A Cunnilingus-Themed Art Show Aims to Make Oral a More Popular Pastime

Frances CanonEXPAND
Frances Canon
Courtesy "Eat Me"

In March 2015, Vice columnist Alison Stevenson drew a line in the sand. Or, like, a vagina-shaped series of lines.

In the piece "Why I Don't Give Blowjobs," Stevenson explained that besides not really enjoying the experience of giving a blowjob, she'd come to the conclusion that it's sort of bullshit that performing oral sex on a man is considered a regular (if not mandatory) function in a hetero relationship while cunnilingus remains optional. Ideally, sex should result in reciprocal pleasure — but men have been given society's permission to be lackadaisical. 

"The real root of the problem seems to be that too many straight dudes are under the impression that women orgasm from penetration. The only thing a man has been able to give me during penetrative sex is HPV," she wrote.

The piece got a lot of attention and, as you can imagine, made Stevenson a huge hit with the internet's MRA community ("Yeah, I get called a fat, hipster cunt on a daily basis," she says). But it also, sort of inadvertently, turned clitoral-stimulation awareness into her cause. 

"I’ve been kind of a cunnilingus crusader for a few years now," she said over the phone recently. "I realized after writing that, a lot of men don't even know that the majority of women can't orgasm from penetrative sex. I’ve want to drive that home, spread cunnilingus awareness, so women don’t have to ask for it, the way blowjobs are so casual."

Carmen MonoxideEXPAND
Carmen Monoxide
Courtesy "Eat Me"

As an extension of that mission, Stevenson and longtime friend Elizabeth Vazquez organized "Eat Me," a two-day, cunnilingus-themed art show on display this weekend at Junior High in Hollywood. Besides raising this particular sex act's profile, Stevenson and Vazquez want to destigmatize female pleasure in general and, hopefully, make people confront how weird it is that such an important part of the female anatomy is still shrouded from public view and conversation. Vazquez says, "The vagina is still regarded in negative connotative ways — why can they show a penis in movies but not a vagina? [We want to] show how fearful we still are of embracing a woman’s sexual freedom and power."

Stevenson and Vazquez met in the late '00s as students at El Camino High School in the Valley, where they bonded over a common affection for John Waters movies. They went their separate ways for college — Vazquez studied film in England, Stevenson studied film and writing at UC Davis — but hooked back up to become creative collaborators. They've created their own video installations to show alongside the work of female artists they found through friends in the art world and on Instagram: Kate Klingbeil, Carmen Monoxide, Maritza Lugo, Frances Canon and others. 

Kate KlingbeilEXPAND
Kate Klingbeil
Courtesy "Eat Me"

A lot of the art in the show is overt in meaning — you're more likely to see representations of naked human vulvas than suggestive-looking flowers — but Stevenson and Vazquez want the show to be sort of funny, too. They've invited a slate of female stand-up comedians to perform at Saturday's opening. 

"To do something like this, you have to have an element of comedy. Shoving it in people’s faces without having a comedic aspect wouldn't make for a good show," Stevenson says, explaining that their own installations are an aesthetic blend of the "gross, trashy and campy," not unlike the John Waters movies they liked growing up. 

"We don’t want to be cunnilingus Nazis." 

Maritza LugoEXPAND
Maritza Lugo
Courtesy "Eat Me"

"Eat Me: A Cunnilingus-Themed Art Show," Junior High, 5656 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., Aug. 20, 7-11 p.m.; Sun., Aug. 21, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (closing reception from 5-7 p.m.); $5 suggested donation. welcometojuniorhigh.com.

Upcoming Events


Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >