Some men, she says, “have fears of inadequacy and are trying to prove that they are 'big' men by getting 'big' reactions from others.” The Daily Beast spoke briefly to one Chatroulette flasher for whom that appears to be the case.
When asked why he was showing us his genitalia, he typed out: “i want people 2 see me an i want 2 see ppl.”This particular man, a 23-year-old construction worker from Oregon named Joe, also confirmed that he is not a flasher anywhere other than on Chatroulette, which seems to imply that Chatroulette is turning normal, everyday men into guys who expose themselves to strangers—or, at least, it’s bringing out that until-now repressed desire in them.“They can be very bright and successful and you’d never know that they have this addiction,” says Dr. She says these Chatroulette flashers aren’t the seedy characters we usually imagine, and that most flashings are just the result of social awkwardness combining with sexual compulsion.
“Though not all of the participants are physically naked, they are ‘exposing’ themselves to grab attention and their 15 minutes of fame.”Whether they’re looking for attention or a genuine connection, there’s one thing the flashers of Chatroulette are definitely not looking for—conversation.
In fact, over the course of three days—days punctuated with bored-looking young men and women, a few friendly folks eager to connect, an octogenarian man wearing cat ears, several copulating couples, women baring their cleavage, and, yes, many, many penises—only Joe from Oregon was willing to stop what he was doing long enough to tap out his one-handed answer to a reporter’s questions.
Still other men aren’t interested in eliciting a reaction from the flashee at all.
They’re “simply lonely and horny and are pretending they have a 'sexual partner' in the viewers who inadvertently click on to their webcam,” says Lieberman.
“Chatroulette is technology's answer to an exhibitionist's prayers,” says Carole Lieberman, psychiatrist and author of Bad Boys: Why We Love Them, How to Live with Them and When to Leave Them.Chatroulette, which launched only a few months ago, has already become a phenomenon, thanks in part to its ludicrously simple layout.Webcam users are connected to complete strangers, and if they’re bored with whomever they’re talking to, they can click “Next” and be connected to another randomly selected stranger.This, of course, is the crux of exposing oneself on Chatroulette.Online, a flasher can control what is and isn’t seen, pointing the camera at his torso so that his face is obscured, and retaining the option to click “Next” if he doesn’t like who he’s paired with.