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Fuck the President. Literally.
March 27, 2009 9:49 AM   Subscribe

"In Join Or Die, I paint myself having sex with the Presidents of the United States in chronological order."
posted by Pope Guilty (130 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
Prepare to hate this. Then reassess your prejudice when you look at the paintings and go, hmm, that's actually quite good. Still NSFW though.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:53 AM on March 27, 2009


She's really givin' it to James Buchanan.
posted by gman at 9:57 AM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Exactly what it says on the tin. Pretty good though. I love the Martin Van Buren one. The Millard Fillmore one is a little disturbing, though.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:00 AM on March 27, 2009


I didn't have the stomach to see for myself. Do they fuck Grover Cleveland twice?
posted by Joe Beese at 10:02 AM on March 27, 2009 [21 favorites]


I am surprised at how much I love this.
posted by padraigin at 10:03 AM on March 27, 2009


Does what is says on the .. wait, why?

I am interested in humanizing and demythologizing the Presidents by addressing their public legacies and private lives. The presidency itself is a seemingly immortal and impenetrable *muffled snicker* institution; by inserting myself *snicker* in its timeline, I attempt to locate something intimate and mortal.

The works (certainly NSFW, though some are more graphic than others, viewer best beware) don't quite match with the words. I see the playfulness in it all, but how is this humanizing the legends? Some images focus on the faces of the past Presidents, generally their most recognizable feature, but others seem to focus more on the artist as a self-portrait (see: #11, who I'd assume is James K. Polk with his swoopy tail of hair).

I understand the intent, but to my untrained eye these could easily be a comment on age-ism, or on race relations. Maybe if the faces were more iconic and less ... blobby?

(Suggestion: If you are rusty on your history of U.S. Presidents like me, the wiki list of presidents, complete with portraits, is a good go-to).
posted by filthy light thief at 10:03 AM on March 27, 2009


Obligatory punchline of a longstanding joke: "I've been a Republican for only five minutes, and already I feel like screwing someone!"
posted by aurelian at 10:04 AM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Man, I don't remember this section of The Joy of Sex at all.
posted by cortex at 10:04 AM on March 27, 2009 [9 favorites]


I, as a lover of historical porn, wholeheartedly approve I'm just sad Hamilton was never elected prez....
posted by idle at 10:05 AM on March 27, 2009


Can't wait (weight?) for Taft, and I concur that this is surprisingly entertaining for something so gimmicky. Wouldn't they have taken their wigs off too, though?
posted by RogerB at 10:05 AM on March 27, 2009


Man, FUCK past presidents.
posted by ORthey at 10:07 AM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


W. better be bucking rails of coke off her ass.
posted by gman at 10:11 AM on March 27, 2009 [9 favorites]


Lincoln always gets blown away.
posted by Curry at 10:12 AM on March 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


I didn't have the stomach to see for myself. Do they fuck Grover Cleveland twice?

Yes. In between bouts he took the time to eat a few porkchops and groom his moustachio while preparing a Daguerreotype of his exploits.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 10:12 AM on March 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


Yeah, art school ... I miss it.
posted by R. Mutt at 10:12 AM on March 27, 2009 [5 favorites]


Huhn.

Potential Presidential pegging.

Wait... I clicked this why?
posted by Samizdata at 10:13 AM on March 27, 2009


This is how I lull myself to sleep every night.

It's oddly difficult to make it past Franklin Pierce.
posted by malocchio at 10:13 AM on March 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


She's just doing this to get to Obama.
posted by Malor at 10:13 AM on March 27, 2009 [10 favorites]


She's just doing this to get to Obama.

And what's Pastor Manning gonna say about that?
posted by gman at 10:14 AM on March 27, 2009


From the artist's statement:
"I approach the spectacle of sex and politics with a certain playfulness."

.. are we allowed to say such a thing about ourselves? Isn't that a judgement for the viewer to make ?

Also, I find it hard to really enjoy paintings of photos, or paintings of collaged/photoshopped ones (I don't find the faces of the presidents to be very well resolved into the structure of the images).

