For too long, the female experience has been depicted and explored through the eyes of men. Well no more. A Woman’s Right to Pleasure is an explosive and titillating coffee table book packed with stimulating illustration, collage, photography and essays – created by diverse voices and guaranteed to get you hot under the collar.
The project was edited and produced by US publishing house BlackBook, who enlisted the expertise of gynecologist and vaginal surgeon Dr. Marashi and sex toy sexperts LELO. The result? A 270-page hardback featuring over 60 of the most important female-identifying artists, writers and creative thinkers of the last century.
From Georgia O’Keefe to Harley Weir, Erica Jong to Erika Lust, A Woman’s Right to Pleasure is a celebration of female empowerment in all its forms. “It was important for us to curate a range of voices as diverse as the feelings and ideas surrounding female pleasure,” says Editor-in-Chief, Alexandra Weiss. “Pleasure, like art, is subjective; and we wanted to showcase art and essays that would explore the idea of pleasure as a metaphor – one that speaks to freedom and the varied nature of the female experience, whether cis, trans, or non-binary.”
Getting the ball rolling in spring of last year, Weiss wanted to continue the global dialogue surrounding womanhood, from feminism, to #MeToo, privilege to inequality – and the idea of femininity at its core. “There’s a confounding lack of focus on the female experience, especially from the female point of view,” she continues. “It’s about giving a voice to these ideas, and carving out a space where womxn could explore them, without apology or limitations.
“Since BlackBook launched in 1996, our ethos has always been about amplifying marginalised voices and creating a space where women, people of color, the trans community, punks, members of the subculture, and people from the fringes of society, as well as the mainstream could be seen, heard, and understood. A Woman’s Right To Pleasure does exactly that.”
Aside from the publication’s release, BlackBook will be hosting a series of digital events, including an exhibition, panels and a self-titled podcast – all launching this month. Fancy tuning in? Listeners can expect a thorough education in sexuality. “The podcast will amplify female voices without shame or censorship,” says Weiss. “Think: Judy Chicago meets [the podcast] Call Her Daddy.” Guests will include not only the book’s contributors, but other influential womxn voices in the worlds of art, fashion, music and popular culture.