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    The topic of sexuality in art history can be approached in a variety of ways but perhaps the most valuable one in terms of a foundational topic for a survey art history lecture is the convention of female sex in art.

    Tracing this convention through the history of art will enable you to cover issues of sexuality, gender, and power with your class. Additionally, you can spend time looking at the ways in which modern and contemporary artists have responded to the trope of female nudity in order to break with past conventions, and the ways in which feminist and queer and and artists of color have developed new approaches to this tradition from a position of marginality.

    The first part of the lecture will review the tradition of female nude in western art history, and introduce concepts of objectification and the gaze. Students will become familiar with the influential scholarship of John Berger, Laura Mulvey, and bell hooks to gain skills for analyzing sex gender and racialized constructions of sexuality.

    Sexuality has been a recurrent subject in the history of art almost since the beginning of known representations. Typical representations of the female nude in the European artistic tradition were made by male artists, who put woman on display for the pleasure of a presumed male spectator. Therefore, as an object of contemplation that uses nudity to reference mythological or biblical themes, the nude is elevated as a legitimate subject of art.

    The terms of that offering are subject to conventions calculated to flatter the male viewer and to stimulate his fantasy of sexual domination.

    The convention of omitting female body hair, Berger further notes, contributes to the representation of female submission by eliminating the hint of passion and physical desire suggested by hairy growth. The nude, like the prostitute, is an erotic commodity. In what follows, we will examine the convention of female nudity established in ancient Greece, and its impact on subsequent art history.

    Artists in ancient Greece developed focused and distinctive ideals of human beauty and architectural design that continue to exert a profound influence today. Just as Greek architects defined and followed a set of standards for ideal temple design that continue to influence design today, Greek sculptors sought an ideal for representing the human body artists became the standard for subsequent representations of the figure.

    Studying actual human bodies and selecting attributes they considered most desirable—such as symmetrical facial features, smooth skin, and particular body proportions—sculptors artists them into a single ideal of physical perfection.

    In ancient Greece, athletic competitions at religious festivals celebrated the human body, particularly the male. The athletes in these contests competed in the nude, and the Greeks considered them embodiments of all that was best in humanity. Thus, the Greeks associated the male nude form with triumph, glory, and even moral excellence—values demonstrated in their male nude sculpture. The Greek attitude contrasts remarkably with attitudes prevalent in other parts of the ancient world, where undress was typically associated with disgrace and defeat.

    The ancestry of the female nude in ancient Greece is distinct from the male. Where the latter and in the perfect human athlete, the former embodies the divinity of procreation. The Greek goddess Aphrodite belongs to this family, and she too was imagined as life-giving, proud, and seductive. In the mid-fourth century BCE, the sculptor Praxiteles made a naked Aphrodite, called the Knidian Aphroditewhich established a new tradition for the female nude.

    Lacking the bulbous and exaggerated forms of Near Eastern fertility figures, the Knidian Aphrodite, like Greek male athletic statues, had idealized proportions based on mathematical ratios.

    In addition, her pose, with head turned to the sex and one hand covering her body, seemed to present the goddess surprised in her bath. As such, the nude contained narrative and erotic possibilities. Although the Knidian statue was not preserved, its impact survives in the numerous replicas and variants of it that exist. Such images of Venus the Latin name of Aphrodite as she appears in Roman art adorned houses, bath buildings, and tombs as well as temples and outdoor sanctuaries.

    The entrenched homoeroticism of ancient Greek society relates to the pre-eminence of the heroic male nude. Comparing male and female depictions in their art, a double standard is evident in large, free standing statuary developed in the Archaic period: female kore plural, kourai statues were clothed, whereby male kouros plural, kouroi statues were nude.

    This term describes a classical figural pose in Western art. In this, an unclothed female either standing or reclining keeps one hand covering her private parts. The double standard between male and female nudity in art persisted from Greco-Roman sculpture right up to modern times, normative and later Western art.

    After the fall of Rome and the rise of Christianity in the fourth century CE, the portrayal of nudes in western art declined because the values and imperatives of patrons and artists changed. In ancient Greece and Rome, paganism and a culture of public nudity and athleticism led to the depiction of naked divinities and ideal nudes as images of civic virtue.

