Sunday, December 15, 2013

Lesbian shunga: Woman using a dildo by Chōkyōsai Eiri (1801)



There is a fabulous exhibition of Japanese erotic art on at the British Museum at the moment.  Given a concerted effort by parts of society in Britain at present to increasingly follow America's conservative views, rather than more liberal continental Europe's, on erotic material it's good to see the British Museum taking this on.  

This picture of a woman about to try out a tie-on dildo on her companion is by Chōkyōsai Eiri, who was active for less than a decade around the turn of the eighteenth to nineteenth centiries.  This picture is one of thirteen from his only known printed erotic work Fumi no kiyogaki from around 1801.  He seemed to mainly specialise in portraits of beauties.

The woman with the dildo holds a container of cream and is saying "As we're going to do it like this I'll put lots of cream on it, so really make yourself come."  She says that the cream is needed as the dildo is such a big one.  The other girl has her hand on the dildo and is telling her to stick it in quickly as she wants to come five or six times.  Given its depiction as black the dildo was probably made of ebony.  Wooden dildos were known as mokuzō but buffalo horn and tortoiseshell ones were common as well.

It's interesting to note that these women aren't lesbians in a relationship but are probably ladies in waiting in a samurai's home, so given the harem-like, women only environment they are just having sex to provide sexual relief rather than because they are in a romantic relationship.  These tie on dildos could also be attached to a woman's ankle for solo masturbation.


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