Here’s a nice sexy photo for you. I hope it’s obvious that it’s not one of me. Neither, in fact, is it of anyone I know. Let me ask a stupid question: what’s it a picture of?

A photo of . . . ?

At first sight, it’s pretty obvious. It’s some part of a woman’s body, with some wispy see-through clothing. I can’t quite tell which bit of her it is—it could be her lower back, or the top of her cleavage, or it could even be . . .

Well, it’s not any of these things. It’s not part of a woman’s body. It’s not part of anyone’s body. It’s not a close-up of anything. It’s not even a picture of anything from Earth.

It’s a photograph of Mars, taken a few months ago by the Mars Reconnaisance Orbiter. You’re looking at a vast expanse of sand dunes. To see it in all its amazing glory, view the original photo at the University of Arizona. It’s quite stunning. (It’s also the other way up; I turned it round to help mislead you about what it was.) And to find out a little more about it, read this article by The Bad Astronomer.

Beauty which is out of this world.

Today I happened to stumble on Black Satin, a blog of erotic poetry by Jacque Zyon. I’m reluctant to post an entire poem, but here to give you an idea of what to expect are the first few lines of Breathless, which won third prize at the 2009 Seattle Erotic Art Festival:


upon my bed
her rose in bloom

and what do you do with a


marvel at its
many folds…

gently brush your lips against it

. . .

and so it continues: delicately expressed, all in metaphor, and at the same time quite explicit without ever using an explicit word. What I like about the poem is the way that even though it’s powerfully sexual, it’s dominated by a sense of tenderness and wonder.

The blog has only been going a short while, but I hope it continues. And that you’ll pay a visit. (Note: some of the poems do use explicit language. If that bothers you, you have been warned.)

You can read the rest of the poem here, and I hope you will.

Update: Two of the above links weren’t working. I’ve now corrected them. Nov 15, 2010

Why am I posting this here rather than to my mainstream blog? I’m not sure. These aren’t really “naughty” pictures, just very beautiful and very sensuous. To me that makes me experience them as quite erotic too, though I’m not sure whether the artist would see them that way. Neither am I sure where the boundary between the two lies, if any.

I suppose I have a certain shyness about letting my real-life friends and regular readers know that I enjoy that kind of sensuality. Again, why? How could anyone not enjoy it? Well the shyness is clearly something for me to work on and that sort of thing is why I created this blog; meanwhile, let’s talk about the pictures.

They are by Bec Winnel, some of whose stunningly beautiful drawings can be found on this gallery page and others scattered throughout her blog. Mostly they are beautifully expressive drawings of women’s faces, with eyes so deep that you try to read their minds, so well drawn that you totally believe you’re looking at a real person with real thoughts. The shading is delicately done so that inessentials merge seamlessly into the background and your eyes are drawn to the eyes in the picture.

© Bec Winnel 2009

My Gemini Heart. ©Bec Winnel 2009

In Bec’s words this piece “explores my two sides, one is strong and wants to care, nurture and protect, the other is weaker and wants to be nurtured, protected and cared for”. I find it fascinating they way the eyes do in fact bring this out. But also, in my words, “Wow!”

Here are two more: The Illusionists and Farewell.

The Illusionists. © Bec Winnel 2009

The Illusionists. © Bec Winnel 2009

This is a lovely example of the shading away which I mentioned. We see precisely as much as is needed to communicate the expressions, the beauty and sensuality; any addition (full outline of the heads, maybe) would be a distraction. So would a noticeable boundary between the skin and hair and the paper they’re drawn on, but there is none: the smoothness of the skin is reflected in the smooth transition to the background. There’s no “jolt” to the sensuous feel of the drawing.

Farewell. © Bec Winnel 2009

Farewell. © Bec Winnel 2009

I’ll admit that these three pictures are a biased selection: they’re all quite similar since I’ve chosen the ones that I particularly like. 😉 So visit her site to see what the others are like, find out about exhibiitions of her work, discover what sort of art she likes, and see some intermediate stages of the drawing process. And if you want to get your hands on some of these women, so to speak, prints of her work are available at her Etsy shop.

All images in this post used by permission.