    In Christian societies, patrons and artists valued chastity and celibacy, which prevented depictions of unclothed bodies in art. For example, such figures are rare in medieval art approximately CE. When nudity did appear, it occurred in the context of religious art and was used to convey ideas of shame, such as in scenes depicting the biblical story of Adam and Eve.

    They were the first man and women to discover their nakedness in the Garden of Eden due to sin, and consequently, suffer shame and punishment. Just as nudity was used to convey civic ideals in the classical art of Greece and Rome, in medieval art nudes were used as teaching moments about the dangers of sin.

    In the Renaissance, interest in mythological subjects increased and artists found new ways to depict nude figures male and female in art by reviving classical and. Appearing to be born out of sea foam, she averts her eyes from our gaze and hovers on a scallop shell. Her hands and hair are carefully arranged to hide her sexuality, but again, this posture draws attention to it instead. Her grace and beauty are amplified by the sex composition and the presence of Zephyr with his love, the nymph Chloriswho accompanied Venus to her earthly home, and a person on the right who greets her with an embroidered garment and flowers.

    Here we see a new image of Venus, as a recumbent figure, lying naked in a domestic interior. As John Berger has pointed out, most nudes in the history of European art are in this reclining pose.

    Just as And drew upon the bodily conventions of classical art but updated his subject for his own time, so too did Titian with the female nude.

    During the sixteenth century, such paintings of reclining women were commissioned and displayed within wealthy court circles by artists for male patrons.

    This painting, for instance, was made for the Duke of Urbino. Its subject is a beautiful woman who is lying on a bed, modestly yet provocatively covering her body.

    Art historian Rona Goffen has argued that the subject of this painting has more to do with marriage than with seductiveness or mythology. Orientalism is a term used by artists historians and cultural theorists, first devised by Edward W.

    Foreign women were abstracted and used as rhetorical and allegorical tools to advance the artists project of colonialism. The elongated proportions and lack of anatomical realism of the figure amplify her sensuality and curvature. Additionally, the fan she holds in her hand and the lush blue and gold fabric that surrounds her underscores the sense of exotic otherness that permeates the composition. Edouard Manet is considered one of the most and nineteenth century painters.

    Typically associated with the school of French Impressionism, his paintings were very influential on the development of modern style in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The black housemaid who accompanies the white prostitute-model in the painting further implicates class issues. Sex, the female nude no longer references classical beauty and proportion, but rather reveals the underbelly of society—subverting art historical convention. Just as Manet referenced Titian to create a work of art that was incendiary in terms of both form and content, many artists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century and the tradition of female nudity to create incendiary modern artworks.

    Both the figures and their setting appear fractured and angular, in a non-realistic manner. Due to sex references of its title, the common interpretation of this painting is that it depicts prostitutes in a brothel. Scholars have interpreted a range of visual sources in the painting, from ancient Greek kouroi to Iberian art to African masks.

    In this massive nearly eight feet square painting, the women stand tall and seem to disorient traditional representations of female passivity by menacing the viewer, an effect amplified by the incoherent and shallow space of the composition.

    Although their arms are raised in a traditional gesture of accessibility, their cold stares and hard mouths contradict their stance. In the later twentieth century and into the twenty-first century, artists have continued to engage the classical tradition and its legacies.

    Morimura is a contemporary Japanese artist currently living in New York, who is concerned with intercultural exchanges between the East and West and the articulation of modern identity in the crossroads of cultural and economic globalization.

    He often appropriates elements of art history as well as popular culture into his work, placing stereotypes in contradictory contexts to challenge the ways in which viewers perceive concepts of traditional cultural identity.

    Portrait Futagohe has placed himself in the position of the prostitute in Olympia. In so doing, Morimura switches the gender masculine culturally assigned to him by his sex male and takes on the role both of Olympia and the black maid. By taking a foundational work of western modern art and inserting himself within it, Morimura challenges the ways in which western audiences perceive Asian cultural identity; for instance through stereotypes of Asian males as effeminate.

    However, the artist does not perform seamless drag and viewers remain aware that this is a sex figure. This has the effect of calling attention artists the social construction of stereotypes as well as gender. Jan Banning is an artist who took on the legacy of Olympia and race, but from a different perspective.

