We recently looked at some pictures by the German artist ME Philipp. Here are a few more of his erotic scenes, most of which were done as book illustrations, which were produced from about 1915 until about 1925.
Erotica comes. of course, in different levels of explicitness and Philipp's work is mainly at the milder end of the spectrum but is no less effective for that.
In fact, it nicely illustrates one of the characteristics of this level of erotic work; that whilst the lady can be shown naked the man often keeps his clothes on.
The acceptability of showing a woman and a man naked in a sexual situation is often different. This may be down to aesthetics on the artists part in that he would rather draw a nude female body.
It might be down to the artist''s concerns about the aesthetics of the viewer of the work who may or may not want to look at a naked male body.
It may be down to the fact that depicting an erection has been the dividing line between what is acceptable (or legal, in many cases) and what is not.
So while it has been quite acceptable to show a woman's pubic area or even sex organs in the past this acceptability is not at the same level as would be the case if a man's were shown. This double standard certainly exists today in Hollywood cinema but, in that case, there may be an element of the male actor not wanting to show the world everything. Unfortunately for young actresses, they seem to have to put up with the fact that they are expected to show more than their male counterparts. This is certainly sexism in action!
For women the depiction of bare breasts is one level higher on the acceptability rating than showing the pubic area. Even today this acceptability varies from place to place. Triple P was talking to some Americans in Istanbul last week who were surprised and somehat horrified by the bare breasts on view every day in the UK's tabloid newspapers.
Two of Philipp's pictures do include a male erection but in both cases the woman is naked whilst the man keeps his clothes on.
We like these little eighteenth century style vignettes of Philipp's and with their gentle breast nibbling, fingering and licking they are all about the excitement of foreplay rather than intercourse. This is a theme we will examine more, in conjunction with our lesbian theme, over the next month or so.
ME Philipp Self portrait (1939)