The Freud Museum


18 April 2018 - 13 May 2018

Curated by Dr. Marquard Smith

Solitary Pleasures

Sigmund Freud famously described masturbation as the first or ‘primal’ addiction. Solitary Pleasures interrogates and investigates masturbation, and the eroticism, desire, and gratification associated with it, not just as an isolated or solitary ‘vice’, but as a pleasure that’s mutual; shared between couples, lovers, and strangers in ways that redefine desire and eroticism's possibilities.



The exhibition includes work by Shannon Bell, VALIE EXPORT, Chantal Faust, Antony Gormley, Jordan McKenzie, Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens, Emma Talbot, and Michelle Williams Gamaker. Together, they tell the human story, both ancient and modern, of our complex sexual, erotic, and intimate encounters with ourselves and others by way of masturbation as an all-inclusive - gay, lesbian, heterosexual, bisexual, trans, queer, + - practice.

Solitary Pleasures challenges social taboos and contributes to the arts, sex education, and sexual health and wellbeing agenda by generating original, wide-ranging dialogues on this topic central to gender, sexuality, eroticism and mental health.

Related Resources

Related events:

Saturday 28 April 2018, 9.30am - 5.30pm
Day Conference - SOLITARY PLEASURES: in art and psychoanalysis

More >

Wednesday 9 May 2018, 7-9pm
Art Macabre: Solitary Pleasures Sketching Salon

More > 

Saturday 12 May 2018, 2-2.50pm
Sex, politics and men with grey/white beards
Comedy performance: Liz Bentley

More >


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