Artist and photographer Jessica Yatrofsky is best known for two monographs called I Heart Boy and I Heart Girl, which explore gay and lesbian sexuality through Yatrofsky’s soft, artsy sensibility. But in her latest book, Pink Privacy, she turns the attention on her own sex life, penning a self-portrait through short, subtly humorous poems about her sexual encounters.
Yatrofsky’s poems are delightfully relatable, painting vivid pictures of the kind of ex-lovers we’ve all had: the “man about town,” the emotional vampire, and, of course, the cocky (perhaps both literally and figuratively) egomaniac. Writing about the people you’ve loved and lusted after isn’t for the faint of heart, but Yatrofsky makes it look easy and appealing, like some kind of public therapy session. And I imagine it’s wonderful to envision all of your exes thumbing through a book about their collective selves, wondering which poem is dedicated to them and praying nobody else will be able to figure it out. Don’t lie, that sounds pretty great, doesn’t it?
And while men have been making literature out of their sexual encounters for years, it’s inspiring to see a woman talking openly not just about sex in the abstract, but about her personal experiences with it. It’s understandable to want to keep certain things private, but the more we open up about a topic we’ve been unfairly taught is taboo for us, the more we empower women to understand that female sexual pleasure is beautiful and important. But perhaps it’s the desire to retain a small element of privacy that’s behind Yatrofsky’s decision to print just 100 copies of the monograph. After all, with only 100 copies, it’s a little less likely that, say, your mailman or your grandma will pick one up.
The book also features original drawings by Alphachanneling, whose colored pencil sketches manage to be both R-rated and charmingly childlike. Keep reading for a sampling of poems and drawings from the book, which you can pre-order here.