One of the enigmas of exhibitionism is that a woman’s response may vary (sometimes dramatically) depending on WHEN she is flashed.  The one person may be tolerant one moment, and quite intolerant the next.  I contend that this makes exhibitionism a nightmare from a legal point of view.  How can you justly legislate for an act that is tolerated one moment, and not another?  The following is Julianna’s story (taken for and illustrates how her attitude changed over the years, predominantly because of her husband’s arrest (for exhibitionism).

Hello all!

The first (time I was flashed) was when I was 14. I was at the lake with my older cousin Gwen and her friend Pamela. We were swimming and sunbathing just down the shore from a picnic area and a boat ramp. Nearby, a man wearing a speedo was laying out. He wasn’t much older than Gwen, maybe college age. We were checking him out, the way teen girls ogle hot guys. He went for a swim, and when he came out he took off his speedo! I was shocked, but also confused and curious. Why did he take off his suit and stand there in the open where we could see him? As he toweled himself dry, he was watching us, but I didn’t want him to see me looking back, so I just glanced at him out of the corner of my eyes. He wasn’t erect and never touched himself. It was the first time I ever saw a penis and I must confess: I was fascinated. He got dressed and walked away into the woods. I never felt threatened and none of us ever considered reporting him. We laughed it off as some quirky guy doing his thing.

The second time was during my freshman year in college. I went to a party at a house off-campus. My roommate knew the people who lived there, but I didn’t know anyone. Lots of alcohol was flowing, and lots of boy-girl couples were there, some of them making out openly. I was still a virgin and felt uneasy with all that kissing and groping going on. I went to use the bathroom, and a couple was standing in the hall. She had her hand down by his pants, then suddenly I realized his erection was sticking out of his fly and she was fondling it. I just about died. He turned toward me, I guess to give me a better view, but I just walked away and found my roommate then we left the party. I don’t know if that qualifies as being jerkflashed, but it was close.

The residual feelings from these incidents were like night and day.

In the former, as time passed and I thought about it, I wished that guy would have stayed at the lake. He wasn’t hurting anything, and he was pleasing to look at. I felt safe with Gwen and Pamela there and it might have been thrilling had he walked over and talked with us.

In the latter, I just felt icky, like I wanted to go back to my dorm and take a shower. Maybe it was because of my lack of sexual experience and my insecurities dealing with all the complex issues surrounding that.


But Julianna’s attitudes have since hardened (predominantly because her husband was arrested) and while we can sympathise with her, the point to bear in mind is that ATTITUDES CHANGE.  It makes it rather difficult from a legal perspective: how can an exhibitionist tell in advance whether his behaviour will be tolerated or not?  How the f**k can you legislate for such a thing at all?!!  It is worth bearing in mind that no such ambivalence occurs towards most other crimes: mugging, rape, robbery, kidnapping, fraud, arson and so on.  So let’s fast forward to Julianna today…


Julianna continues…How would I react to being jerkflashed, pre vs. post hubby arrest? I don’t think time frames matter. Rude is rude. Being accosted in public is bad enough, but adding exposure and masturbation compounds the rudeness, and no, I wouldn’t like it. Would I report it? Depends on the circumstance. If it be in a park (such as my husband did) yes, I would report it to spare children such an encounter in a place they should feel safe. In the alley behind a nightclub, I would blow it off.

Since my husband’s arrest, I would be less tolerant of flashers than before. Having been put thru an emotional and legal wringer, should I ever be flashed again, it would be a slap in the face, a stark reminder of all the hurt that accompanies this issue in our household.

Here are my succinct answers to your questions:
1) In any park, yes, i would report it. In my state, indecent exposure in a park, child oriented or otherwise, is an aggravating circumstance at trial. I researched it.
2) My reaction would be revulsion because of the aforementioned hurt.

There is a time and place for public nudity. (nude beaches, clubs, et al.) A mainstream public park frequented by people unwilling to observe such is not one of them.

COMMENT: What we are dealing with here are “shifting sands”.  It is simply impossible to pin this down to an exact formula.  In Julianna’s case an adverse experience has resulted in an adverse change of attitude, but the opposite can also occur.  For example, women in their youth are often unsure of themselves and may therefore display intolerance towards exhibitionists, whereas as they age they often become more sure of themselves and more tolerant of such behaviour.