Of voyeurs and exhibitionists from the past

And by past, I mean the “prequels” to Peep Show, Caught Looking: Erotic Tales of Voyeurs and Exhibitionists, which I co-edited with Alison Tyler. It’s on sale now, while Peep Show will be in store any day now. These introductions give a little taste of what it means to be a voyeur and exhibitionists. And let’s not forget that Caught Looking was also the name of a seminal text in the feminist pro-pornography wave of activism. Where my tattered copy is, I will likely never know, but I read that back in college when I was still figuring out where I stood.

Confessions of a Confirmed Voyeur (Introduction)
by Rachel Kramer Bussel

I can’t lie — I like to watch. Looking at sexy people exuding in their sensuality, playing it up, flirting, flaunting it, gets me hot. Knowing they want to show off for me makes it all the better. I live in New York, the ultimate city for people watching, but only rarely to I actually get to engage in true voyeurism — watching other people have sex.

Sometimes I attend sex parties, where a giant room might be filled with all sorts of couplings. But the action that gets me hottest isn’t the most over-the-top scene in the room, but when I see two people so lost in each other that their bodies seem to give off waves of heat, a magnetism that’s enough to lure anyone into their web. Once, during a threesome with a private sex party’s host couple, I remember watching them kiss as all of us were entangled and being both awed and jealous of the passion their lips shared, until they opened their circle to include me, letting me peek, and join in. I also like it when lovers show off just for me, and have asked several to display how they touch themselves when I’m not around. Watching as their fingers stroke and pump makes me feel like I’m being let into a secret world, given a special lens to view the utterly private.

Like talking dirty, another sexual act I indulge every chance I can, watching uses one of my senses to enhance another. Seeing a lover strip for me, watching them run their hands up and down their body, making them display their masturbation techniques, showing off the bite marks or reddened skin from a spanking, checking out her cleavage or his ass from across the room when they don’t know I’m looking, gets me hot and makes my body purr. Time seems to stop as I soak in her curves, his tattoos, her strong back, his neck, her parted lips, his hard cock. Whatever position I’m in, I like to watch as our bodies melt against each other, and that visual is like a show-within-a-show for me, its impact spurring on my desire.

The authors who’ve graced us with their naughty tales here also share the thrill of watching — and being watched. I’m not so much of a spy as a blatant voyeur; I like the people I’m watching to know I’m looking, to feel my gaze as they bare their innermost selves to me. I like to watch people’s faces when they come, when every last shred of inhibition gets tossed out and they are naked, bare, caught in my glance. I like them to feel my eyes burning into them, warming them, knowing I’m getting off by absorbing whatever it is they want to reveal. When they’re strutting their stuff just for me, giving me visual cues that tell me they know I’ve got my gaze pinned on them, I’m in heaven, squirreling away those images in my mind to replay later, responding to their every move, whether they’re flirting from across the room, masturbating on command, or making love to someone else before my eyes.

Stan Kent knows exactly what I’m talking about, and shares his voyeuristic secrets in “My Finest Hour.” Once you read his story, I bet you’ll want to watch his protagonist’s lover, who knows just what to do to make sure you’ll stick around to see what she’ll do next. He puts us right at the heart of why looking is so alluring: “Notice how the word shower contains ‘show.’ Show and shower — the two go together like a wet pussy and a stiff cock. Our glassed enclosure is her stage . . . my luxurious private and personal peep show that satisfies my fundamental sexual need to watch my lover engaged in what would be private and personal moments if it weren’t for the fact that I was watching.” Watching someone in the throes of ecstasy, watching them surrender, fully and completely, to those stirring rumblings inside, is a powerful thrill. I consider it an honor, a gift, whether that means a breast flashed at me on the sly, or a private masturbation ritual that I’m let in on. I replay the memories of watching when I’m alone, a special erotic reel looping forever in my mind.

Other stories here also delight in the voyeuristic nature of sex. Tara Alton’s “Walled Lake Girl” likes to check out her naughty neighbor as he fucks countless girls, until the tables get turned and she’s the one in his bedroom while someone else (possibly) peeks in. Lisette Ashton’s voyeur, Sally, in “Curtain Up,” is a lot shyer than her counterparts throughout the rest of this book. She becomes “spellbound,” transfixed, mesmerized by the naked female flesh she glimpses backstage as her fellow dancers get ready to shimmy and shake. She’s not reluctant, just unprepared for the reactions such bold displays evoke within her. She’s a novice voyeur — perhaps the best kind, eyes wide with awe and eagerness.

Despite our title, you don’t need to be caught looking — you can unabashedly enjoy every second of these personal peep shows, taking you into a world where lovers light up their bedroom stages, creating dramas worthy of the big screen, whether it’s a slow reveal or an all-out erotic extravaganza. Join us — and look to your heart’s content. I know I will be.

Exhibitionist (Introduction)
by Alison Tyler

Watch me.

Put me on display. That’s what I like. Doll me up and take me out. I’ll be your pony girl, with glossy leather boots riding all the way up to my slender thighs. I’ll be your naughty schoolgirl, in a kinky blue-and-green-plaid skirt and shiny high-heeled Mary Janes. I’ll be your siren in shimmering satin, or your vixen dressed down in my favorite pair of beat-up Levi’s. Truthfully, I don’t care what sort of clothes you put me in. I only want you to dress me up and take me out, so that people can watch.

I’ve always been this way. Yes, I come across as shy at first, with my dark brown eyes cast down; my shoulder-length hair falling forward, hiding my face. I have a long-standing habit of biting my full lower lip when nervous or excited. But all of that’s an act. What I want most are eyes on me. What I crave is the excitement I feel when I know others are watching.

And they are. They always are. They’ve been watching from the very start.

There were eyes on me when Alexander backed me up against the wall behind the record store where he worked, sliding one hand along the lean line of my body, pulling my summery dress up to reveal my lavender lace-edged panties. People could see us when Jack and I had sex in the back row of the theater, my long leather jacket open, my short navy skirt hiked to my slim waist. And when Sam and I fucked in that club in Paris, we gave a thrill to every voyeur who strolled by.

“Open your eyes,” Sam said. “They’re watching you.”

And he was right. They were.

My heart pounded as I made eye contact with the other patrons. As they gazed at us for their personal viewing pleasure, staring at the place where our bodies met, then looking up into my eyes and letting me know that they saw.

I want to be seen. All the time. Everywhere. It goes deeper than that.

I need you to stare at me, to see me. To watch the way my face changes, my expressions shift. To see the subtle strength that pulses in my eyes. To see the defiance there, the power that makes me who I am — the real person behind the shy exterior.

Watch me.

But when you stop, when you tear yourself away, I’ll still be there, my back arched, my lips parted. You’ll feel me gazing at you — and you’ll look back, and then I’ll be the one watching you. We can take turns, like the authors in this collection. The voyeurs and the exhibitionists, playing hide and seek with the sultry characters in their sexy tales. From Thomas S. Roche’s delicious “Curtain Call” to M. Christian’s intoxicating “All Eyes on Her,” there are other lads and lasses here like me who need to be seen. And from Saskia Walker’s naughty heroines in “Room with a View” to the voyeur in Tenille Brown’s “Replacements,” there are other lovers who delight in doing the seeing.

I’m sure you’ll be won over with both — and I’ll know.

Because, just like you, I’ll be watching.

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