..but then, I'm a cranky old fart.
posted by bonobothegreat at 10:16 AM on March 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


It'll be really interesting when she gets to FDR and JFK, I think. With the early presidents it's hard to tell them apart, since one white guy in a powdered wig looks kind of like the next.
posted by jonmc at 10:17 AM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


She's really givin' it to James Buchanan.

Silly girl. Doesn't she know he's going to back to the other team?
posted by jonp72 at 10:17 AM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


LIES. Everybody knows they didn't invent blowjobs until the 1960's, and even then it was in Beta until the 80's.
posted by Avenger at 10:18 AM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


"...are we allowed to say such a thing about ourselves?" says the man named bonobothegreat.
posted by miss lynnster at 10:19 AM on March 27, 2009


I can't stop picturing Paul Giamatti in the second painting...
posted by aheckler at 10:20 AM on March 27, 2009


Lends an entire new level of meaning to this T-shirt.
posted by dersins at 10:21 AM on March 27, 2009


I think she's actually a really good painter... the way she does complicated skin tone is impressive.
posted by phrontist at 10:22 AM on March 27, 2009


Considering I haven't been in a woman since the Statue of Liberty or had an erection since the Eisenhower administration, pictures of poking Polk or Andrew's johnson don't really do it for me.
posted by ornate insect at 10:23 AM on March 27, 2009 [4 favorites]


Humph. I thought we just had a Presidential Erection.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 10:27 AM on March 27, 2009


The Millard Fillmore one is a little disturbing, though.

Looks like she inserted herself and Mr. Fillmore into a scene from IRREVERSIBLE. With herself in Monica Bellucci's role and Fillmore in Vincent Cassel's.
posted by Justinian at 10:29 AM on March 27, 2009


This is another example of an artist using supposedly provocative political content in order to promote otherwise unremarkable art.
posted by jason's_planet at 10:30 AM on March 27, 2009 [5 favorites]


How is watching you get it on with Abe intimate?

Is reducing historic figures to just sex humanizing? Does the audience gain a better understanding of Abe's handling of the Civil War by watching you blow him? Did Abe ever get a blowjob?

Why must you insert yourself into the paintings? Wouldn't it be humanizing to hear the letters that Abe and his wife wrote to each other?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:31 AM on March 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


This is another example of an artist using supposedly provocative political content in order to promote otherwise unremarkable art.

As well as supposedly provocative bra and pants content.
posted by fire&wings at 10:34 AM on March 27, 2009


From the artist's statement:
"I approach the spectacle of sex and politics with a certain playfulness."

.. are we allowed to say such a thing about ourselves? Isn't that a judgement for the viewer to make ?

Is that how far we are taking deconstruction these days? It's one thing to say that the viewer's interpretation is as valid as the artist's, but now the artist isn't even allowed to express what her internal framework was? We must disregard, or better yet, never be sullied by information from the artist herself so that our own subjective impression can reign supreme? I'm ready for the pendulum to swing back the other way now.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 10:34 AM on March 27, 2009 [8 favorites]


This is another example of an artist using supposedly provocative political content in order to promote otherwise unremarkable art.

Exactly. It's the "oh look how taboo I am" school of superficial coyness, like Tracey Emin or what have you. Lai's coitus-presidentus paintings are visually tepid and unremarkable, but because there's a political gimmick to them we are supposed to glean levels of symbolism. It's cheap.
posted by ornate insect at 10:36 AM on March 27, 2009 [5 favorites]


What about the gay ones?
posted by DU at 10:38 AM on March 27, 2009


As if those guys would do her.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:40 AM on March 27, 2009


The anonymous sex (and that's what it is) is penetration fantasy.
posted by Mblue at 10:41 AM on March 27, 2009


Next up: Someone from the Commonwealth tries this and is arrested for child porn.
posted by ODiV at 10:45 AM on March 27, 2009


Looks like she can handle Johnson.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 10:45 AM on March 27, 2009 [4 favorites]


What about the gay ones?

