Erotic Arts & Crafts Fair: NSFW Embroidery Gives New Meaning to an Age-Old Technique

Marin Boyle is the designer behind NSFW Embroidery, and we love all the fabulously queer custom designs they create, flipping what many view as an age-old granny craft into something deliciously mischievous. 
 
We’re excited to check out Marin’s offerings at Come As You Are’s annual Erotic Arts and Craft Sale this weekend. But before we do, we connected with the artist to find out how this naughty needlepoint story began. 
 

When did you begin experimenting with embroidery, and what made you decide to open up your Etsy shop?

I decided to start playing with embroidery as part of an art therapy regimen and it kind of stuck. I began making patches for my friends and started NSFW Embroidery in late 2017. I find stitching to be incredibly therapeutic and stress-relieving so it’s nice to be able to merge creation with something healthy. I started my Etsy shop back in 2015 to sell zines and it’s kind of taken off from there with the addition of my embroidery designs. These days, I’m doing mostly custom work, specifically embroidering peoples’ nudes and lewds.

 

What’s the most popular design that people purchase? And why do you think that is?

I don’t often make the same design multiple times but anything with queer themes or erotic nudes are really popular. I try to be inclusive of as many identities as possible because I want everyone to feel represented. I always feel so good when I see art being made specifically and intentionally about one of my identities and I think its important for my art to make people feel seen. Everything I make is intentionally queer art and I think that people really connect with it because of that.

Is embroidery your passion? Or do you have other hobbies?

Embroidery is certainly one of my biggest passions! However, my secret hobby is rope bondage. It was my first real love and I’ve been practising for nearly ten years. My work is even in a couple of books and I’ve performed at Nuit Blanche.

What do you love most about the Erotic Arts and Crafts Fair? Or what aspect of it are you most looking forward to?

I love the Erotic Arts and Crafts Fair because a lot of us who make erotic art can’t vend at many markets because of what we make and it’s really cool to be in a space where eroticism is celebrated rather than hidden. It’s such an overwhelmingly positive experience every year and it brings out the nicest people! The vendor list this year is absolutely amazing, I can’t wait to see what lovely things everyone has created.

Is Valentine’s Day something you get into? How will you spend it this year?

I celebrate Valentine’s Day in my own way. My partner isn’t into it so I like to celebrate my own self love and spoil myself a little. I try to stay away from the gross corporate side and use it as an excuse to support small, local businesses.

What is ‘erotic’ to you?To me, eroticism is all about a mix of intention, enthusiastic consent, and passion. It’s about moments worth lingering on. A simple look from a partner can be erotic, yet sex itself can lack eroticism sometimes. I think it’s very complicated! I find a wide variety of things erotic and its constantly changing, though eye contact and power exchange stand out to me lately in particular.

What’s a part of Toronto (space, venue) that you think holds a lot of beauty and magic? Or somewhere you simply love to be?

Toronto’s alleyways hold a special place in my heart. I love going for nighttime strolls through them, especially with a lover. Alleyways have always had a certain charm but in my opinion, Toronto has some of the most interesting ones. I never know what I’m going to find but I feel mostly safe exploring them.

 

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