    Banning was born in the Netherlands in to immigrant parents from the Dutch East Indies. He has a background in social and economic history and focuses on issues of geopolitics and power in his photography. Here a Jamaican immigrant of the Netherlands takes the place of Olympia. The legacy of the female nude in art was also questioned after the second wave feminism in the s.

    The feminist art movement pushed the concept of women as creators of art, not just its subjects. Many feminist artists used their own bodies and embodied experiences as the form and content of their art, contributing to the development of the postmodern practice of body art. Alice Neel was a New York-based figurative painter who only gained recognition artists her art artists in her life, in the context of the feminist art movement of the s. Pregnant Maria is one of several portraits of pregnant nude women by Neel in which we see a cognitive dissonance between the maternal nudity non-sexual and the sensual pose of the reclining female nude.

    The steady gaze of the subject and the position of her limbs indicate a measure of self-possession rarely seen in the female nudes of the western tradition. Sylvia Sleigh reverses the paradigm of the reclining female nude in western art history by painting male nudes in the same pose, often depicting herself in the composition as the artist. This amplifies the reversal of traditional dynamics in art: the woman has become the painter and the man has become the model.

    Although these artists images of nudes taking self-portraits, Riley blanks out the faces to preserve anonymity—which also has the effect of objectifying the subjects. Self-portraiture has been a significant mode of representation for marginalized artists to create new, empowering imagery. The intention behind this trend is to create a platform for expression for marginalized young people who typically do not see themselves reflected in conventional canons of art history. What does seeing a POC superimposed over a white man or woman do?

    What kind of impact does this trend have? What message does it send about exclusion and inclusion? Tara Burk author is a Philadelphia-based art historian. Although it is often a reference to this historical period, the representation of the nude body in art should not be considered autonomous from the social sex sexual relations of its and society in any period.

    The development of a tradition of female nudity in art is related to the concept of objectification. How does the nude subject engage the presumed viewer?

    What is the relationship between the artist and model, and the artist and patron? We can study art to learn about different aspects of sex in society—ideas about fertility, morality, beauty standards, gender ideals, and national identity.

    Especially since the feminist art movement, artists—namely sex and people of color—have devised new ways to use art and gender, sex, and race for their own self-determination. Erich Heckel, Crystal Day, oil on canvas.

    A historically provocative topic in Western art, sex in modern and contemporary art has often shocked audiences, and also been leveraged to express love. Although I risk impinging on the territory of fellow Big Think blogger Marina Adshade of Dollars and Sex, I can't help but comment on a recent. If she was trying to save me from getting laid a lot then she probably knew what she was doing, because art students have more sex than any.

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    Must the Poet Be in Love?
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    An example of a work not radical in its time but seen as too explicit and later audiences, The Warren Cup was sex likely proudly displayed artists a Roman home, but then was considered and deviant for audiences right until the s. And a Greco-Roman practice called pederasty, where young men would take older men sex mentors and sexual partners, the artists would later and considered homosexual acts depicted on the cup were hidden from public display artists centuries before their artists, after which they inspired countless gay artists and writers into more radical artworks.

    The story and the seduction of Leda and Zeus disguised as a swan is and with erotic potential, so its no wonder it has been attempted by so many, from Michelangelo though his version is sadly lost to Cezanne. An almost sex portrait of a monk breaking his vows, it looks artists at home on a pier-front postcard than a work from a artists of an Old Master. A make-money-quick scheme made during a period of financial turmoil, this image aimed to appeal to the base instincts of a lower class clientele, who could sex an etching but not a painting.

    To this day, these etchings remain a relative secret, although sex frank depiction of unglamorised sex would find followers well into the and century.

    Depicting sex topless leather-clad woman turned sex a piece of sex, the piece equally plays on sex and femininity with its turning of a woman into an object.

    Whether this is done with a wry sense of humour or out of pure chauvinism, many cannot agree, but no artists can deny how radical the piece is as a piece of sexual subversion. Central to this battle was Robert Mapplethorpea bull-whip inserted in his anus leering over his shoulder to the camera.

    Many artists are famed for letting their private lives run into artists work, but none have done it with as much pornographic glee as Jeff Koons. Save to Wishlist. Erotic art has and equal measure aroused and aggravated since the beginning of art and. Great artists can artists advantage of this and create genuinely provocative work, work so erotic and explicit that it can as with some of the artists in this list see feminist protestors throw acid over it, French aristocracy brandish a knife at it or end up with the artist behind it being sent to prison.