Did you look at the Buchanan one?
posted by gman at 10:45 AM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Or, The History of the American Taxpayer
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:46 AM on March 27, 2009 [9 favorites]


I tried to actually do this, but, in the end, I couldn't. It wasn't the grave robbing or the necrophelia that got in my way. I just couldn't wrap my mind around having sex with someone that much older than me.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:47 AM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


conflicted. i actually like the paintings, though they don't strike me as being technically outstanding. but her statement kills the experience for me. it feels to me, too, that the artist is trying to force specific content into the images. it is fair for the artist to provide insight into her motivation, but it is also the responsibility of the viewer to react against it when s/he feels like that insight misses the mark. these works do the opposite of humanizing historical figures for me. the 'playfulness' she alludes to doesn't seem like the best approach to the intended task. to me, this body flirts with possibly interesting questions about the intersection of sex and power in both the public and private(s) spheres, but necessarily retains the iconographic nature of the presidents to achieve this. or some such shit.
posted by barrett caulk at 10:51 AM on March 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


(gotta use my b.f.a. somehow, and i guess this is it)
posted by barrett caulk at 10:51 AM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I tried to actually do this, but, in the end
The History of the American Taxpayer
posted by Mblue at 10:55 AM on March 27, 2009


Bill Clinton already "Humanized" the presidency if you will.

Nixon goes to China?
posted by dibblda at 10:59 AM on March 27, 2009


Or, The History of the American Taxpayer

i dunno, some of the balling looks pretty hot to me. the kind of shit i want to get up to on a friday night (or whenever, actually). so not an emotionally analogous to taxpaying to me at all.
posted by barrett caulk at 11:00 AM on March 27, 2009


You're obviously not paying your taxes right, barrett caulk.
posted by ODiV at 11:06 AM on March 27, 2009


Hmmmm, somehow I always suspected that Grant was a spankophile....

Avenger Dunno about blowjobs, but cunnilingus was around at least 2000+ years ago. There's an inscription on a brothel in Pompeii advertising that one of the prostitutes "...will lick your vulva, 2 Aes". See, that's what a classical education gets you.
posted by sotonohito at 11:06 AM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Nixon goes to China?

Would that be his OPEC face?
posted by YoBananaBoy at 11:09 AM on March 27, 2009


but i'm using the 1040 EZ form.


(apologies for that. sigh)
posted by barrett caulk at 11:09 AM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Not being able to distinguish any president in that line up except from Abraham Lincoln, it just looks like 'I painted myself having sex with random older men'. Kinda takes the meaning out of it.


Although, having said that, I did feel the need to look up #18. I'ld let Ulysses spank me anyday...
posted by Sova at 11:09 AM on March 27, 2009



I tried to actually do this, but, in the end, I couldn't. It wasn't the grave robbing or the necrophelia that got in my way. I just couldn't wrap my mind around having sex with someone that much older than me.


I know what you mean, that 196 year age difference can get awkward.
posted by The Whelk at 11:11 AM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: I tried to actually do this butt.
posted by speedo at 11:12 AM on March 27, 2009


Cf: 44 Presidents Coming
posted by swift at 11:13 AM on March 27, 2009


I didn't have the stomach to see for myself. Do they fuck Grover Cleveland twice?

Uh-huh. Nixon took off before the climax, too. Ford had to finish for him. It wasn't pretty.
posted by jonmc at 11:15 AM on March 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


Truism The natural progression of taxes are culled from those who produce.
Truism The natural progression of the populace who don't produce is envy.
Truism blank
posted by Mblue at 11:17 AM on March 27, 2009


I like this art.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:18 AM on March 27, 2009



Next up: Someone from the Commonwealth tries this and is arrested for child porn.


William Pitt the Younger wasn't that young.
posted by thivaia at 11:35 AM on March 27, 2009


but i'm using the 1040 EZ form.

Did you file in triplicate with your accountant?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:35 AM on March 27, 2009


swift - though creepier, they also look more like the people. Maybe they're more caricatures than truthful representations, which would then defeat the purpose of Justine Lai's art (that of humanizing them).
posted by filthy light thief at 11:37 AM on March 27, 2009


".. are we allowed to say such a thing about ourselves? Isn't that a judgement for the viewer to make ?

Is that how far we are taking deconstruction these days? It's one thing to say that the viewer's interpretation is as valid as the artist's, but now the artist isn't even allowed to express what her internal framework was? We must disregard, or better yet, never be sullied by information from the artist herself so that our own subjective impression can reign supreme? I'm ready for the pendulum to swing back the other way now."

No, I'm interested in what an artist has to say about their work, I just get tired of that flavour of self aggrandizing gobblety-gook (aside from my own screen name, miss L).

It's just that it looks to me as if the artist photoshopped some pictures, ran them through the watercolour filter to simplify the skin tones and copied the result in paint.
posted by bonobothegreat at 11:40 AM on March 27, 2009


She must have had a REAL quickie with William Henry Harrison.
posted by Danf at 11:44 AM on March 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


"I approach the spectacle of sex and politics with a certain playfulness."

.. are we allowed to say such a thing about ourselves? Isn't that a judgement for the viewer to make ?

It's one thing to say that the viewer's interpretation is as valid as the artist's, but now the artist isn't even allowed to express what her internal framework was?


Shouldn't playfulness be kinda self evident? I thought bonobothegreat was implying that if you have to announce how playful you are chances are you're not.
posted by doobiedoo at 11:44 AM on March 27, 2009


I thought bonobothegreat was implying that if you have to announce how playful you are chances are you're not.

It's like announcing that you're cool, or edgy, or smart, or funny.

This is some pretty heavily self-indulgent stuff.
posted by 1adam12 at 12:00 PM on March 27, 2009


Metafilter: announcing that you're cool, or edgy, or smart, or funny.
posted by owtytrof at 12:08 PM on March 27, 2009


Where's Wilson? He's cut out for this kind of thing. The WaPo once noted that, "rather than paying attention to the play the President spent the evening entering Mrs. Galt."
posted by Hylas at 12:08 PM on March 27, 2009


This could be the only reason at all to vote for Palin in 2012.
posted by bondcliff at 12:17 PM on March 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


Two words:

Daddy Issues.
posted by Slap*Happy at 12:18 PM on March 27, 2009


I just get tired of that flavour of self aggrandizing gobblety-gook

This is why I detest "artist statements" in general. I have read some excellent ones, but for the most part, they make something that's not very good out to be more than what it is, or they misdirect the viewer's experience (which I feel is what's going on here, for the most part.) I like to know a little about what I'm looking at, and I'm certainly open to knowing what an artist feels about their perspective, but ultimately this is visual art. I should be getting this information from what I'm looking at; that's what should be generating my interpretation of the work, and my feelings about it. If there needs to be too much verbal explanation of the artist's intentions, then the work is a failure.

I think in this case, she felt the need to overexplain because she was concerned about the reactions to the graphic subject matter and the humorous nature of the work, because heaven forfend art be funny. I also detect a hint of recent art school experience, which is an excellent place to pick up bad habits - it feels like she's preparing herself for a peer critique. It's a shame, too, because these are quite fun and the quality of the paintings is not bad at all.
posted by louche mustachio at 12:19 PM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Why must you insert yourself into the paintings? Wouldn't it be humanizing to hear the letters that Abe and his wife wrote to each other?

Because the point of this project isn't to appreciate the past on its own terms, to allow the past to speak for itself. The point is to promote the artist and her career.

It's a narcissistic aesthetic.
posted by jason's_planet at 12:32 PM on March 27, 2009


Because the point of this project isn't to appreciate the past on its own terms, to allow the past to speak for itself. The point is to promote the artist and her career.

and boobies.
posted by jonmc at 12:36 PM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I like to know a little about what I'm looking at, and I'm certainly open to knowing what an artist feels about their perspective, but ultimately this is visual art. I should be getting this information from what I'm looking at; that's what should be generating my interpretation of the work, and my feelings about it. If there needs to be too much verbal explanation of the artist's intentions, then the work is a failure.

What I saw before me was the critic-in-chief of The New York Times saying: In looking at a painting today, "to lack a persuasive theory is to lack something crucial." I read it again. It didn't say "something helpful" or "enriching" or even "extremely valuable." No, the word was crucial.

