Female Exhibitionists

un travail de


exhibitionist figures on
mediæval churches

Satan in the Groin



Male Exhibitionists




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I first came across these strange and often crude figures in 1973,
while following E.E. Evans' pioneering Prehistoric and Early Christian Ireland - A Guide (1966).

For forty years I researched them in the field, in the bowels of the National Museum of Ireland
(where they were hidden out of Christian sight)
in museums at Drogheda and Athlone, in storehouses in Cardiff and Limerick,
on Irish castles and, most importantly,
on churches in England, France, Spain, Italy and Portugal.

This website has been richly expanded from my doctoral thesis.


I am grateful to Julianna Lees    (www.green-man-of-cercles.org),
Tina Negus    (http://www.flickr.com/photos/84265607@N00/sets/72157600159376057/)
John Harding    (www.sheelanagig.org),
Sean Breadin, photographer
Joël Jalladeau and Jacques Martin    (http://jalladeauj.fr/obscenite/index.html),
and others
for several important photos on these pages.


'Prudery is the worst form of Avarice'
'La pruderie est une espèce d'avarice, la pire de toutes'


Detail of a 12,000-year-old pillar, Göbekli Tepe, SE Anatolia.

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"Absolutely wonderful !
Years ago I read Images of Lust and was delighted by this new world, strangely absent from many histories of eroticism, art and culture in general. This [website] is really illuminating and sets high standards for websites."

- Antonio Dominguez Leiva, Reader in comparative literature at the University of Burgundy, Dijon.



Des sculptures sexuellement explicites se trouvent sur un certain nombre d'églises médiévales en France et en Espagne.
Cette étude examine les origines et les objectifs de ces sculptures,
les considérant non pas comme des symboles magiques de fertilité,
ni même comme des idoles d'anciennes religions préchrétiennes,
mais comme des œuvres sérieuses qui traitent du comportement et du salut des populations médiévales,
et qui appuient ainsi les enseignements moraux de l'Église.


A crude late 19th century 'exhibitionist' female made out of a simple outline groove and 2 cup-marks on a rock outcrop of greywacke in county Louth (a short distance from a former railway line to Enniskillen), along with other 'sketches' including a steam engine, a ship, anchors, a mermaid, a cart, a wheel, a man pissing, a date (1888)...probably made at different times. Maybe worth comparing with Royston Cave ?

see detail here from



updated February 2024