Anasyrma


Anásyrma or anasyrmós is the gesture of lifting up the skirt. It is used in connection with certain stories in Greek mythology, religious rituals, eroticism, and lewd jokes.

Giorgio Sommer (1834-1914),

A statue of Aphrodite Kallipygos

The term is used in describing corresponding works of art. Anasyrma differs from flashing, a physically similar gesture as an act of exhibitionism, in that an exhibitionist has an implied purpose of his/her own sexual arousal, while anasyrma is only done for the effect on the onlookers.

Anasyrma may be a deliberately provocative self-exposing of one’s genitals or buttocks. The famous example of the latter case is Aphrodite Kallipygos ‘Aphrodite of the beautiful buttocks’. In many traditions this gesture also has an apotropaic character, as a mockery towards an enemy.

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