In short: frankly, these days, without a theory to go with it, I can't see a painting.
-Tom Wolfe

posted by jason's_planet at 12:38 PM on March 27, 2009


I should be getting this information from what I'm looking at; that's what should be generating my interpretation of the work, and my feelings about it.

Yeah, this FPP should have linked to the art directly not the artist's statement.
posted by dydecker at 12:41 PM on March 27, 2009


Did Abe ever get a blowjob?

Ultimately, we will never know.

But I have heard that 19th century America was a decidedly vanilla place, a place where oral sex was considered pretty edgy stuff. The kind of kinky shit that decadent French people did. I remember reading one story about how turn-of-the-century prostitutes wouldn't do oral because it was just too gross.

Oral sex then was probably as edgy as anal sex is today.
posted by jason's_planet at 12:50 PM on March 27, 2009


I don't know about that, dude. I figure everybody did the same shit we do today, they just didn't talk about it. It's not like we invented blowjobs and buttfucking.
posted by jonmc at 1:20 PM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: It's not like we invented...

oh, the hell with it
posted by marxchivist at 1:22 PM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't know about that, dude. I figure everybody did the same shit we do today, they just didn't talk about it. It's not like we invented blowjobs and buttfucking.

That doesn't mean that there can't be trends.
posted by Bookhouse at 1:26 PM on March 27, 2009


Art is born of constraint and dies of freedom.

-Andre Gide
posted by Danf at 1:35 PM on March 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


Wait, did Clinton just administer the fingerblast? What a player.

I was literally shocked when my friend, a lesbian sign language interpreter, taught me what the "shocker" was.

It's not like we invented blowjobs and buttfucking.

We did invent the glory hole. At least, according to Homer Simpson.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:37 PM on March 27, 2009


There's a lesbian sign language?
posted by cortex at 1:39 PM on March 27, 2009


I know. Shocker, eh?
posted by dersins at 1:44 PM on March 27, 2009


But I have heard that 19th century America was a decidedly vanilla place, a place where oral sex was considered pretty edgy stuff.

You heard wrong. Read Low Life by Luc Sante for the scoop.

As for the art, it was competent and reasonably diverting. But Kent Monkman has been mining this vein more interestingly for a few years.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:55 PM on March 27, 2009


YOU BROUGHT 'ER TO THE PARTY
posted by cortex at 1:57 PM on March 27, 2009


Did Abe ever get a blowjob?

Ultimately, we will never know.


Just wait 'till time machines are built. Then we'll know everything.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:00 PM on March 27, 2009


Fuck the vacuum. Literally.
posted by gman at 2:09 PM on March 27, 2009


Just wait 'till time machines are built.

I'm imagining really weird fetishes developing as a result. Like in some dank, hushed corner of the Time Traveler's convention a group of people are comparing notes.

"I got Harrison, Taylor, Washington, and Jefferson." says one woman.

A man scoffs. "Big whoop, I got Lincoln-"

"Lincoln's a slut. Check this out." she pulls a stick photograph out of her bag.

"Eleanor and Franklin. ...at the same time."

There is much applause.
posted by The Whelk at 2:15 PM on March 27, 2009


sticky! Sticky! Live preview can;t come soon enough I tells yah
posted by The Whelk at 2:16 PM on March 27, 2009


Why does the loading graphic look uncannily similar to the Iron Pencil Statue in Earthbound?
posted by The White Hat at 2:28 PM on March 27, 2009


That doesn't mean that there can't be trends.

"Why can't there be trends, why can't there be trends...."

/old guy musical humor

We did invent the glory hole. At least, according to Homer Simpson.

Heh. I'm just remembering an episode of All In The Family where Archie admits to Meathead that a recent visitor to the household had a [*cough*] adult relationship with him.

Meathead says "Sorry, Arch but it's tough for me to picture you..[pauses] [makes humping gesture with fist]

Archie: What? Yoy think you invented [makes humping gesture with fist]??

Everygeneration think they invented every kind of fucking and every generation is wrong.
posted by jonmc at 2:36 PM on March 27, 2009


Transgressive, historical, sexy, subversive, funny, strange and gross.

