The sexual misconduct allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, screenwriter and director James Toback, director and producer Brett Ratner, comedian and actor Louis C.
All the men have denied the allegations except for Louis C. Why would any man want to masturbate in front of a woman and what are the psychological triggers behind this terrifying act of aggression? Sex therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists say public masturbation is a form of exhibitionism that powerful men use to sexually harass and abuse unsuspecting women. Many women have seen it happen far too often on subways, buses and other public places. Forcing women to watch masturbation is an act of revenge against women, Los Angeles sex therapist Alexandra Katehakis said in an email exchange.
Driven by strong, recurrent sexual urges, exhibitionists act on a self-deceptive fantasy that the witness might enjoy the experience, said Frederick Berlin, the director of the Sex and Gender Clinic at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore. When the witness responds negatively, the exhibitionist often feels intense regret, shame and self-disgust, said Berlin, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.
Stuck in cycle of addictive behavior, the exhibitionist is addicted as much to the shame as the sexual act, Katehakis said. Sex experts say a combination of privilege and arrogance cause powerful men in such situations to believe that they are above the law and that they can get away it. Seeing a scared and humiliated woman begging him to stop makes the masturbating man feel powerful and aroused, Katehakis said.
The men can be motivated by the thrill of domination, the illicit nature of their conduct and a hatred toward women, Jennifer A. McKinney School of Law, said via email. The shock value of the aggressive act asserts control, dominance and power over the victim, Los Angeles sex therapist Natalie Finegood Goldberg said in an email interview.
The confusing and disorienting experience can be hard for women to put into words, Prudence Gourguechon, a psychiatrist and past president of the American Psychoanalytic Assn. For the victim, experts say, the emotional and psychological harm of the unexpected and unwanted act is made more terrifying by fear of the attack escalating to violence or rape. Victims of exhibitionists feel a range of emotions, from humiliation to disgust to anger and worry about retaliation and ostracization, Drobac said.
High anxiety in Hollywood. Sparked by MeToo campaign, sexual assault survivors rally and march in Hollywood. Hot Property. About Us. Brand Publishing. Times News Platforms. Times Store. Facebook Twitter Show more sharing options Share Close extra sharing options. Why powerful men make women watch them masturbate Why would any man want to masturbate in front of a woman?
What are the psychological triggers behind this terrifying act of aggression? Sex therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists offer some answers. Health: Coronavirus. Brady MacDonald. Brady MacDonald is a freelance reporter and former senior producer for latimes.