Long-time lurker saying hello

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Zarco Nimmo, Jun 21, 2015.

  1. Zarco Nimmo

    Zarco Nimmo Active Member

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    Hello! I enjoy many facets of lesbian culture and AfterEllen is one of my favourite places to look for subjects of interest to women who love women. I'm what you might call a lesbian chauvinist - one who believes that there is no more wonderful being in all creation than a woman whose spiritual and physical energy is exclusively and irrevocably devoted to other women. My interest in lesbianism was sparked long ago by a book that you may have read yourself. I once wrote an essay about it and its influence on me; you can read it below. I hope you'll have a look at it and let me know what you think. See you around!

    The Joy of The Joy of Lesbian Sex

    Perhaps the best way to express my enjoyment of lesbian love and sex in words and pictures is to tell a little bit about the book that formed that enjoyment. The Joy of Lesbian Sex was published in 1977 and, at least as far as the popular book market goes, was the first of its kind -- a sex manual for women who love women, profusely illustrated with full-colour paintings and black-and-white pencil drawings. I was a teenager when it came out, and I'd already been fascinated by the sight of two women relating sexually to one another, as seen in the occasional pictorial in Playboy or Penthouse at which I'd sneaked a peek in the dark corners of second-hand book stores. When I came across Joy, I was captivated by it, partly by the text, which spoke of love between women in a way I'd never heard before, but mainly by the pictures, which struck me by their difference from the photos of girl-on-girl action I'd seen in men's magazines, and which I came to prefer over such photos for two reasons.

    First, the women in these illustrations were what I'll call, for lack of a better term, "ordinary" women -- not svelte, sultry, heavily made-up and retouched twentiyish baby dolls as features in Playboy and other publications of that ilk, but women of the sort one sees in public every day, not "beautiful" in the eyes of girlie mags but wholesome and pleasant to look at. To see women of the sort I see every day -- bank tellers, librarians, cashiers, and so on -- taking pleasure in each other sexually made me see the attractiveness of women in a wide variety of sizes, colours and ages. I think those pictures did much not only to refine my appreciation of lesbian sex, but also to broaden my appreciation of feminine beauty. I also learned to entertain myself with the occasional daydream that an attractive woman I'd seen recently in my travels may know the joys of woman-love, and I'd imagine her in the arms of another attractive woman of my recollection.

    Second, the women in these paintings and drawings looked as though they enjoyed what they did with each other. As alluring as I'd first found the pictorials in Playboy, the women in them looked stiff and uninterested in their own actions after I'd got an eyeful of Joy. Their poses displayed an odd combination of overacting and reticence; they shut their eyes, threw their heads back and gaped in a grotesque caricature of orgasm, but they touched each other gingerly, as if they were doing the least they could get away with to simulate groping and were poised to withdraw quickly once the photographer got his shot. Typically two girls approximated kissing by sticking their tongues out at each other until their tips touched. In The Joy of Lesbian Sex, women cuddled, snuggled, nuzzled, stroked and fondled each other; they held hands, clasped each other to their breasts and bellies, ground their sexes against each other's thighs, savoured each other's lips and tongue, kissed each other's breasts, fingered and licked each other to climax, and lay together dreamily in the afterglow of their mutual desire. They enjoyed each other as though they enjoyed nothing better, without reservation, without embarrassment, with pleasure that shakes their souls.

    I still look at The Joy of Lesbian Sex from time to time for enjoyment. With all the outdated and sometimes silly information in it, and for all the ridicule it now draws, it is still a pleasure to behold, and an important artifact in the history of lesbian mores and literature. It affirmed the beauty of lesbian life at a time when it needed affirming, and it played no small part in giving courage to many gay women, who in turn gave courage to many younger gay women by their example. Kudos to all who had a hand in creating and distributing it!
     
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