Artist and sexpert Maïa Mazaurette shares her perspective on appreciating the male body and challenging popular culture’s “sex machinery”
Today I am excited to welcome Maïa Mazaurette, who is a sexpert, writer, columnist, keynote speaker, painter, and illustrator, and is challenging gender roles and sex norms through her writing and artwork.
Maïa has been researching the role of sex in artwork for over 15 years, and regularly shares her sex expertise and knowledge through the columns she writes for GQ France magazine and several newspapers. As an artist and painter, she focuses on the male body, in part to challenge what she terms the “sex machinery” of the world’s dominant sexual culture.
Celebrating and appreciating male bodies
Maïa began drawing and painting men after repeatedly asking other women to do the same, but receiving no response.
“Two years ago I decided that I could not keep asking people to do something that I wouldn’t want to make happen myself,” she says. “And I started to look for models and I started to work… and I started to realize that some things were more complicated than I imagined.”
Among those challenges, she says, has been figuring out how to pose her models in a way that is masculine, but not imposing or aggressive.
“What is masculine? What is beautiful for a man?” she asks. “We are used to seeing them as sexy human beings only when they’re doing something because you have the idea that women are passive and men are active.”
“If you want to have one man alone in a picture, and … he’s not applying his power on a human being or an object, then you suddenly have a man who is displaying some kind of female quality and then it’s not sexy anymore and it doesn’t work,” she says.
Finding her way around this problem has led Maïa to experiment with different poses, developing an entirely new “language of position” that translates her models’ sexiness and beauty to the canvas.
Continuing the sexual revolution
Maïa sees her work as a way to continue and even radically change the direction of the sexual revolution that began in the 1960s. That change should include making it possible to appreciate regular male bodies in our everyday lives, and with more frequency.
“As women, we don’t have a lot of occasions to look at men for three hours at a time. Usually we mostly see men who are dressed up and also in museums and also on tv,” she says, adding that 75 percent of the museum artwork we see is female-centric.
Focusing on men in her work changes that dynamic, giving women an opportunity to stare at beautifully rendered male bodies for as long as they wish.
She also wants to help people create a new language around sex, one that finds a middle ground between the somewhat vulgar language and the prim, reproductive-focused language from earlier eras.
Her hope is that her work—both written and artistic—will encourage people consider the myriad of sexual possibilities that are open to them, and have happier sex lives as a result.
“We see that every single piece of the sex machinery is being challenged at the moment,” she says. “It is great sometimes to be puzzled, to be lost, because then we can write a different sex map… My wish is not to say what exactly is the sex utopia. I just want to explain what is mine so that people can disagree and make their own.”
Read the story HERE!
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