“When drawing figures masturbating, it doesn’t need to be made sexual,” says Melbourne-based illustrator Jordyn McGeachin. Amongst her imagery, you’ll come across an array of vibrators, screen-lit bedrooms, a female character sat amid a spread of red roses and ‘here when you’re ready’ printed across a poster. Exploring ideas of millennial love and intimacy, these images are purposefully familiar.
“With the way my drawings are set out, even if the scene is sexual they are not given the chance to be sexualised. The positions of the bodies and the space they’re in represents more of a comfort zone — for themselves or with the other figure in the drawing,” explains Jordyn. Her work transmits a desire to change how the topic of female masturbation is represented in art and popular culture. “It needs to be normalised that women masturbate,” she says. “It’s for themselves, not for your fantasies or pleasure.”
These days, technology always finds itself lurking at the side of each intimate moment we have — whether that’s with ourselves, a partner or with a new-found friend on Skype. By drawing from her own experiences, each illustration harnesses a detailed moment of love in a digital age. “Technology has played a big part in certain areas of my life ever since I was a teenager and it still does to this day. I feel the need to add technology to my drawings because it plays such a huge part in how people interact with each other, especially when it comes to dating. It can also bring you a different kind of intimacy,” says Jordyn. “Drawing phones close to the bed is something I always seem to do because they play a big role in connecting and disconnecting between two people.”
Jordyn views her illustration work as a visual diary and a means to keep track of her thoughts. ”When talking about my feelings I can be quite reserved, so putting a feeling into a piece of art helps and always sparks a new idea…I don’t always draw things to depict an exact moment or scene that’s happened, it’s more based on a feeling,” she says. The images embody a personified scenario that projects the reality of female sexuality, emotion and experiences. “I don’t want my work just to be about sex, because it’s not. Anxiety and sadness are subtle things I think I leave in most of my recent work but I also want it to be playful, which has helped me start my new body of drawings Love Note Balloons.”
About the Author
Ayla is a London-based freelance writer, editor and consultant specialising in art, photography, design and culture. After joining It’s Nice That in 2017 as editorial assistant, she became online editor in 2022 and continues to work with us on a freelance basis. She has written for i-D, Dazed, AnOther, WePresent, Port, Elephant and more, and she is also the managing editor of design magazine Anima.