Do you like public exhibitionism

Exhibitionism: why do you do that? The compulsion to get naked in front of strangers

An exhibitionist exposes himself on a playground in Stuttgart-Wangen in front of two six and eight year old girls. Not an isolated case. Why do men especially do this?

Stuttgart - An unknown exhibitionist molested two six and eight year old girls on a playground in Stuttgart Wangen. In Bad Cannstatt, a man masturbates in public in front of a 27-year-old woman. At the Ebnisee two young women are sexually molested by a man with a thong and a whip. In Owen, a man masturbates in front of two 17-year-old girls.

Four of the numerous cases that happen every day in Germany. In 2015, the police in Stuttgart recorded 131 cases of exhibitionist acts. Compared to other major German cities, Stuttgart was ahead of Frankfurt am Main (63 cases / 2015), but behind Munich (187), Hamburg (194 cases) and Cologne (218). With a total of 457 cases of exhibitionist acts, Berlin was the front runner.

Exhibitionism - a form of paraphilia

Why do men in particular expose themselves to complete strangers in order to get sexually aroused? Exhibitionism is a form of what is known as paraphilia. This is understood to mean mental disorders that deviate significantly from socially permitted sexual behavior. Sexuality is directed towards inanimate objects or people, such as children, who are unable to resist.

Paraphilic preferences are often associated with pain or humiliation. In contrast to socially accepted forms of sexual activity, from a medical and clinical point of view, they cause the affected person and their victim to suffer. The counterpart to exhibitionism is voyeurism.

Sexual arousal when showing genitals

The ICD-10 (F65.2.) Defines exhibitionism as “the recurring or persistent tendency to expose one's genitals in public to mostly opposite-sex strangers without asking for closer contact or wishing for it. The showing is usually accompanied by sexual arousal and generally followed by masturbation. "

Info: ICD-10

Mental illnesses are diagnosed using diagnostic keys. The two relevant manuals are the DSM-V (5th edition of the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders”, 2013, English for “Diagnostic and statistical guidelines for mental disorders”). This classification system in psychiatry has been published since 1952 by the American Psychiatric Association (APA, American Psychiatric Society). The manual defines what the boundaries between illness and normalcy are.

The approximately 1000-page tome is the standard work worldwide, according to which the diagnosis code of the World Health Organization WHO, the ICD-10 (“International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems”) is based. In Germany, every illness, including psychiatric illness, is classified according to this diagnosis code.

Compulsive behavior

From a psychiatric point of view, exposing one's sexual organs to bystanders is compulsive behavior. The perpetrator frees himself from a psychological tension situation. He consciously tries to arouse horror and disgust in his victim, which in turn stimulates and satisfies him sexually.

Compulsive people feel compulsive to think and / or do certain things. Even if these are experienced as exaggerated and pointless (such as the compulsion to wash, tidy up or naked), one cannot escape them, which affects one's entire life. Depending on how strong this sexually abnormal urge is pronounced, the exhibitionist exposes himself several times a day or only at intervals of a few months.

Difficult therapy

Therapy for an exhibitionist person is difficult. The therapeutic measures (often in a self-help group) should help to better control the sexually abnormal behavior, to become aware of one's own urges and to practice practices not to give in to this urge.

Legal consequences

If a person concerned harasses another person with an exhibitionistic act, the defendant faces a prison sentence of up to one year or a fine. Section 183 of the Criminal Code (StGB) states:

“A man who harasses another person with an exhibitionist act is punished with imprisonment for up to one year or with a fine. . . The court can suspend the execution of a custodial sentence on probation even if it is to be expected that the perpetrator will not carry out any exhibitionistic acts until after a lengthy therapeutic treatment. "