What's not to love?
posted by Skygazer at 2:42 PM on March 27, 2009


You heard wrong. Read Low Life by Luc Sante for the scoop.

A book focusing on the seamy side of life in America's most liberated big city is not a reliable guide to sexual behavior in society as a whole. I don't remember any chapters on provincial frontier lawyers or New England farmers. So that doesn't really advance your argument at all.

I don't know about that, dude. I figure everybody did the same shit we do today, they just didn't talk about it. It's not like we invented blowjobs and buttfucking.

No, we didn't. But we are a much more open and liberal society. And that, I think, has some influence on what people actually do in bed. For better or for worse, in most societies, most people are going to follow the rules. And if the rules say "only for procreation and get it over with as quickly as possible" that's going to narrow what people do, especially if sex is such a shameful topic that people can't discuss it openly.

Likewise, if you live in a society that proclaims sexual pleasure as an ideal, within marriage and without, and gives you access to an immense variety of information and images about all the varied ways you can get that sexual pleasure, that too is going to influence what people do in bed.
posted by jason's_planet at 2:49 PM on March 27, 2009


No, we didn't. But we are a much more open and liberal society.

Absolutely.

And that, I think, has some influence on what people actually do in bed.

I'm not so sure. One of the biggest impacts of the Kinsey study was that it revealed how many people were actually engaging in 'deviant' practices like oral and anal sex. It's not that stuff like this didn't go on, it's just that people didn't talk about it. Now the fact that people talk about it is a good thing. to a point.
posted by jonmc at 3:03 PM on March 27, 2009


A book focusing on the seamy side of life in America's most liberated big city is not a reliable guide to sexual behavior in society as a whole.

You said in your post that you read somewhere that 19th century prostitutes didn't do oral (and implied that anal was out of the question, at least with women). Sante cites a lot of original sources from that period that state otherwise, including entries from guidebooks to whorehouses and their specialties.

As for what individuals who were not in the sex trade did in their bedrooms, the only sources we have on that are moral and philosophical texts, medical texts, and people's diaries. A really good book that looks at this stuff is Thomas Foster's Sex and the Eighteenth-Century Man, which, again, draws on original sources from that period to suggest conclusions quite different from your own. (Richard Godbeer's Sexual Revolution in Early America covers some of the same stuff Foster does, but less entertainingly.)

I have not yet read the work that is the gold standard for this inquiry in the 19th century--Rereading Sex by Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz, who looked at a lot of "marital advice" texts, writings by clergypeople, and other contemporary sources. However, if you look at the humor (the "Sut Lovingood" stories, for instance) and the pornography (a book called The Memoirs of Madge Bufford is one tome I long to unsee) or the time, you will see that the concepts, at least, of fellatio and cunnilingus were quite familiar to Americans of that era, just as they were to their parents and grandparents.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:08 PM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wonder if she was alluding to this statue in the Lincoln one.
posted by equalpants at 3:11 PM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Renowned for his toughness, he was nicknamed “Old Hickory”

Franklin Pierce.

*giggle.*
posted by 5imian at 3:22 PM on March 27, 2009


I don't really care to comment on the artistic merits of the piece, but I will say it is fucking awesome and funny and some of you could stand to relax about it.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 3:32 PM on March 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


Just wait 'till time machines are built. Then we'll know everything.

Sadly, we'll only be able to go back as far as the moment the first time machine was completed, so that side of Lincoln will remain a mystery. Having said that, there have been re-enactments.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:38 PM on March 27, 2009


Dunno about blowjobs, but cunnilingus was around at least 2000+ years ago. There's an inscription on a brothel in Pompeii advertising that one of the prostitutes "...will lick your vulva, 2 Aes". See, that's what a classical education gets you.

