And now for something completely different: A tribute to women. And to a particular part of their anatomy… and a magical pose that inspires me, and apparently many other men and artists throughout history.
Let’s start here:
This is “Les Demoiselles D’Avignon Carnet de Dessins,” by Picasso. It was finished in 1907, and is one of the signature paintings that highlights the transition into the “modern” period of art. Picasso is inspired by the African mask here, by its ability to recreate the face in these flat, geometric forms. This was one of the earlier works that walks him toward cubism. I am interested in all that, but those details aren’t why this painting has always captured my attention…
I just love that pose:
Her, arms above her head. Her neck. That exposed, underside of her arm. Apparently, I’m not alone: In that scene, Picasso puts four of the five women in that position.
I have been thinking about doing a post like this for a long time. It is my style to collect elements, and then put together a piece that tells a story. I usually have a theme I want to focus on. And I look for supporting examples. And then try to keep it real and immediate by adding some personal elements from my own life… even though this is a very different post, I’ll try to do all that here.
For this post, I have been collecting examples for years. Every time I came across an image that was an inspiring instance of the pose, I would save it to a folder on my computer. Today, as I went to assemble this piece, I had no less than 140 different examples, collected casually, over the years. In this post, I’ll share a few that are meaningful to me… and I’ll try to present a visual theme (at least that) about women, about their bodies, about being inspired, and in love, with all that, and more.
Can you see what I’m saying? Will you just look at that, for a minute. Wow, thank you.
This post isn’t porn for me, but it is sexually stimulating. Looking at these images, I breathe a little deeper, and little slower, I lick my lips and drop into a smokier, more serious mood. These images do make me want to fuck, but in a different way than more explicit porn might.
These images, and the pose itself, not-so-subtly suggest something…
What is it about the pose?
When I saved this picture to my computer, I saved it as: perfect.jpg. She is a lovely girl.
But the pose itself does a lot of the work here. Even a lesser girl can look extraordinary as she assumes this pose… and they often do.
Combing through my memory for this post, I can think of so many times, going back at least 20 years, when a girl would casually put her arms up over her head… to pin up her hair, to take off her sweater, to stretch… or perhaps intentionally to turn me on. Is that ridiculous? I don’t think so.
For me this pose has an almost mathematical ability to trigger feelings of desire. And based on how often the culture offers up women in this kind of physical alignment, I think we all know there is a magic when she holds herself just so.
Here is an Asian girl, “assuming the position.” And I am in love.
I want to eat her.
I have mentally consumed so many women I didn’t even know, when they would raise their arms like this. And, in my own love life, I am apt to push a girl into a similar arrangement. Just today, I had my girlfriend beneath me, with her arms just like the girl in the picture above. Me, up on my elbows on either side of her, and grasping the soft parts of her arms, I pinned her just so. And I fucked her, and told her she looked absolutely beautiful in that position.
They all do.
I was reminded of the potency of the pose when I wrote, recently, about breaking rapport, using images of Scarlett Johansson from Vicky, Christina, Barcelona.
Why does the pose come up in that film, also? Did Woody Allen instruct the actress to take that position? Or does he put her in the mood, and she just naturally assumes it?
This essay is in some ways more sexual, more fetishistic than some of my other writing… but as a man that loves women, I can see something. We all can. And it’s such a common theme.
I use the word Axilla in the title.
In my early 30s, in my pre-game days as an artist in San Francisco, I was studying some art history and practicing my craft. As I read some old art book, I came across that term… axilla. I already had a growing fetish for that part of a woman, most especially when she would display herself in the pose. Just reading it… I was turned on and transported.
Axilla means, and let’s say it… her armpit.
That term is not usually meant to inspire desire or generate turn-on, but… here we are. And maybe the armpit is more erotic that we consciously think it is? Maybe somewhere deep inside, we know something about that part of a women’s body.
The pose is about her arms above her head, and it may include a focus on her neck, but not always. And while it puts her tits on display, that isn’t really the focus either. I don’t think so.
It’s all about her armpit. That is correct.
I won’t speak for you, but I’ll say it’s sexy, in a way that is almost irritating, and puzzling, but consistently brings a heat and a certainty. How is that so? And why would so many artists (photographers, but also long before the invention of the camera) take the time to preserve a woman’s body in this position? Why would a woman know, maybe instinctively, to show us her armpit, as a surefire way to turn us on?
Could it be true?
The shot just above is taken from such an angle that is has the same effect as all the others while narrowing down what we are looking at… the essential bits.
Her boob and her nipple… I feel the allure, but that isn’t where this image peaks. The focus is her armpit. That… and the look on her face, which is like an exclamation point on a sentence that originates under her arm and reaches down our pants, pulling us into action. Yes. That is getting somewhere.
I felt compelled to include this shot. She is desperately thin, in a smoldering way (to my tastes). Lovely girl, if perhaps a little harsh. But here, the armpit is excluded, on her right, cut out of the frame… and even in its absence the effect holds.
I want to see it. I wish it was there. It makes me want her.
I include this shot, in particular, again… as it obscures the center piece. It hides the prize. And by doing so, draws even more attention and heat to the subject.
If this shot was about her tits (which are fantastic), this would be a more satisfying image. But it is not. So I’m left wanting, aching for something… which makes the image successful and satisfying in a completely different sense.
Show it to me.
Here is another beautiful example.
She is big, but she is pretty, in a wonderfully everyday way. In a way so many girls are pretty.
And while we can see through her shirt, the pose is about more than her skyward nipples and the invitingly soft treasure of her chest.
