Put Some Glitter on It: Anita Cheung’s Sparkly, Sensual Photos of Female Sexuality

The Vancouver-based photographer's new NSFW series, #GLITTERGURLZ, explores 'the money shot' from a female perspective.

According to Vancouver-based photographer and entrepreneur Anita Cheung, growing up in a “sexually repressed, traditional, East-Asian immigrant family” meant she didn’t learn about sex until she stumbled upon porn online. It’s a familiar story for lots of us immigrant kids: sexually conservative parents and a lack of proper sex ed in school led us to think that what we saw in porn was the ‘normal’ way of having sex. For Cheung, the peak source of this internalized misconception about sex is “The Money Shot” in porn: often a sign of dominance and power and an indicator of the completion sex, she always felt particularly fascinated by it in her unofficial porn research. Men she talks to about it are equally fascinated and torn by it, too: on the one hand, they’re told to desire what’s in “the money shot” by society and the media—but internally and morally, they know it’s not right if it isn’t done consensually.

This confusion extends to women, too—women who at least subconsciously wonder if they’re willing to do it, if they’ll be called sluts if they are and prudes if they aren’t. All of this led Cheung to create #GLITTERGURLZ: a new photo series exploring the notorious “money shot” through a decidedly female gaze.

In her series, intimate and natural-looking photos depict scenes where “the money shot”, represented by copious amounts of glitter, is wanted and embraced as well as scenes where it sort of just happens. The friends and models she shot look entirely at ease and confident with their diverse bodies, which sort of flips the situation upside down. The extraordinary climax of pornography becomes, well, ordinary—and ultimately gives agencies to women and their sexual desires. About time, eh?

Catch Anita’s show next month in Vancouver, and keep your eyes out for more from this yoga studio owner, photographer, entrepreneur and all around creative!