2 Aes, same as in Pompeii.
posted by ALongDecember at 3:57 PM on March 27, 2009 [11 favorites]


The Kama Sutra, written sometime between the 4th and 6th centuries CE, also details oral sex.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:02 PM on March 27, 2009


I think it's interesting that she's chosen to place herself in a series of sexual scenarios without particularly flattering herself, and maybe telling. For all I know, she's totally va-va-voom in person, but her self-portrait is kind of this average-looking, slightly boyish woman who I don't imagine is tripping very many fetish switches in the typical viewer. And these aren't very explicit images, really. It's about as tasteful as paintings of people having (occasionally slightly kinky) sex ever get without becoming clinical, which I think speaks to the sincerity of her intent. I'm not sure it's a project imbued with a message the country really needs -- I think we're all more than aware that political figures fuck, at this point; in some cases, I'm pretty sure we know more about who they've fucked and how than we wanted -- but what's good about seeing it (even, obviously, a wholly fictionalized it) is that it allows us to imagine these people in a way that they would only ever be seen by a lover. Whether that strips them of dignity or gravitas says more about your feelings toward sex than it does about the art, which treats the subjects quite respectfully, I think.

Uhhhhh...all that said, I don't think these paintings are all equally great, and I do agree with whoever it was who said above that a bunch of naked old dudes kinda run together, and that it'll probably become a lot more compelling once we get to presidents we recognize more than one in six of. The temptation toward parody and political statement will be a lot greater, too, and I hope she manages to resist it -- it's hard to see Bush snorting coke off her chest or something as anything other than an editorial cartoon, and that's kind of trite and boring. I'd rather see Bush In Love, you know? Like take this guy everyone knows sucks and ruined the country and laughed at the woman who pled for him to grant her a stay of execution and all that shit, and make me see him transformed by caring, or lust, or awe at finding the work of his God in the body of a woman. Or, you know, just make him seem half-interested and preoccupied and there to make the donuts. I can accept that, too.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:15 PM on March 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


there have been re-enactments.

There's also this. I worked on an animated adaptation of it for an HBO special. Unfortunately, I can't find it on the intertubes anywhere, but it definitely involved some pretty explicit presidential boning.
posted by dersins at 4:25 PM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's encouraging to see that the Onion's piece Asian Teen Has Sweaty Middle-Aged-Man Fetish isn't as far-fetched as it seemed.
posted by zompist at 4:34 PM on March 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


So that's why they call him Millard Fill More.
posted by hifiparasol at 4:58 PM on March 27, 2009


If she leaves out FDR's wheelchair, I will judge her as having no artistic integrity whatsoever.
posted by wintermute2_0 at 5:02 PM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


No, we didn't. But we are a much more open and liberal society. And that, I think, has some influence on what people actually do in bed.

Okay, this is for everyone who has read The Crimson Petal And The White. Everyone else scroll down.

Ahem.

What was the sexual act that Sugar did that no other whore would do? I've spent an unusual amout of time figuring it out. Sugar herself mentions oral sex and anal sex, and Rackham works over the Twins well into S&M world, so what's left? It's a big point that she does this ONE THING that no one else will do and I've been racking my brain on what it is.

Given Rackham's character, I'm sure it's some comparatively tame sex play, but it's a nagging question.

we now return to our regularly scheduled thread on fucking Presidents.
posted by The Whelk at 5:05 PM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I figure everybody did the same shit we do today, they just didn't talk about it.

Well, with the exceptions of the Marquis de Sade or Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, or the author of Thérèse Philosophe, which sounds it would have made even de Sade titter with embarrassment.
posted by blucevalo at 5:42 PM on March 27, 2009


This is the t-shirt I've been wearing. Till "it" shrunk.
posted by pianomover at 5:46 PM on March 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


sotonohito: Catullus is another example of early raunchiness. Though I doubt there are any sex acts along these lines that haven't been known for as long as there have been humans.
posted by hattifattener at 5:55 PM on March 27, 2009


"It'll be really interesting when she gets to FDR and JFK, I think."

Hopefully, she'll be doing it with Elanor Roosevelt while FDR watches from his sickbed, masturbating.

(This is perhaps the only time I've ever wished that Hillary had won the election.)
posted by markkraft at 6:05 PM on March 27, 2009


Why does the loading graphic look uncannily similar to the Iron Pencil Statue in Earthbound?

