A bit of ‘gay vagina anthropology’. Asking gay men to draw vaginas – or vulvas to be correct – might sound to some people like opposites. But it’s this combination that makes Gay Men Draw Vaginas so intriguing. What the men drew, whether ‘accurate’, or ridiculous or abstract, it was up to them. And as much as this publication is there for a quick laugh at the coffee table, it can also be part of a larger social discourse on gender, sex, identity and the body. In the end, it’s really a question of how the viewer intends to look at the book.
Ultimately, though, we hope people do a lot of things; we hope they’ll laugh, we hope they’ll think about what it means to identify as a “gay man”, we hope they’ll think about ideas our culture has about bodies and body parts.
Keith Wilson and Shannon O’Malley are the curators of Gay Men Draw Vaginas. A couple of years ago, Keith and Shannon had dinner with friends, which turned into a conversation about vaginas. Given the boys’ lack of vagina knowledge, Shannon asked Keith to draw one, and so he did. It was bad. Then his boyfriend drew one, which turned out prettier, albeit much more inaccurate. Everyone at the table became fascinated with these drawings – that evening the project was born, and the two started collecting as many interpretations of the term vagina from anyone who identified as a gay man. The results range from fine art to simple crayon drawings; and from misogynist to a mix of abstract, bizarre, funny, clever, puzzling and beautiful vaginas.
Photographed by Ali Baïlon for GOODS WE LIKE.