On that subject though:
Long ago, this topic was already arousing for me. And once, in the company of three lovely, young 20-something girls, I brought it up. “Why is it so hot? Why does it get me?” All the girls leaned forward, interested, easily agreeing that there is a power to the pose.
One of them, quick to affirm my passion, said, “It does make ‘the girls’ look good.” “The girls” here are in fact “her tits.” And yes, it does “lift, and position,” even heavy pendulous tits, into perhaps their most advantageous presentation. That is true.
The girl above has her big heavy tits up where we might most love to see them…
But “the pose” is about more than that.
I opened this piece with Picasso, and now I’ll take a moment to show how incredibly prevalent the pose is in art. I had too many examples to include, but here are a few:
I am not sure who this artist is (although, I bet some of you reading this might know). It’s a brilliant piece of art. Certainly erotic. And while it gives us so much to look at (the bones of her hips make me want to run my mouth up her thigh)… the artist has assembled the pose in a rough and most forceful way.
And that may be a clue as to why the pose has such power as a symbol of eros.
Here is a simple example from Otto Mueller.
In this piece, he does a fantastic job showing a very clear and personal style, while at the same time, really nailing some familiar and tender views of womanhood. The blonde at the mirror… her round, low belly, and the way her ass is perched on the chair… beautiful. I want her also.
But then we come to the girl in the upper left corner, giving us yet another demonstration of the pose.
Otto paints girls in the pose over and over and over again. If this essay errs into the deviant in any way… I am not alone, my friends.
I don’t like this sculpture as much. There is something about it that is a little too classical, and lacks some of the wretchedness of desire that I want. But even still…
Look at his role in that image: He is below her, and he gazes up at her in a restful awe. He seems to be looking past her tits. I think that is true.
Maybe it’s his passive harmlessness that defeats this image for me. But I include it because it is so classic; it belongs here, with these other images, showing a continuity through history; the pose appearing again and again.
I love this image. It is simple, and somewhat abstract, but I burn, intensely, when I look at it.
Almost cartooned… she still turns me on. There is something lithe and quintessentially feminine that is captured. Simple clothes, so sexy. Rising, rising, to reveal her body in a pose that makes me want to ravish her.
Maybe it is because the model’s body style is one that I am attracted to… lean, small breasted, and… she is giving me the pose. And the pose is always irresistible.
For years I would find an image of the pose that I liked, and I’d save it (thinking I might write a piece like I am writing now). Quite often I’d select images presented by Jan Slauerhoff; he would not only post incredibly lovely images of girls… but so very often, specifically in the pose.
In this case, he is posting beneath another excellent art account, intentionally echoing an example from the restot account showing the same subject that I have chosen to pour all this love into. A reference to a refence to a reference… all in tribute to the pose.
Here is an unusual example.
I began the piece with Picasso, and here we are again, but this time, he has made himself the subject. Or a male model, but I assume it is a self-portrait. And what pose did he pick, the pose, of course. I think he is playing with desire, and intentionally using a powerful symbol to intensify something sexual in himself.
He is also “breaking the rules;” we don’t want men in this position. That isn’t the way we show men or want to see men. In this case, he uses it as a device to draw attention to himself and to add ardor.
She has a big mouth. And a simple, plain attractiveness, with some tomboy to her.
And she looks like a good time.
This shot, taken just before all the rest of her clothes come off… the seduction, lengthened. Or just after sex… her, presenting herself, satisfied and open, and still feeling the buzz of thrusting and wet parts and being speared by her man.
I will confess something now: I have been a little bit coy, and have intentionally buried the lede… if you’re still with me., I’ll tell you what I really think.
The pose is about surrender. And about vulnerability.
I won’t provide a counter example here (it would ruin an otherwise perfectly steamy mood), but a girl that is not into the moment can’t “open,” like this. The pose is an openness. And a calling forth.
The pose is that of a flower unfurled. She is open. She is exposed, showing so many soft, tender, vulnerable parts.
That is it. She is ready to be taken… but it’s more than that.
In that space beneath her arms, is a warmth, and perhaps a smell…
It is a theme of mine that while we in sex give so much attention to what we can see, sex is much more about what we can smell. Sex is about feeling, about what is felt, about pleasure, primarily so, of course. But smell, in terms of the essence of sex is much closer to the heart of it than what is merely seen.
The spectator can see. But none but the pikeman himself knows what she smells like.
And while the pose offers so much to look at, that warm, swampy area under her arms would give a smell… probably so. One of many smells that a women can produce that despite all my years in bed, with many women passing across my sheets… there are frank and direct smells that still surprise me with their immediacy. While she can be so perfectly soft and delicate, the natural smells coming off her body have a darker, hotter currency than her rosy cheeks or the sparkle in her eye.
The smell… coming from under her arms, or her pussy, or her ass. The smell… and I will include a pre-sex announcement that girls give me (all the time), as I begin to take them, an antagonistic smell that comes from their nipples and from the backs of their necks…
Those smells are a declaration told in an old language that something serious has surfaced. It has begun.
The pose offers surrender. A visual surrender, but an actual one, with real vulnerability. Each sensitive section, her neck, her tits, her face, and her magnificent axilla (but of course), are all laid bare, exposed, and at your mercy. If you take her, take what is now yours… If you slide into that space that is created when her arms frame her face and her boobs lift up toward your chin…
In that space, the conversation would likely continue, with smells of a design that nature perfected in order to spur you forward, to stoke your desire, to make you need it. To make you take it.
To make you want her.