When I saw today’s Daily Post word “exposed”, the first thing that came to my mind was exhibitionism/indecent exposure, and the thrill it gives to the people who expose themselves. [Funny where my thoughts go, huh?] I have a few true stories of this to share that I have encountered in the past. I’ll admit that none of these incidences scared me in any way, though I’m sure victims of exhibitionism can be scared in some circumstances.The very first time I was a “victim” of exhibitionism was in Poznan, Poland. I was walking towards the train station with a Polish friend named Elzbieta. It was a narrow walkway that afforded the exhibitionist a bit of privacy. He obviously saw two early 20 something year old women coming, which surely excited him. As we walked down the walkway the middle-aged man quickly dropped his pants and drawers and with a huge smile started to wave his favorite private part at us, as if saying a hugely friendly “Zen dobry” (Good day). He got a thrill, and we got a huge laugh. One might think we should have been just shocked and scared, but somehow it didn’t end up that way. We had fun telling the story to our friends when we saw them.
Only a few years later I was living in Taichung, Taiwan teaching at an English school for Taiwanese children. Class was over for the day and it was starting to get dark. There was still enough light, however, to see most things in the distance. I was walking down a sidewalk with a small grassy field to my left. I was looking straight ahead, but then heard a man call out “Xiǎojiě!” (Miss!) in Mandarin Chinese. I looked to my left and saw an old man smiling widely, shaking his old “friend” in my direction. Since I had experienced such an action in the past I wasn’t shocked, but decided to chide him by telling him (in Chinese) that “You don’t impress me with your small penis. Go home!” Then I looked forward and continued to walk away.
The last time I witnessed exhibitionism was at an obvious place. New Orleans. If you have ever been there, then I bet you’ve seen a thing or two, as well. It was Saint Patrick’s Day, so there was obviously a big crowd. People wearing several beads around their necks, jazz music spilling out into the streets, people holding plastic cups full of beer, and many eyes focused upwards to the second floor balconies of Bourbon Street buildings. In this case, most of the “exhibitionists” were drunk women trying to attract men with fun. Men would call for them to “Show your tits! Show your tits!” then one or more women would oblige. I’m sure in these cases the women didn’t actually have a psychological disorder of exhibitionism, just disinhibition. My husband and I enjoyed the fun, but certainly didn’t instigate anything.
OK, now for a confession. I must admit that I myself have exposed some private parts in public in the past, though only to my husband. I have bipolar disorder and in the past experienced disinhibition when hypomanic/manic. I remember in my early marriage frequently being in that state. I got in my head that it would be fun to shock my husband. You might find me literally dancing down grocery store aisles and singing. Another thing I often did was revel in flashing my new husband. So when I thought the coast was clear, up went my shirt and bra. “Honey!” I’d yell. He’d look and yell “Oh my god!” I must have done that at least 10 times in the past. Hubby would seem gleefully shocked, and I was gleefully thrilled. Once I was wearing a skirt and flashed from there. Yes, what bipolar hypomania/mania can lead you to do.
So those are my stories of exhibitionism/indecent exposure. Have you ever witnessed or done it? What were your reactions/feelings?