Photographer Lauren Crow is pissed off at porn. As she explains, "it often gives people the wrong idea of what it really is to see a woman in a state of pleasure.”
And so began The Little Death, a photo series conceived by Crow a few years ago that captures a diverse set of women all doing something that they’ve been socialized to keep very much off-camera: masturbating. What started out as a self-portrait taken out of sheer curiosity turned into a study on subverting the stereotypical male gaze.
Since their 2013 debut, the photos have made quite a splash on Tumblr, a platform Crow credits for her large following. Crow remains intensely grateful for each and every subject of her series, sharing that the most meaningful part of shooting was “the openness and willingness of these women — of letting me into this part of their life that not many get to see."
The hope for the series is simple: to inspire all female-identified people to shed some self-consciousness surrounding losing themselves in pleasure. Crow views it as a higher calling of sorts: “I felt...part of something bigger.” Praise the masturbation goddesses.