be missed tips for turning diffidence into personal sexual empowerment and pleasure. Carol Queen has contributed to numerous anthologies, including the Herotica series. You can see Carol at her best by watching her video lesson on how to use vibrators for enhancing masturbation and partner sex.
A reader from Philadelphia, PA
"I sure wish Mom had known Carol Queen. This book is such a wise mix of good information, humor, sound and sometimes surprising advice, good slow hand fever, and marvelous appreciation of our humanity and sexual diversity. Hurray for Carol Queen. She makes sex education as warm and open and as much fun as it ought to be."
A reader from Portland, OR
"Go ahead---read it! It's difficult to write a punless review of this surprisingly serious book, which is deep, kind-hearted, and important. Queen's a reverential philosopher of sex, and she knows something about shyness, too. She admits it takes a good therapist to overcome this stuff, but lets us in on what she does know that might help! She never trivializes or minimizes her readers' hangups; she's a teacher of the best sort. Queen is experienced in all areas---she's done everything---and knows and respects human sexuality of all stripes. She wants to teach its happiest and best expression to her readers. Along with some comparatively unusual practices are words of amazing wisdom. Good ideas for ways to think about, talk about, and practice masturbation and safe sex with panache. I might not follow her advice word for word (I'm still too shy), but I loved this book."[/p]
Quotes from the book
The whole point of Exhibitionism for the Shy is to assure you that, no matter who you are or what you look like, your sex life and sexual self-image can be enhanced by learning to be more erotically outgoing. (p. 2) Exhibitionism for the Shy is about overcoming sexual shyness and reticence and projecting your sexuality in a confident, erotic, arousing way. It's about finding your inner turn-ons and expressing them. Exploring erotic exhibitionism and talk lets your fantasies and your own sexuality blossom, especially when you learn how to find and play with compatible partners. These forms of erotic play will help move you past shyness and into your own rich, confident sexuality. (p. 4)
Not long after I'd begun graduate school I followed my fascination to a group safe sex party where only masturbation was permitted. Of course, there are infinite ways to make masturbation interesting, especially when you have help! I wound up on a sofa jilling off (that's like jacking off, only female) with several enthusiastic, competent assistants and a semi-circle of people standing nearby watching. I found myself coming again and again--a sure sign that I was on to something, since I had never been multiply orgasmic in my life. Since I had been masturbating--alone--to a similar fantasy for years, it's no surprise that it worked wonders when I finally got to try it out. I began to identify myself as a sexual exhibitionist. (p. 9)
The point of becoming more comfortable with exhibitionism is to help you become more comfortable with who you are, not to transform you into someone you're not. (p. 11) Exhibitionism is about projecting and feeling our eroticism. (p. 27)
You may have already discovered how richly you can enhance your life by taking care of your own needs for sex and sensuality through masturbation, fantasy, and other sorts of self-pleasuring. I don't mean perfunctory jacking or jilling off here, though masturbation can relieve tension like nothing else can. I mean, rather, truly sensual, leisurely self-exploration, where you set the mood, take time to explore your physical responses, and devote yourself to your own pleasure.... Self-pleasuring has its own bountiful rewards, including heightened self-esteem, feeling more alive and powerful, more sexual satisfaction, and orgasms, too! If you've been hesitant to masturbate, or do so but feel uncomfortable about it because it's not "the real thing," let me assure you that not only are you the real thing, but also that through masturbation you will bring more of yourself to your partnered lovemaking. (p. 51) Masturbation is your own erotic time, and devoting it to your most intense turn-ons will not only loosen you up for sharing with a partner, it will be its own reward. (p. 65)
This is a GREAT book. We encourage everyone to read it and practice what Carol recommends.
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