There are some pretty wacky ideas and debates about sex these days, but looking back on Medieval religious and social doctrines makes our sexual culture seem a little bit less complicated. For one, even sexual pleasure within a marriage was considered sinful; it had to be scheduled based on the woman’s menstrual cycle and the church calendar to ensure that both parties experienced as little pleasure as possible.
Another inconceivably ... Read More
This week, the first ever middle aged man enrolled in the all-girls Wellesley College. Well, almost. As part of the artist Tony Matelli’s exhibit, which will be open for the duration of the semester, a lifelike figure titled Sleepwalker will roam the campus. Appearing from a distance like middle aged man, arms outstretched, the sculpture has already stirred controversy.
The college junior Zoe Magid is disturbed by the work, and ... Read More
When the photographer Stephanie Diani saw a group of older burlesque performers, The Legends of Burlesque, she was mesmerized. Consumed by images of the women who graced the stages of the Miss Exotic World pageant, the artist located some of the most renowned performers whose ages ranged from the 50s to the 70s. She then visited the women’s homes, chatted with them, and took their portraits as they donned their favorite ... Read More
In 1949, people were finally starting to think about women’s sex lives. Around 20 years before the Women’s Liberation and sexual education was in full-force, the female orgasm remained a mystery. Without knowledge of the clitoris or the G-spot, many women didn’t experience climaxing, and sadly, many were made to feel “frigid” and asexual because of it.
How elusive and majestic, exactly, was the female orgasm? This ... Read More
The photographer Lijun Liao is dating a man five years her junior, creating a personal dynamic she once thought impossible. Speaking of her girlhood in China, the artist explains, “I used to think I could only love someone who is older and more mature than me, who can be my protector and mentor.” She still faces opposition for the age discrepancy, and her male friends often compare her role in the heterosexual relationship to that of a man. Fed ... Read More
Etymologically, Kama Sutra emerges from the Sanskrit words for love and ritual or the more literal thread. The idea serves as inspiration for the Cuban artist Erik Ravelo, a resident at Fabrica, the artists’ grant institution associated with United Colors of Benneton. In his series, Lana Sutra, meaning both wool ritual or wool thread, Ravelo constructs erotic threaded sculptures made from plaster casts and yarn.
The works are ... Read More
Ah, pubic hair, how you never cease to amaze the masses. After last year’s release of controversial vulva graphic t-shirt by feminist artist Petra Collins, American Apparel has created some provocative mannequins whose sheer garments expose a large pubic bush and set of perky nipples.
Like Collins’s work, the company’s new window display on NYC’s East Houston Street has elicited feminist acclaim. Arguably, the mannequins ... Read More
When we’re young, we’re told that sex is an act of love or affection; we grow to understand that our vaginas can be sources of intimacy and pleasure. But with all these modern demands on how our vaginas are supposed to look and smell, it gets confusing. The “cool” pubic hairdo changes from week to week, and we are bombarded with images of the ideal vagina, in all its neat, tight, perfumed and symmetrical glory.
You ... Read More
Barbie’s place in adolescence and constructed femininity has baffled psychologists and feminist alike: on one hand, she’s a patient confidante onto which girls might project their hopes and aspirations. But she also espouses limited and damaging views on female roles, bodies, and sexuality. She sends conflicting messages, passively listening to you for hours while remaining inhumanly cold. As girls, we intuitively pick up that Barbie is ... Read More
The artist Addie Wagenknecht is known for her critical examinations of internet culture. In the past, she has staged performance art pieces revealing the appeal of anonymity. She has created internet pages that refuse to load, revealing our urgent need for gratification through imagery. In Brussels’s recent Digital Now exhibit, she uses the internet and technology, tools that she admits are generally controlled by men, to create groundbreaking and ... Read More