Power, control, and a pathological desire to elicit fear all play into why a man might engage in exhibitionism, sex therapists say, in the wake of bombshell revelations against comedian Louis C.K. Experts told NBC News masturbating in front of women without their permission is typically about exerting control, not an attempt at seduction.
"The shock on a woman's face that he's torturing is where the arousal lies. It's in her humiliation, said sex therapist Dr. Alexandra Katehakis, clinical director of the Center for Healthy Sex in Los Angeles, who has not treated Louis C.K.
Two female comedians told the New York Times that Louis C.K. masturbated in front of them in 2002. Three other women told the Times about other instances of sexual misconduct by the creator of the FX series "Louie."
"These stories are true," Louis C.K. said in a statement on Friday. "At the time, I said to myself that what I did was okay because I never showed a woman my dick without asking first, which is also true. But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn’t a question. It’s a predicament for them. The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly."