I’ve just had the funniest hour of my life. Regretsy is genius, there’s no denying it
And…. I’m on it. Oh yes I am. A few posts down in the art section. I don’t have a photo of the painting so I can’t even prove it.
When I’d seen regretsy before I’d actually wondered i they’d come across this most hideous article and they did. I didn’t even bother disguising my contempt for it in the description.
It was a year ago, I’d had a really frustrating conversation with someone who told me I was never going to be successful until I started painting big pictures of cocks. Monumental cock pictures were where it’s at, apparently. It was just after erotica 09 and I was really fed up with feeling that I had to appear sexually available to sell my work.
As it happens, I am sexually available but not to just anyone! I had one guy on facebook who just wouldn’t leave it. No matter how polite I was he was articulate but really offensive and wouldn’t accept that I wasn’t interested in him and didn’t want to answer any more of his questions. at the same time I was trying to extricate myself from a doomed relationship and part of me just thought I should almost shed my skin, start again, leave the art behind.
Somewhere in my back catalogue I had a photo that had been taken for a laugh and I committed facebook suicide. I painted it on a blank canvas in 45 minutes and posted it up in art groups. The caption said something like “I’ve had enough, I’m committing facebook suicide- do your worst, report me!”
And they did.
And I bounced back with a better plan and now I don’t get the amount of grief I used to. I got my marketing all wrong at the start.
And I still don’t like painting men.
It goes back to what I was saying yesterday about what people find erotic. That’s just why I did it, it’s hilarious!
If I did I’d get myself on as a regretsy regular. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve got a funny sense of humour but I love my spot on there. And it sold my revolting painting! And I bought some wine.
It’s so grey and rainy today, I’ve got all my daylight bulbs illuminating my work area and it’s still so dark and grim I ust can’t summon up the will to paint so I’m just going to write a bit about my life in the real world. Yesterday the man came to read the meter and put a card through the door saying he’d be back this morning.
Recently I rearranged my house so there’s no route through straight to the back door and everyone has to come through my front room, kitchen, and studio to get there. There’s no back gate and the meter is just outside the back door so short of hiding everything I’m doing and taking everything off the walls I’m about to deal with anything from confused embarrassment, wide eyed voyeuristic interest and a barrage of questions (see previous posts)
I rarely get a hard time from anyone who actually sees me and what I do in close proximity, the mystery is taken out of it. I’m clearly not painting in the nude, or a man pretending to be a girl so that’s half the battle.
But maybe I sometimes do feel a bit apologetic about it. Contractors and salespeople are generally male so I don’t get any real hostility or suspicion from these strangers who come into my house but I do have a sinking feeling when I know I’m going to have to say something. I wonder what this one will be like.
As you can see from my post photo today I’m pining because I’m not going to erotica at olympia this year. I’d have known so much better this year what to paint for that particular exhibition and I’m sad not to be going. I’d enjoy it so much more if I did it again. And I’ve never seen Dita Von Teese live, that would be so amazing. And the shopping, all those goodies I could use in my work. Shoes! Corsets, masks, feathers…. I’m sulking.
My blog is turning into more of a catalogue of my feelings about postmodern female sexuality and it’s inherent problems than about painting. But it keeps me amused so humour me.
In all likelihood, my reader, I’m about to tell you of a world about which you know nothing. So please suspend disbelief and judgement and hear me out.
Most of my friends are poledancers. And at a stretch, given the fact that I’ve completed six levels of instruction and am typing this next to a fully installed professional chrome dance pole, I am too. That statement generally makes people either angry, aroused or confused. I hope to change that reaction. Sometimes I can change peoples’ perception, often I can’t.
Let me first tell you this. I watched nearly 40 pole performances on Saturday night at a competition. Some of those were people just wanting to give it a go, and others were from world renowned performers. In the audience- 80% women, 10% parents, 10% pole husbands (think WAGS) My friend next to me noticed that the young man across from us in the front row looked at the floor when he was in danger of getting an eyeful.
It’s just not what you think. Of course there are poledancers who do it for advertising so they can show their wares enough to get men to pay for a private dance. Good on em I say! It’s good money and if men are silly enough to pay to play the game nobody’s losing on the deal. I’ve been to strip clubs and seen some very impressive performances from some very athletic and pretty girls so if you’re expecting me to berate them, I’m not going to. But it’s not what I’m talking about.
I understand why pole fitness as a concept inspires such ridicule. There’s a basic misconception and prejudice behind it along with a feeling that we’re not being entirely honest about our motivation.
Why have so many suburban women got a dance pole in their kitchen? What place have high heels and photos got in a fitness class? Aren’t these women just doing it so they can go home and shake their booty in the old man’s face and give him a thrill? These questions stop being relevant when you meet us and see what we actually do. If it turns you on seeing a middle aged woman in hotpants red-faced and bruised with a pole between her legs swearing like she’s dropped a brick on her foot… stick around. If not you’ll be sorely disappointed!
The scorn that some people pour on the concept amazes me. The steel pole makes things possible that no ordinary woman will do unless she runs away with the circus! It’s about strength and style. And it’s about music and dressing up. There, I admitted it. We like the shoes. Sometimes we play sexy, sometimes we play it for laughs. But we’re not playing with men in mind. As long as I’ve had my x-pole no man has seen me on it. With the exception of the male student in the class (who happens to be better than me!)
But is it a crime? Does it have to elicit such suspicion? It’s a post-feminist conundrum until you realise that we quite like our man looking at us- it isn’t an automatic violation!! On a recent television discussion about pole fitness it seemed to be that saying a woman might want to use her skill to turn her man on at home invalidates the whole thing.
To that conclusion I say this. Is it impossible that a woman might just understand that men are visual creatures? that she might like dressing up and dancing? That she’s not averse to putting high heels and frills on for bed? That she knows why lap dance clubs are successful and maybe, just maybe…. she’s grown up enough and secure enough to think she might just give those strippers a run for their money and put on a show for the man she loves?
If to that you think- “No, women should just lift up their M&S nighties in the dark and leave it to the sex workers to the dirty stuff” or ” men would rather pay for it with a woman who’s spent ten minutes pretending to like every man in the room til he hands over his twenty quid and she moves on. There’s no place for that in a loving relationship” – that’s a shame. And you couldn’t be more wrong.