Sunday, January 9, 2011

Two women enjoying tribadism



Much erotic art, because of its illicit nature, is, of course, anonymous.  Before printing of this material became widely available it was  produced for wealthy collectors as one-off commissions. Sometimes, often years or decades or even centuries later, certain art can be attributed to a known artist or illustrator but quite often the artist remains unknown.

This is the case with this very nice watercolour of two ladies enjoying a tribadism session. 

The use of the word tribadism has changed somewhat over the years.  Originally from the Greek tribo, meaning "to rub", it first became used in Roman times where a tribas was a woman (or a hermaphrodite) who penetrated another woman (in whatever way).  Generally, over the centuries, the term tribade was used to denote a lesbian with the first recorded mention of it being by Ben Jonson in 1601 in his series of poems called the  The Forest (which also contains the poem Song: To Celia which includes the famous opening line "Drink to me only with thine eyes."

From Poem X: Praeludium:
Go,  cramp dull Mars, light Venus, when he snorts,
Or, with thy tribade Trine, invent new sports;


By the beginning of the nineteenth century the word tribadism appeared, meaning the activity of a tribade.  At some point the definition narrowed (probably because of the increasing use of the words lesbian and lesbianism) back to the particular sexual act of genital rubbing itself.

In its wider definition this can mean rubbing against any part of the partners body or even an inanimate object.  It can also be practiced between a man and a woman (Triple P had a girlfriend, R, who liked to rub herself against his thigh) but is mainly now used in relation to two girls.  The French use the word frottage (which is certainly easier to pronounce!) again from the verb to rub in French (frotter).  Today, this much softer word now seems to be largely associated with male homosexual activity so it is best not to use it in unfamiliar company!

Triple P has witnessed two of his lady friends indulging in this activity (in Vancouver, naturally) and it seemed quite energetic and needing a reasonable sense of rthymn and co-ordination!

The ladies in this particular painting (which we are unable to date, even from style, but is probably nineteenth century) are in an unusual position for this activity.  It is however a more visual position from the artist's point of view as both vulva and a posterior are nicely visible.  Although the activity is enjoyably equally mutual, according to Triple P's observations, in this picture we get the feeling that the girl on the right is iin charge and the girl on the left is overwhelmed by her friend's activity.  An experienced girl and a new initiate, perhaps?

Whatever, a nicely delicate watercolour.

7 comments:

  1. Interesting painting! Early twentieth century, I think (1920-30).
    Thanks!

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  2. This activity is called " tribbing" Thanks for your wonderful blog and especially the comment on the pictures.
    Albert, Holland

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  3. Reminds me a bit of Milo Manara.

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  4. Artist is Fameni.

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  5. Thanks for that; been trying to identify the painter!

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  6. Triple P, you so ROCK bro!!! I love your personal stories, your wealth of serious knowledge (and the clear pursuit hereof!), your outlook on life and censorship and social climes, etc, I could go on, but you get the gist!

    Love you bro, but not in a gay way, ahem!! :)

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    1. Thank you! I'm not a great crusading type myself but I think a vocal minority of people are putting our right to enjoy arousing material under threat at present in the US and UK (fortunately the Europeans are more sensible!)

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