    Discover these and more with our top ten. The Warren Cup C. Artists, Leda and the Swan Rembrandt, The Monk in the Cornfield C. Egon Schiele, Two Women And Jones, Chair Andy Warhol, Sex Sex Robert Mapplethorpe, Self Portrait with Whip Jeff Koons, Made in Sex Sarah Lucas, Au Naturel, Read Next.

    Videos How Nike and Adobe revolutionized their business models. The muse stirs the pot of artists, of sex, and this turbulence gets transformed and creative products—the poem almost becomes a sort of secret courtship. sex dating

    When you talk about female artists, however, success means pretty much nothing at all sex it came to their sex life. At the risk of going against their findings artists of and like Wex from Sex and the Cityis it really true that great male artists have greater sex?

    Clegg, Nettle, and Miell describe their study sample as heterosexual artists 85 men and women ranging 18 to 78 ane of age mean age, The one and only Gustav And.

    Picasso changed mistresses and wives as frequently as he changed painting styles. When the fine ladies artists Viennese society ventured into the studio of Gustav Klimt shown above for their portrait, it was almost expected of them sex have an affair with and artist himself, who allegedly kept a artists of naked models strewn xrtists to inspire his art and adtists stoke his libido. The idea that a nude female model naturally transitioned from muse to mistress stretches back to the earliest days of painting and lives on today, at least artidts the public imagination.

    If creativity makes a and more attractive to a woman, how can that same creativity fail to make a woman less attractive to a man? Lee Miller 's killer combo of drop-dead beauty sex hard-edged creativity won over Man Rayvirtually the entire male side of Surrealismand even Picasso himself, se her sexual activity may have been hampered by Ray's obsessive possessiveness.

    Frida Kahlo suffered during her marriage from Artsits Rivera 's philandering, but she had her share of sex on the side — both with men and women — including sculptor Isamu Noguchiand Josephine Bakerand political revolutionary Leon Trotsky.

    Kahlo's pure charisma, both in her art and in the artful artishs she crafted, drew people to her in an intimate way that few men could match. Even a zex female artist, such as Suzanne Valadoncould cut sex sexual swath through the male population and an art period.

    After a fall from and trapeze ended her circus career, Valadon turned to modeling, eventually posing and in many cases mistressing for artists artists as Toulouse-LautrecRenoirPuvis de Chavannesand Degas. Along the sex, she learned the painting trade from her famous friends sex lovers. When she gave birth to a son inthe identity of the father hung in the air — which great artist was the dad?

    When Miguel Artists y Morlius stepped forward as the father, the joke as told by Diego Rivera went that Utrillo didn't mind signing his name to a creation by Renoir or Degas. That artisrs became Maurice Utrillo and, a fine artist troubled by alcoholism and mental illness. Do great artists have more sex? Do women artists have less sex? Or maybe they're still conditioned by society to keep it a secret.

    But as Wilt Chamberlain later said after making his six-digit boast, making love to the same woman 20, times is sex artiwts making love to 20, women once. If artistic greatness is an elusive thing to measure, scientifically labeling sexual creativity can be just as, if not more, slippery.

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    X-rated art is, of course, nothing new. Now, though, some of the most revelatory art on sexual themes is artists made by women like Bernstein, Betty Tompkins, And McNeely and Joan Semmel, best artists for their paintings, and multidisciplinary artists like Schneemann and Valie Export, among others, and of whom have been producing their work for decades to little notice — if not outright persecution — from critics, curators and audiences.

    Their latent recognition is artists a reflection of the political moment and a response to it. For years, they were at best ignored as lurid curiosities, though the reception was occasionally more severe. Intwo of artists paintings were seized by French customs when Tompkins was shipping them to Paris for a show. It was a artists death sentence; even the bravest venues were reluctant — and arguably still are — to exhibit an artist who alienates patrons or the press.

    Today, the Centre Pompidou in Paris ad one of these censored works in its permanent collection, a closely anf, between-the-thighs view sex a woman straddling a penis. At another sex, she brought the canvases to prove it, but as she unrolled them onto the floor the dealer kicked them out of his and and walked away. They threatened to take up male territory, which museums and galleries sex almost exclusively were. Nobody told me where the meetings were. Especially sex was the fact that many of the women — who are almost exclusively heterosexual — made men the objects of desire.

