Enter the abyss: Gay men draw vaginas (and you can too!)


A black whorl navigated by a rowboat. A luscious pair of pink lips, gaping wide. Earmuffs, a box of muffins, a crawling rodent and a wide-eyed kittycat. All at once. Such is Anthony of New York City's intrepretation of female genitalia. Gay men draw the darndest things! Writer Shannon O'Malley and photographer Keith Wilson -- the same team behind the macabre-beloved Apocalypse Cakes -- have cobbled together a whimsical Tumblr of such images, donated from around the country. Plus, they invite all comers to draw vag imaginings of their own at Dolores Park Gay Beach art parties (the next one is Sept. 2, fyi.) 

Why is this happening? We emailed the two to find out.

SFBG: Why are you having the gays draw vaginas?

Shannon O'Malley: I want to know what they think of vaginas. No one really knows. Sometimes gay guys say they are afraid of them. But some of them revere the vag. It's all so complex. It's neat to tease out all this convoluted psycho-sexual-cultural stuff through drawing. We're collecting lots of vaginas and putting them all in a book called Gay Men Draw Vaginas, which we are self-publishing by the end of the year. We are already enthralled with the drawings we've collected thus far, so I can't wait to see what the entire collection is going to look like.

Keith Wilson: As a gay myself, I wanted to see what other homos thought about the lady part that baffles us. Aside from some amazing visual insights into the vagina, it's also led to some entertaining (and important!) conversations about the vagina versus the asshole and how one is gross but the other is to be worshipped. Sometimes they turn into heated arguments about gay men's disrespect for women's bodies and gay male social power blah blah blah. Awesome.

SFBG: Where have you held the drawings?

KW: I hold them between my legs.

SO: Recently, we held a mass public collection at Castro and Market one Sunday. And we've had one at my house. That was a party that happened to be full of a lot of guys, so I put pens and markers in front of them and asked them to whip up some vaginas. But spontaneous vag art can happen at any time, at any place.

SFBG: How would you characterize the vagina drawings you've seen?

SO: A lot of them attempt to visually replicate a vagina. But a minority are more conceptual. We have several dentatas. Lots of flowers. Some are on the rag.

KW: The drawings so far have been way more diverse than I thought. As we build our inventory, I see some categories of inspiration emerging: animals, Georgia O'Keefe, the all-pink palette, floral, and gestural.


Gay Men Draw Vaginas Drawfest #2

Sept. 2, 1pm, free

Gay Beach, Dolores Park




The penis mightier.

Posted by marcos on Aug. 23, 2012 @ 6:51 am

Did anyone draw a snatch, I mean scratch and sniff?

Posted by marcos on Aug. 23, 2012 @ 6:56 am

I mean, I'm not sure what your sexual orientation is marcos -- and it is of no concern to me one way or another, and perhaps you were just making a reference to the scratch and sniff pussy page in the debut issue of Hustler Magazine in 1976 -- but your comment reminds me of a story I heard years ago.

A friend had arrived in SF for a concert event and had no place to stay. She stayed with friends of the band who were gay. In some fashion, talk turned to the subject of gay vs. straight sex and one gay fellow began to expound on how dirty the woman's organ seemed to him. Naturally, my friend was offended, but it has provided many a subsequent occasion to wonder.

I know that gay men have a reputation for being quite fastidious -- quite deservedly so I will agree -- but -- and I'm not saying that this is your thinking here since I don't know -- but is it really common that gay men think that a woman's pussy is more suspect *cleanthynesswise* than a man's bum?

I mean, a pussy is directly associated with birthing babies and very closely associated with urine, and adjacent to an organ associated with scatology.

A penis is closely analogous to a pussy in those regards.

A man's bum is directly associated with shit.

I think it is a highly dubious premise for a gay man to cast aspersions on the cleanthyness of a woman's pussy, will you agree?

(I realize -- dating from the time when I read James Balwin's novel Another Country when I was a teen -- that not all gay sex is anal sex, but surely you don't mean to indicate that a woman's sex is dirty compared to a man's sex. Do you?

Posted by an un-identified commenter on Aug. 23, 2012 @ 7:32 am

You forgot the pheromone aspects of the vagina. Perhaps there is a connection between the fact that the pheromones don't work on gay men and that gay men find the smell associated with it unpleasant.

It works the other way too:

And the way they smell, the way they smell
And here I gotta be up here smellin' Dot Hook's midwife sweat
I would rather smell the way boys smell--
Oh those schoolboys the way their legs flap under the desks in study hall
That odor rising roses and ammonia
And the way their dicks droop like lilacs
Or the way they smell that forbidden acrid smell
But no I got, I got pink clammy lady in my nostril
Her against the wheel me against the wheel
Oh slow motion inspection is drivin' me insane
In steel next to Dot Hook -- oh we may look the same--
Shoulder to shoulder sweatin' 110 degrees
But I will never faint, I will never faint
They laugh and they expect me to faint but I will never faint
I refuse to lose, I refuse to fall down

Patti Smith, Piss Factory.

I'll take the odor of roses and ammonia over the pink clammy lady, thanks.

Posted by marcos on Aug. 23, 2012 @ 8:10 pm

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