Want to hear a fun song from the 1990’s?
It’s called Detachable Penis by King Missile.
They also have a song called Vulva Void, which deserves a shout out for using the word vulva.
In those days, a vulva was commonly mis-labeled as a vagina. Unfortunately, this still happens today.
It drives me nuts. In order to stay on topic, I’ll hold in my rant for now.
Today’s artsy fartsy sex ed class is inspired by a card from Barefaced game…about spider sex.
Where I live, I come across orb web spiders all the time.
When I see one of their funnel-like webs, the Detachable Penis song pops into my head. I’ll bet it’s in your head now too…sorry.
That ear worm of a song also squirms into my brain whenever I choose this Barefaced card. So, I play it while we make exquisite corpse drawings of a detachable penis.
I like to share the songs repeating in my head.
Exquisite corpse drawings became popular in the 1920’s.
Surrealist artists created this fun drawing game, where each person takes turns contributing to the same drawing. It results in an unpredictable work of art that looks pretty strange.
Strange and unexpected…like a detachable penis.
But, is having a detachable penis really that strange? It serves the logical purpose of survival, which is more than we can say about most of our own sexual activities.
In our own unique way, human sexuality is weird too.
We’re one of a few species who commonly participates in sexual activities that don’t result in pregnancy. In other words, we enjoy sexual activities for pleasure…not just making babies.
If animals could talk, most of them would be baffled by this.
The most unique quality about human sexuality is sexual shame.
The weirdest thing about us is the head trip we place on ourselves. No other creature on earth is ashamed of their sexual functioning like we are.
Some people argue that shame is a necessary part of our conscience. Thesaurus.com even lists shame as the number one synonym for conscience.
A common assumption is that without shame, we would be destructive and wild.
I disagree. Shame is lame, especially when it comes to sexuality.
It doesn’t alert your conscience. Shame says you’re bad and sets you up for denial and repression.
Destructive behaviors thrive there.
Guilt is more productive because it says you did a bad thing. It’s more likely to move you toward better behavior.
As a result, we have the opportunity to learn from our mistakes.
Shame just activates you to beat yourself up. It takes away your power to change.
Today’s project serves as a way to explore shameless creativity and the beauty of imperfection.
This simple drawing exercise includes a lesson about surrealism, nature, sexuality, and the benefits of avoiding perfectionistic thinking.
It’s impressive how much we can accomplish with 30 minutes of drawing.
We each start out with a blank piece of paper.
I set the timer for 5 minute intervals, and we pass our paper to the person on the left when the alarm sounds. A new drawing prompt is given each time the papers are passed.
Because drawing can feel more labor intensive for those without artistic skills, I keep it short and sweet. Five intervals, totaling 25 minutes of drawing time, is plenty.
Once we’re done, it’s time to admire (and laugh) at our work.
What I like most about exquisite corpse drawing is the sense of freedom and play it inspires.
No one has a chance to get frustrated with their drawing not turning out how they want.
There’s no goal, unrealistic expectations, or getting trapped in perfectionism. It is what it is.
Above all, this a useful lesson to apply to sex and sexuality. With art (and sex) it’s important to play.
As humans, our work is to allow ourselves to go on a journey and remain open to the unexpected.
Otherwise, we’re more like animals that are just going through the motions.
Fixating on doing it “right” can ruin all the fun.
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