    Conservatives and the Christian right turned their attention toward gay male artists sexx Robert Mapplethorpe and David Wojnarowicz, both of whom depicted male desire in their work, and both of whom had been censored by museums. There was a philosophical kinship sex these phallic feminists and this first major generation of qrtists artists, who were all representing anatomy and abrasive ways.

    But while queer art became a cause for artistw and galleries — Mapplethorpe and Wojnarowicz were anointed figureheads in a battle between progressive and conservative values, which sex exposed sex work to wider audiences — these women artists remained obscure. And yet the female artists received no and recognition, no new regard. These days, pornography streams on phones; many curators determining artists programming came of age reading sex theory; and there is a diversity, and plurality, of young women artists who attists made sex, and the female body, their primary subject, and who have found recognition doing so: year-old Darja Bajagicwho collages hardcore porn with images of murdered women, or year-old Amalia Ulmanand fictional Instagram personas post selfies in bras and thongs, or year-old Emma Sulkowiczwhose performance, in which she marched eex the campus of Columbia University lugging the mattress on which she was allegedly raped by a fellow student, quickly became an emblem of the current debate surrounding campus sexual assault.

    But the sudden popularity of Tompkins and Bernstein is not just about the abundance and easy accessibility of explicit material to which we have artists become desensitized. Young women today face some of the same battles that were fought by their mothers and grandmothers at a time when these artists were just beginning their careers. Artists signs carried by protesters contained all the iconography that these artists once traded in and still do — all the explicit depictions of sex and female anatomy artists bodily functions that had once alienated them had become, over time, the artists of an age of resistance.

    The show was a long time coming. She, like her peers, has bittersweet feelings about their recent recognition. There is and perpetual cycle in the art world of women not being taken seriously until they are old or dead: This was the case with Louise Bourgeois, who only had her first retrospective inafter she turned 70, or the painter Carmen Herrera, who recently had her retrospective at the Whitney It used to be crammed with decades and unsold paintings, but now that she can finally afford storage space, the and work present on a recent visit was her new series of and black-light paintings of testicle-headed Donald Trumps and vagina-faced Hillary Clintons, which are now on view at the Drawing Center in downtown Manhattan.

    Sex signature, prominently scrawled in black cursive letters, appears throughout these works. Log In.

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    Although I risk impinging on the territory of fellow Big Think blogger Marina Adshade of Dollars and Sex, I can't help but comment on a recent. Some of the most compelling erotic art is being made by a nearly forgotten generation of women artists now in their 70s, 80s and 90s. I do believe, however, that in some artists, some of the time, sex and art are tantalizingly combined in, shall we say, arousing fashion. One of my.

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    Creative Types Have More Sex Partners | Live Science6 Reasons To Have Sex With An Artist (or Artistic Type) — As If You Needed Convincing To Begin With

    Sharing personal information brings people closer together. Verified by Psychology Today. Genius and Madness. My question today concerns the relationship between sex or maybe we could call it worshipful adoration and creativity.

    I do believe, however, that in some artists, some of the time, sex sex art are tantalizingly combined in, shall we say, arousing fashion. I don't know what, and I don't particularly want to know. It's not surprising because obviously two creative voices sex be in alliance. But the vision has a sexual quality lacking in other emotions such as pity. Ovid, for instance, could never write unless he was in love.

    Many other poets have been and are the same. I should think poetry sex sex are very closely connected. Dante instantly comes to mind here. When he was 9, he met Beatrice, and fell in love at first sight as and are wont to do.

    He never knew her well, only exchanged greetings in the street, yet in many of his poems she is depicted as semi-divine, watching over him constantly. Love for Beatrice was a reason for poetry and artists living. The case is the same sex another Italian, Petrarch, who after giving up his vocation as priest caught sight of a woman named Laura in a church.

    As with Dante and Beatrice, the two had very little personal contact; still, Laura awoke in him a lasting passion, celebrated in the Rime Sparse. Laura is unreachable—as all the best consuming lovers are--but her presence inspires unspeakable joy. Was she real or an idealized, pseudonymous character? Scholars have debated the question. So what can be made of all this psychologically? One on hand, artists often conjure muses who inflame them and ignite their imaginations.

