Here is a portfolio of more than 120 watercolours which has been the subject of much discussion and speculation since it first appeared online in the late 1990s. Who had created it, where had it been hidden for half a century, and what does it tell us about the rather niche fetish of klismaphilia, the use of anal enemas for sexual stimulation?

Starting with what we do know, the portfolio appears to be all by the same hand, and from the clothes and furnishings dates from the late 1940s and is almost certainly German in origin, though France and the USA have also been suggested. Hence our title Hintern Hoch, which can translate from German as ‘up yours’ and ‘hold your arse high’.

We can also be certain which artists the portfolio is not by, though both have been seriously suggested. It is not by the German artist Richard Hegemann (1896–1960), who did many spanking art and fetish drawings in the 1920s, a number of which were published as illustrations in medical articles. And it is not by Gerhard Georg August ‘Gert’ Gagelmann (1902–64), a well-known fashion illustrator in the 1920s and 30s. The style of both these artists is quite distinctive.

Then there is the mysterious ‘Julie Delcourt’, known only from a signature on one pencil drawing, which also has a title in French, ‘Le premier lavement’ (the first flushing) and the date 1938. The drawing is almost identical in composition to one of the watercolours, which has led some to attribute the whole painting portfolio to a female French artist from the late 1930s. We think it is much more likely that the drawing, and several other pencil drawings in the same vein, are actually copies of the watercolours, and that the 1938 date is a red herring.

Where was this portfolio between the time it was made, and when it appeared on the internet half a century later? The consensus is that it was a commission for a private collection, which probably resurfaced at the death of its owner, though who scanned them (not particularly well), and where the originals are now, remains a mystery. Two similar paintings appeared in an Amsterdam auction in 2021, and are the only originals to have been seen since the portfolio was created.

The portfolio does, however, give us an in-depth insight into the relationship between enemas and sexual fantasy which is not equalled anywhere else in erotic art. It is telling that almost all the male participants are clearly teenage boys experiencing the first stirrings of arousal, and there is also a clear connection between enemas and nurse-play.

The most complete collation of this portfolio, from the many websites which displayed paintings from it, was created in 2011 by the anonymous compiler of the German Enema Art blog, which you can find here. This blog also includes links to other klismaphilia resources, including the much-quoted 1982 article by Jeremy Agnew from the American Journal of Psychotherapy. Though now very dated in the light of current kink practice, it still makes interesting reading.