Birthday Blog Part 3

On to the third and final instalment of your contributions from our request to our followers to let us know what sort of erotic art works best for them. Thank you again for everyone who responded to the call for input.

A theme common to many of these responses is the way that art, compared with photography and video, leaves spaces for imagination to fill in the gaps, making for a more rounded and fulfilling visual and emotional experience. It is also very clear that different visitors have very different tastes – all the more reason for including every possible style and subject of erotic art and illustration. As long as it’s good of course!

The sort of erotic art and illustration that excites me most is queer – this is the most important thing for me, seeing non-cis-normative bodies having non-heteronormative sex. I like seeing a variety of people, a wide range of size, weight, hair, skin colour and style. Beyond that, I’m very happy if my kinks are satisfied, so anything BDSM, leather, feet, spanking, exhibitionism work well for me.

For me, though, it gets really special though when it gets original. This might be through the choice of subject, and I particularly like when it has an historic twist, for example in the drawings of Ali Franco or Felix d’Eon. I also enjoy more Surrealist approaches, like those drawings of witches riding on giant penises or skeletons with bone dicks. Originality interests me also in the art style, but here my taste is harder to pin down; I know it when I see it though, for example in the work of Eugene Drabkin.

Eugene Drabkin, Poems about Sluts

Why am I interested in erotic art? First and foremost because it’s hot! In art things are possible that wouldn’t be in regular porn, or even in the bedroom. You can create a sexual wonderland, specifically tailored to your kinks, fetishes and desires. So the sexual pleasure I get from erotica is much stronger and more valuable than whatever pleasure I might get from porn, though there are exceptions of course. The boundaries between porn and erotic art are fluid, and I wouldn’t condemn all porn as being worthless.

Besides the sexual aspect, erotic art often is just awesome art! It has the qualities of ‘academic’ art, but is much freer than what you would see, for example, in the Musée d’Orsay.

I draw erotic art myself, though so far only for me and my partner, and here my goals are basically the same as what I look for in good erotica – original ideas, good art, and it should be hot. The best thing about making erotic art is that you can create very specifically what turns you on the most. Maybe if you haven’t trained as an artist you’re not able to draw exactly what you want, but for me that is a very minor issue.

Thank you for your work! Thank you for your time!

JPA, Berlin

The sort of erotic art and illustration that excites me most is … hmm, let me backtrack for a moment and go at this from a different perspective. There are number of things I don’t find erotic, both in art and in reality. Smoking. Very explicit sex scenes. Death. Skeletons. But that leaves lots of scope for what I do like! What got me interested in erotic art was the works of Aubrey Beardsley, his art nouveau and poster style, coupled with his taboo subjects. Not that they are especially erotic per se, but they are rude and naughty.

I am fussy about style. I like a simple style, with pastel colours, and less is more. I like my art to look like art, stylised and quirky, I don’t want my art to be mistaken for a photograph. If I wanted that, I’d get my camera out. Art was pornography long before photography was invented, and it has the ability to titillate and arouse in a way that photography never can.

Aubrey Beardsley, Lysistrata

A picture is better than a thousand words, so here are a few examples of my taste – busty women with big bottoms, so Boterosutra really hits the mark; there is just enough sex, not too graphic, just the right style. I don’t like realistic art, so Aleah Chapin I’m afraid is no deal. But Carlègle hits the style right on the mark. I also like a bit of humour, not silly like Bamforth seaside postcards, more like Dean Yeagle’s Mandy. Parody of the great works also works well for me, so Alex Varenne’s take on Mona Lisa is a good example. I also like subjects that are edgy and taboo – Schem is perfect in content and style, Pierre Beloti does some nice spanking art, and let’s not forget Aubrey Beardsley’s drawings of fat-bottomed women farting!

All of this makes feel like I am back at college writing essays – can I please go and do some art now?

David, UK (

The sort of erotic art and illustration that excites me most is, like most art, very subjective. I’m the sort of person that likes what I see when I like it, and don’t have a particular style or even erotic artist that I favour, it’s just a case of I see something, and for one reason or another it grabs me.

Namio Harukawa, All Mine!

The one common theme though is that it’s usually not blatantly graphic as such, and leaves gaps for the imagination to add, or hints at something without laying it on a plate, the kind of picture you can weave a story around about what has either preceded the moment the picture was made, or what follows it.

I like pictures that have elements that you only notice at second glance – Japanese artist Namio Harukawa has some great examples of this where the central domme character dominates the picture and the submissive is secondary. Another artist I love, though not strictly an erotic one, is Jack Vettriano, whose works often hint at the erotic and a darker side, but never blatantly so.

Some of the Victorian and early twentieth century erotic art I like too, because it often depicts acts you wouldn’t expect it to, but makes you realise that erotica and eroticism, not to mention a more liberated sexual lifestyle, has actually been around for centuries.

Ultimately though, it really does come back to my enjoying many different forms of erotic art, the real inspiration being whether it fires my imagination or not.

GM (@gemini__man on Twitter)

The sort of erotic art and illustration that excites me most is the sort that doesn’t simply expose various body parts, but has some sort of meaning beyond simple presentation, and that meaning doesn’t always have to be very profound. I’ve been an enthusiast of comics, art and illustration all my life, and often I’ve found illustration is simply more erotic than photography.

Why? The simple answer is that while a photograph of the naked form or the act of intercourse will reveal it in clear detail, illustration will express the same pose or situation, adding an extra layer of meaning and content. It is not the case that a nude drawing is somehow inferior and cruder than a nude photo – it’s something else, a different mode of expression, and quite simply one I enjoy more.

While a photograph is primarily a representation of something actual, a drawing is always mediated by imagination, and it appeals to me for precisely that reason. Even when live models are used, the resulting image incorporates a layer of artistic expression, the marks themselves on the paper, the composition and gesture, use of tropes and symbols.

Over time I have come to re-evaluate some of the images I used to think erotic and exciting. Learning figure drawing makes one look at drawings and paintings differently, but there is of course a difference between a badly done drawing and naive, expressive, seemingly juvenile sketches.

Balthus, The Guitar Lesson

One of the most powerfully erotic pictures I’ve ever seen is Balthus’s 1934 ‘The Guitar Lesson’. I saw it in a book when I was young, and never got over it. What made me react so strongly wasn’t the exposed breast and vagina, or the overtly sexual pose, but the fact that it was so strange. Why would someone paint like that, I thought? Compared with another of my other favourite pictures, Günter Blum’s 1992 ‘TechnoTorso’, the Balthus picture is somehow more engaging.

I’m still not sure why Balthus painted like he did, but I know it still works for me. I suppose the simple answer is what makes erotic illustration so exciting is that a drawn or painted picture can show so much more than someone simply being naked or having sex.

Thank you so much for all the work you do, a constant source of inspiration!

Ludvig, Sweden