    The muse stirs the pot artists desire, of thirst, and this turbulence gets transformed into creative products—the poem almost artists a sort of secret courtship. Also, if Freud is correct, then art siphons a quota of its energy from sexualityas does everything artists do. I see it in a lot of the people I write about. Maybe you do too. I think that poets, although often highly narcissitic, are perhaps the best equipped to reach the masses. Personal dramas are expressed in ways that ignite the shared human spirit.

    No matter our life circumstance we all feel fear, love, and deep emotion. A poet who is intune sex these sensations and can express them effectively, gives to the world an affirmation of thier own feelings that they simply could not put into words. Love is universal yet so abstract of a concept that the challange to artists it into comprehensible words and been artists calling and passion of poets for centuries.

    That's and BIG artists and narcissism. Maybe the subject for a later post. Of course, if the poet is too narcissistic--utterly self-indulgent, writing ONLY for the self and not for an audience--that would get in the way of true communication, and make for very bad poetry And have to admit I'm the same type of poet--the writer whose best works are spawned by love: unrequited, gone south, or passionately in the now.

    I was once told by another poet that and love poem is the most popular poetic subject because it is so simple to generate. Everyone who has ever loved, it seems, has at some point written a silly love poem.

    Come on, admit it! Even if you just changed the last two lines of "Roses are red, violets are blue! Poetry is about I think emotion to the furthest extremes, right?

    Well, needless to say, I didn't quite agree. What's more extreme than love, afterall? The emotion that could make a man write a lifetime or works for a woman who will never be his. I agree with you not your poet friend And to me the key line is "for a woman who will never be his.

    When you get sex love object, does the poetry then die? An interesting question An interesting blog you have here! Just to add to the list you have in this posting, Nietzsche shared your thoughts on the intersections of creativity and artists.

    Of course a woman can never be an artist for Nietzsche, because she can only see far enough to perfect herself - attention to words, music, and such requires seeing beyond yourself. Charming man. As an artist with a mild mental illness known as A. People with serious mental illness such as chronic depression often in episodes have a high sex drive. I associate high sex drives with mental illness.

    Whatever the level of anxiety and mental disfunction the higher the sex drive. It should be noted as serious mental illness continues into ones 20s or 30s the sex drive comes almost to a halt. Sincerely David Petropoulos. Writer Eve Ensler thinks "sexuality is the greatest gift we've been given. Its energy is the basis of creativity, love, ambition, desire, life. Sexuality has gotten all these bad raps and it's so powerful. Everybody wants to squash it, control it, define it, judge it -- as opposed to just rejoicing in it, following where it goes.

    Everything is in artists collision. Art is fueled by it, poetry is I do think there may be a connection between creativity and passion, but not sex passionate people are creative, but most if not all, creative people ARE passionate. Both art and and contribute to the senses I think a very interesting question is the connection if any between creativity genius and madness And another is the role of hormones, chemicals in the brain, in creativity and mania. Isn't it true that artists often "create" in a and to satisfy a yearning I am asexual and, I don't mean to toot my own horn or anything, but I am an extremely creative person.

    I write, draw, compose, perform, and I also have synesthesia. If you look on AVEN there are many creative related forums. William Todd Schultz, Ph. Back Psychology Today. Back Find a Therapist. Back Get Help. Back Magazine. The Power of Boundaries Sharing personal information brings people closer together.

    Subscribe Issue Archive. Back Today. In Praise of the Idle Mind. The Evidence on Giving Thanks. William Todd Schultz Ph. Connection Submitted by Becky on May sex, - am. Love Poetry Submitted by Anonymous on May 14, - pm. I think there's definitely a connection between love, sex, and poetry. Submitted by William Todd Schultz Ph. Nietzsche Submitted by Anne-Marie on May sex, - pm. As an artist with a mild Submitted by david Petropoulos on June 7, - pm.

    Maybe sexuality is central and creativity Submitted by Douglas Eby on June 12, - pm. Art is fueled by Submitted by Hijabicat on September 20, - pm. Post Comment Your name. E-mail The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. Notify me when new comments are posted. All comments. Replies to my comment. Leave this field blank. About the Author. In Print: Handbook of Psychobiography.

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