Clitoris and canvases: Gwladys Le Roy draws pleasure with poetry

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Breaking taboos and freeing talk around female sexuality, these are the objectives of the book “At your fingertips: the little guide of female masturbation” released in France in 2019 and freshly translated in the United States (Better Call Julia edition). This illustrated guide hailed by the media has a hundred pages dedicated to pleasure and is based on an extensive survey conducted by the author Julia Pietri. The result: 6000 testimonies from women, extensive historical research on the clitoris, decoded advice and detailed masturbation techniques. All of this is complemented by diagrams and drawings by illustrators @JouissanceClub and Gwladys Le Roy.

“Julia Pietri knew very well what she wanted to do and behind the directness of the subject, she wanted to create an art object to help change the way people look at the subject and for women to reappropriate their sexuality without guilt. I welcomed her project with open arms!” confides Gwladys Le Roy, a 28 year old French woman who has lived in the USA since 2019 between NYC and San Francisco.

Suggestive and poetic

Gwladys Le Roy, trained and specialized in marketing and communications, was working as a consultant in a Parisian co-working space when she met Julia Pietri. The latter, who decided to self-publish in order to avoid the publishers’ reluctance, offered her the opportunity to accompany her texts: “I’ve been drawing since I was a little girl, especially nature. It is a passion that I have in parallel. I didn’t feel qualified enough, but Julia’s militant approach and the poetry of my drawings form a very interesting association!” explains the artist.

Alongside technical illustrations, those of Gwladys Le Roy add a suggestive and poetic dimension. Her delicate line, her fluid forms with rounded curves, her soft colors form an ode to female masturbation. “I wondered how to draw the clitoris when it is a part that we do not see. I had to simplify it as much as possible to succeed in putting it on the walls like a penis! I decided to highlight it in the color code and on the faces of the silhouettes…”

To draw her many female silhouettes, Gwladys Le Roy also turned to the history of art: “I was inspired by great classics that I diverted in the light of our purpose,” she says. We thus find behind her women with the airs of callipyges of the models inspired of Olympia (Manet), of Freedom guiding the people (Delacroix), of Dance (Matisse) or Three Graces…

Eco-feminist watercolors

The feminist and revolutionary aspect displayed by the guide is also coupled with an ecological aspect that she conveys in her illustrations by emphasizing the interactions of women and nature. “I draw the human figure always naked in the heart of the vegetation and it often takes over. This is my approach to the environment: we depend on nature, we must be part of it and touch it as little as possible.” An eco-feminism that she defends with watercolor, felt pen and acrylic touches.

Through her work for the guide, Gwladys Le Roy sought to glorify natural beauty and freedom. To encourage women to express their sensuality without complex and to take charge of their sexual pleasure. And she specifies: “In many circles, it is a delicate subject to approach. There is sometimes a sacralization of sex and this book was also a discovery for me, like an intimate journey.”

According to her, the book can therefore slip into all hands. Those of women and young girls of course, but also those of gentlemen. Gwladys Le Roy has succeeded in making a remarkable entry with this project and to concretize her passion for drawing. She now dreams of making it her main activity. A project of children’s literature and personal development should see the light of day soon as well as some exhibitions of her drawings.

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