“Everyone’s a voyeurist, they’re watching me watch them, watch me right now.”
– Modest Mouse, Paper Thin Walls
There’s definitely a negative connotation about being a peeping tom. Is it the violation of privacy? Is it the gratification that a person gets; or is it deeper than that? What’s so enjoyable about watching a woman undress without her knowledge, watch her do things to herself, watch her do things to others? Is it lust? Is it related to power and control? Or is it something more than that? What drives people to watch others in these vulnerable positions?
Sure, it seems creepy to imagine someone watching you through your window; I know I definitely wouldn’t want to be watched; but it’s also important to realize that all movies; whether they are pornographic, cinematic or otherwise, are voyeur movies; so in essence, you’re a pervert too.
All movies offer the audience a chance to peer through a window and a look into the life of another from a safe distance where they can’t be judged or seen. We can look and look and look; and judge and introspect without ever having to worry about being caught. From the perspective of a peeping tom; this is the ideal peeping place; we can dig through a person’s purses, drawers, and undergarments, totally unbeknownst to them; a fly on the wall, or a spy absorbing people’s lives. Voyeur movies, especially nude or pornographic materials on the subject pique our interest because we’re allowed to live vicariously through the lives and naughty or explicit nature of the secretive things that all people do. Not only do we get the chance to leave the real world behind and explore something completely taboo and dirty; we also get to absorb a new world, maybe even something isolated far beyond actual reality. We put ourselves in an objective place; questioning actions that people make; the way they feel and taste and touch- everything is available for viewing, in a world were almost nothing is immediately viable or available. It becomes a quintessential art; providing the viewer with a chance to float outside of his own body; to sink into the shadows beyond what exists and what doesn’t to reallysee what there is to see- no longer can people hide their true natures or identities; no longer can people shroud themselves with what they want you to see… It’s a very empowering thought.
So, lets face it- we are all exhibitionists of some degree. For the most part; voyeur movies put us right there, unabashed, unashamed; invited to spy on people having the absolute most personal of personal dramas. We can consume all of their features and aspects; lay bare their imperfections and irrationalities, idiosyncrasies and things they fear and are ashamed of and not feel guilty. We feel superior, looking down at them from such a prostrated pose; making us feel as if they are sacrificing themselves for us; feeling emotions that we feel, connect with and judge at our own accord; which is far more empowering than pretty much anything in life, at least with such little effort.