The Gaze in Sex

“In a world ordered by sexual imbalance, pleasure in looking has been split between active/male and passive/female. The determining male gaze projects its phantasy on to the female form which is styled accordingly. In their traditional exhibitionist role women are simultaneously looked at and displayed, with their appearance coded for strong visual and erotic impact so that they can be said to connote to-be-looked-at-ness.”

~ Laura Mulvey, Visual And Other Pleasures

Charlie X has set an incredibly interesting prompt for May’s meme 4 Thoughts or Fiction — The Gaze in Sex or Kink. I read through Charlie’s questions and decided to go with those.

Watching or being watched during sex

Questions asked:

  • At the most basic level, how do you feel about watching sex, or being watched whilst having sex?
  • Would being watched make any difference to what you did, or how you did it?

One of the first times I was watched while having sex was with Master T, when we had an erotic massage date and the other man was fucking me while Master T watched. It was so strange and I kept on looking over at Master T to see if he was okay (which he was). Other times followed, like when we had dates with another couple, and the other woman and I was having sex, and the men watched. That was less ‘awkward’ since I had this experience before, when I was involved with a married couple.

To be honest, where I’ve had quite a couple of experiences being watched while having sex, I think there will always be an element of asking myself whether what I am doing is ‘okay’. I can be quite insecure, and when I catch a glimpse of someone watching me and their expression has only a hint of ‘disapproval’ it can kill the entire experience for me. Maybe this is one of the reasons why I prefer to keep my eyes closed and just concentrate on what I am doing and what is being done to me. I don’t do things differently, but just surrender to the feeling of giving and receiving pleasure. Bottom line is, I don’t mind being watched. In fact, it can actually be damn sexy.

The other way around is different though… watching someone else, being the voyeur. I have written about voyeurism before, and even though that was back in 2013, some things have still not changed. It still makes me feel uncomfortable, like I am intruding on something private, even if I know the people having sex have no problem with me watching. I have a feeling this has something to do with my upbringing, which was very conservative. Sex was supposed to be between two people, is private and you are not supposed to talk about it. Where I am quite comfortable talking and writing about sex, and having sex while others watch, I still feel discomfort watching others.

Outdoor sex

Questions asked:

  • Is there a difference between intentional and accidental watching; for example, being invited to watch someone have sex versus accidentally viewing someone who was having sex outdoors?
  • If you are into sex outdoors, what part does both intentional and accidental viewing play in that?
  • And similarly, what do you think are the ethics around having sex outdoors with regard to potential accidental viewing?

Where I feel discomfort watching those who know I am there to watch, accidentally seeing someone having sex outdoors will totally embarrass me. Maybe not only embarrass me, but also anger me. I don’t just want to stumble across people having sex, and I would never want someone to just stumble across me having sex outdoors.

To me this boils down to consent. If I would have sex outdoors, people stumbling across me wouldn’t have given their consent to see me, and it also works the other way around. If I haven’t given consent to see someone having sex, I just don’t want to see it. There is a real difference between being invited to watch someone having sex opposed to accidentally seeing it.

Other than consent, it also has to do with my mindset. Have I been invited to watch someone have sex, my mind will already be there — thinking about sex. Just having a nice walk in the woods, or a park, my mind is busy wit totally different things, and it will be intrusive to see someone busy with such intimate activities.

Random thoughts

Many years ago, I didn’t feel as strongly about the consent and mindset I have just described, as I do now. I had my share of outdoor sex moments, and never once thought that someone might accidentally see me and how it would make me feel. Maybe, had I walked ‘in’ on someone having sex when I was younger, I might have formed this opinion earlier. I guess wisdom comes with age, right?!

I am an exhibitionist, which means I like to show myself and be seen, but I prefer doing it in a way that makes both me and the one watching me feel comfortable.

Something else that came to mind while I wrote this, and re-reading the quote at the top, I wonder whether my discomfort with watching others have sex comes because of the passive/female role I have because that’s the society I grew up with and mostly still live in? A thought to ponder…

© Rebel’s Notes
Image from Pixabay

4 Thoughts or Fiction

12 thoughts on “The Gaze in Sex

  1. Watch or be watched? Not having any experience of either other than when a teenager and people fucking in the same tent, I would curious to find out first hand. Who knows!

  2. I relate to how if I’m being watched and only one glance would show dissaproval it would ruin the entire experience for me. Additionally, I also feel quite strongly about not wanting to ‘harm’ other people by doing things in public and them seeing things they haven’t consented to. Though it’s kinda something you need to be alerted to, because it wasn’t on my mind at first either!

    1. Totally agree, ML. It IS something we need to be alerted to. And yes, one flash of disapproval across Master T’s face, and all is ruined for me, no matter how enjoyable.

  3. I really like to be watched. My Queen and I have been in several situations where this has happened. It really seems to turn her on as well. Watching others is ok. But it doesn’t have the same panache. lol

  4. I do find the idea of watching my man have sex with someone else quite a turn on and I think in the right circumstance he would like to watch me being fucked – probably in every hole! Not sure if we will ever do this now though.
    Great post Marie – you have covered so many points – we often have sex outside but usually on private land.
    May xx

    1. With the virus going around, I think many sexy things should be put on hold. Maybe one day we can get back to that, when it’s safe again.
      I would love to have sex outside again, but with Master T’s disability that will probably not happen. But, we did have some ‘wild’ days 😉 xox

  5. The quote you have used is really interesting and I want to think about that a bit more.

    I found it interesting that you enjoy being watched much more than watching. I don’t have the same experience as you but do wonder if I would be the same. We tend not to play out of doors and I feel the same about people seeing and consent. While this can make something thrilling I agree that it should be private unless pre-agreed. The laws in Scotland actually mean that it is not legal and this affects play in clubs as well as nudity in public places. Great food for thought Marie ?

    1. To be honest, Charlie X’s intro on the prompt turned me to the quote, which IS interesting indeed, and something to ponder.
      It would be interesting to know if you feel the same about watching and being watched. And as in Scotland, over here it’s not legal to have sex outdoors either, let alone being naked, except for designated places, such as nude beaches.

  6. I haven’t been as adventurous in my life as of yet, but watching someone have sex or being watched does have an appeal.

    1. Back in my very-much-younger days, I had sex just off a hiking trail, on a big flat rock overlooking the valley below. That was quite exhilarating, but probably the most adventurous thing I have done re sex outdoors 😉

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