Hi Jake,

I recently moved into a new apartment. My bedroom window faces another building and if I look down at just the right angle I can see right into my neighbor’s living room. Now, here’s where it maybe gets weird. The guy is super hot and likes to walk around his apartment naked. I don’t know if he’s gay, but I’ve found myself spying on him. Actually, I don’t know if it counts as spying since the windows more or less face each other and he doesn’t have any blinds. It seems like if he really cared he would either put on clothes or hang up curtains. So maybe he knows and/or likes being watched? What I’m curious about is if watching him crosses a line or makes me a pervert? I don’t normally consider myself a voyeur so this whole thing has taken me by surprise.

Peeping Pete

Dear Peeping Pete,

Considering there’s an entire category on Pornhub called, “Spying on neighbor”, my assumption is you are not alone here in being titillated by your neighbor’s exhibitionism. I think you would be hard pressed to find a gay man who would modestly look away any time your friendly neighbor walked by in his naked glory. Like a sexy car crash, it’s simply too hard to look away.

I would agree that this seems like a situation where your neighbor is the one who should be held responsible for the modesty, putting some blinds or curtains up if he didn’t want to be gawked at, especially considering the window is facing right towards you. It seems like he’s almost asking to be watched. If you had even the slightest awareness of your surroundings, you’d probably at least wrap a towel around you if you wanted to remain private, so the fact that he’s not seems like an open invitation for some gawking.

As for surprising yourself with this new obsession, it’s never a good idea to judge yourself for any natural sexual feelings or predilections. The word “pervert” has a negative connotation, as if you are doing something truly abhorrent. Your eyes being drawn to a sexually stimulating real-life specimen from your very own living room certainly seems understandable. If you are feeling bad about yourself, you may want to consider working through any shame you carry with an understanding LGBTQ therapist, or even explore any internalized homophobia that might be shaping these negative self-judgments.

You’re not crossing a line if there’s no line being drawn here (or for that matter, the curtains). The question is, how far will this go? Like a gay version of a Sex and the City episode, you get to decide how to navigate your part in this voyeuristic dance. You could choose to push the boundaries and make yourself known to be watching, and see if he invites you into his flasher world even further (check out that above mentioned porn search if you want to see some example scenarios).

You could also decide to play it coy, further engaging in a cat and mouse game where you keep this little fantasy for yourself, and don’t allow him to see you watching. That’s up to you, but if you aren’t physically violating someone’s space, there’s no boundary crossing here. Be grateful your living in a real life adult movie, and if your naughty Mr. Rogers doesn’t want to star in it anymore, hopefully he owns a pair of underwear.

Jake Myers the Founder of LGBTQ Therapy Space , the first LGBTQ-owned and operated national platform for teletherapy. He has a Masters in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University Los Angeles, with a specialization in LGBT Affirmative Psychotherapy, and is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in both California and Florida.

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