It is. I wrote about this site yesterday on my blog to point out exactly that. :-)
posted by danb at 6:12 PM on March 27, 2009


What was the sexual act that Sugar did that no other whore would do?

I always assumed that this was pretty much just a MacGuffin. It's been a long time since I've read the book, though.
posted by elizardbits at 7:03 PM on March 27, 2009


I always assumed that this was pretty much just a MacGuffin.

Ooh. That sounds kind of exciting. How is it done?

Is it anything like the Deus Ex Machina? Because that can be heavenly.
posted by ODiV at 7:14 PM on March 27, 2009


a few bad Photoshop collages she knocked together (heh) to get linked on Boing Boing because she knew Cory Doctorow would get a woody for an Asian lady being all sexy and "subversive" and PoMo

I'm disappointed that Ann Althouse's readers come up with the same jokes as Mefites.
posted by lukemeister at 7:16 PM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


we are a much more open and liberal society. And that, I think, has some influence on what people actually do in bed. For better or for worse, in most societies, most people are going to follow the rules. And if the rules say "only for procreation and get it over with as quickly as possible" that's going to narrow what people do, especially if sex is such a shameful topic that people can't discuss it openly.

Dude, there are people who feel this way about sex even in this society. The only thing that open talk about sexuality affects, at the end of the day, is whether or not people feel hinky about what they go ahead and do in the bedroom anyway. And trust me, it has been ever thus.

Oh, and speaking of provincial New England Farmers and what they did: I give you bundling, which some records show was still a practice into the mid-19th-Century.

As for the paintings: pretty much my only reaction was, "for the people who like this sort of thing, this is probably the sort of thing they'd like."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:48 PM on March 27, 2009


I'm disappointed that Ann Althouse's readers come up with the same jokes as Mefites.



oh hahaha .... guilty!
posted by 5imian at 8:14 PM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Cunnilingus is also alluded to in the Song of Songs.

"Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits." - 4:16

And, somewhat less circumspectly,

"Your navel/vulva* is a rounded goblet that never lacks blended wine." 7:2-3

* Sure, translations use words like "navel", but whose female lovers have wet, tasty navels? Come on!
posted by IAmBroom at 9:24 PM on March 27, 2009


I foolishly did a Google search. Many people like wet, tasty navels.
posted by lukemeister at 9:40 PM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I hope someone asks her:

1. Was Taft on Top?

2. What was the most prominent sexual routine?
posted by parmanparman at 10:11 PM on March 27, 2009


I gave time to this? this woman is trying be a cartoonist for Heavy Metal magazine.
posted by parmanparman at 10:14 PM on March 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


I misread Optimus Chyme's comment thusly:

I don't really care to comment on the artistic merits of the piece, but I will say fucking is awesome and funny and some of you could stand to relax about it.

Hear hear!
posted by hippugeek at 10:21 PM on March 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


Art and presidents? I prefer Forty Four Presidents and a letter to a cat, by Maria Sputnik.
posted by one teak forest at 2:44 AM on March 28, 2009


crap... that link should be Forty Four Presidents and a letter to a cat!
posted by one teak forest at 2:45 AM on March 28, 2009


I hate art sometimes.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:54 AM on March 28, 2009


Can't wait for the United States President's Bukake session.
posted by Skygazer at 12:14 PM on March 28, 2009


The parallels with T-shirts continue.
posted by shadytrees at 3:02 PM on March 28, 2009


a few bad Photoshop collages she knocked together (heh) to get linked on Boing Boing

Seems a lot of effort, given that recently all you need to do to get linked by Boing Boing is make a video of yourself playing the ukelele.

(Seriously, Fraenfelder: what's with the women-playing-ukes fetish?)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 5:46 PM on March 28, 2009


The Whelk: sticky! Sticky! Live preview can;t come soon enough I tells yah

But you can, apparently.

posted by koeselitz at 6:54 PM on March 28, 2009


(Seriously, Fraenfelder: what's with the women-playing-ukes fetish?)

Because It's JAW DROPPINGLY WONDERFUL and ACHINGLY BEAUTIFUL.
posted by Ratio at 11:20 AM on March 31, 2009


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