OK, guys, I'm about to get really real. Sex is amazing. Sex is hella fun. But there's more than one way to get pleasure from sex. I'm talking about a teeny, tiny detail that we're all aware of but don't often talk about. Here it is: Sex is fun to watch.
The porn gods didn't invent videos of naked people moaning and groaning for nothing (OK, I don't actually know who invented the first ever porno, but that person did it for a darn good reason). And there's something even more enthralling than watching two random people boink, as any voyeur knows: watching your one and only boink with someone else.
“Voyeurism is about getting erotic pleasure from watching people have sex or being naked,” sex and pleasure educator Luna Matatas tells Elite Daily. “In addition to visuals, sometimes the sounds and scents of live sex can be a part of the turn-on, too.” Research shows it’s one of the most common kinks out there.
Voyeurism can really make you wonder whether anyone was built for monogamy. Psychologists and evolutionists have always known that humans are gregarious by nature, but maybe we've underestimated ourselves. Maybe we need new company in our sex lives, too, to achieve peak sexual gratification. Maybe you’re a person who likes to be watched. It's not that our partners are insufficient as people; it's just that novelty keeps things interesting.
According to David J. Ley, Ph.D., of Psychology Today, men are more aroused when they see a woman engaging in sexual behavior with multiple men rather than only one. Women in monogamous relationships are also more likely to have orgasms with new male partners —even if they don't see the relationship going anywhere.
A good friend of mine is in an open relationship, and she swears by the inherent originality and variety:
Under the rules we've set for ourselves, my boyfriend allows me to have sex with other people. Once in a while, I document the experience, and he gets immense pleasure out of watching me. I won't lie — I get turned on by how turned on he gets from watching me, too.
There's also the infamous threesome, which you either love or hate. We all know someone who talks about threesomes or at least entertains the idea of having them. And then there's the couple whose done it and lived to tell the story.
Watching a sexual partner get down and dirty with someone else isn't everyone's cup of tea. But for those people who are into the idea of sexual experimentation, they can't get enough of seeing their bedroom playmates do the deed with someone else. Here’s why watching your partner with someone else can be such a turn-on.
Watching Your Partner With Someone Else Underscores Your Lover's Hotness.
There's nothing more confidence-boosting than knowing other people think your partner is just as sexy as Kristen Stewart or Regé-Jean Page. If other people think my girlfriend is hot, it means that she must be hot, and I don't have crooked vision.
Seeing your boo get loved up by someone else confirms your boo's desirability. All of us want “the best," and being “the best” means a low supply and high demand.
We Receive Confirmation That We've Made Good Choices.
Having a partner society deems “unfit” on the attractiveness scale isn't just a reflection on your partner (or society, for that matter); it's also a reflection on us and the credibility of our decisions. After learning that neutral parties consider our partners hot, we can take a deep breath and say to ourselves, “My head's on straight.”
Though picking out a “hot” partner doesn't verify the notion that we're all-around good decision-makers, it does establish that, at the very least, we don't have to worry about bad judgment when it comes to sex appeal.
It Makes Us Desire Our Partners That Much More.
Watching someone sleep with the one we love can inevitably drive us mad — with jealousy, that is. Sex is always prone to making us feel something, even if you personally may not be the type to "catch" feelings. It's unsettling to watch our partners feel something for other people.
Nothing can spark jealousy like witnessing an emotional connection between our partner and someone else. But the chance of that happening motivates us to stay invested in the relationship.
Sharing your partner makes him or her seem less available — both physically and emotionally, regardless of how established your relationship is. The idea of our partners developing feelings for someone else leaves us on our toes and wanting them more. We want what we can't have.
Partner-Swapping Fuels Our Animal Instincts
We crave competition. We want that job or promotion to feel like we're in the right industry. We want that new car because it means we're making money. Everything's a game, and we want the winning trophy, even when it comes to romance.
So it makes sense that we like to compete for our partners' attention in the game of love (in the words of Taylor Swift, “Love's a game. Wanna play?”)
If we don't throw ourselves into the rat race, we don't feel like we've earned what we have. Earning the attention we deserve in the bedroom makes us place value on who we are as human beings. We need to be told we're great in order to survive.
Voyeurism might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if the prospect of trying it out gives you an excited thrill or a little tingle below the belt, consider seeking out ways to fulfill your fantasy — whether that’s by watching porn or engaging in action IRL with your partner. Have fun!
Joyal, C. C., & Carpentier, J. (2016). The Prevalence of Paraphilic Interests and Behaviors in the General Population: A Provincial Survey. The Journal of Sex Research, 54(2), 161–171. https://doi.org/10.1080/00224499.2016.1139034
Luna Matatas, sex and pleasure educator
David J Ley, Ph.D., author of Insatiable Wives, Women Who Stray and the Men Who Love Them,