How Can I Stop Being An Exhibitionist?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I go into webcam chat rooms and expose my naked body on cam for people (men) that i dont know personally, but know some of them from the chatroom. i do not do it for sexual reasons, but for self esteem issues. I crave the positive reinforcement that i am sexually attractive to males, that i can be wanted and desired by them. i mostly show them my breasts and occasionally other body parts. Usually i stick with men i have known over a period of time. Also will share pictures of myself with a select few. I do not get any sexual needs met by doing this, rather it helps me to feel sexy and beautiful and desired. If they get sexually aroused and masterbate it doesnt please me, yet doesnt bother me. my new b/f demands that i stop, but i can’t. Why am i like this? my b/f tells me i am sexually attractive yet i crave the same words from strangers.can i be treated to stop doing it? Stop NEEDING it?

A. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Health Disorders (DSM), exhibitionism involves exposing one’s genitals to a stranger and sometimes masturbating while exposing him or herself. In some cases, the exhibitionist is sexually aroused by the idea that the observer will become aroused. Exhibitionists are generally over the age of 18, male, and are intensely sexually aroused by exposing their genitals to unsuspecting strangers. In some cases they act upon the urges which ultimately leads to social and interpersonal difficulties.

In your case, it seems as though you may meet the criteria for exhibitionism, particularly because your fantasies or urges are causing relationship difficulties. Your relationship will likely suffer as a result of your behavior. You also risk losing the relationship.

I would recommend sex therapy. Sex therapists receive specialized training in issues related to sex and relationships. They specifically address concerns of sexual dysfunction, paraphilias and fetishes, sexual feelings and intimacy issues, and other related issues. Sex therapy tends to be short-term but length of treatment depends on the severity of the problem. Choose a therapist who is credentialed by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) and who has a proven track record of success. This directory could assist you in locating a sex therapist in your community. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 3 Jan 2013

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2012). How Can I Stop Being An Exhibitionist?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 26, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/01/03/how-can-i-stop-being-an-exhibitionist/