Voyeurism is a practice in which an person derives sexual pleasure from observing other people who are engaged in sexual acts, or be nude or in underwear or lingerie, or dressed in whatever other way the "voyeur" finds appealing.
Voyeurism may take any number of forms, but the primary feature is that the voyeur does not directly interact with the object of their voyeurism, who are quite often unaware that they are being observed. The voyeur usually observes from a distance by peeping through an opening, or using aids such as binoculars, mirrors, cameras so the object of the voyeurism is unaware that are being observed. Voyeurism often a stimulus for masturbation during or after the observation.
- Deriving sexual pleasure from looking up skirts or trousers, known as an up skirt, using a camera or mirror, or a chance viewing when a person sits down. (A highly polished shoe works well as a mirror!)
- Deriving pleasure by looking down shirts and viewing breasts, particularly when a person is bending over.
"With your permission,"
- When done openly, voyeurism may be tolerated or even appreciated, especially if the person viewed is an exhibitionist.
In some cultures, voyeurism is considered to be a deviant behavior, and quite often as a sex crime. Some institutions, such as gyms and schools, have banned camera phones because of the privacy issues they raise in areas like changing rooms. (South Korea requires that all camera phones sold there make a clearly audible sound whenever a picture is taken.)