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  1. Steven Saylor
  2. Theses and Dissertations Available from ProQuest
  3. 7th Heaven (1927)
  4. Terese Willis - Wikipedia
  5. Syed's Kindle Library

Kathy Andrew of Stormy Leather, the first woman to tailor leatherwear for women, was another one of our first advertisers. My lover Honey Lee Cottrell, shot most of our first photography for the first issues, including those ads for Gosnell. When I think back, she might have worked harder than any of us-- the photo shoots were so hard to arrange, and then there was endless printing in the Harvey Milk public photo labs.

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Morgan Gwenwald in New York was another pioneer. When OOB debuted, some readers complained that they wanted to see vanilla, "bank-teller" type babes in the pictures. We replied, "Well, come on down and let us shoot you!

I Am NOT Black, You are NOT White

Rachel and Elexis-- who turned the black lesbian community upside down. I'm not kidding about the revolutionary effect they had on strangers lives. That story was multiplied many times. Expressing yourself was what it was all about. I look back on that first year and just sigh at all that talent, and the rage that had pent it all up.

Steven Saylor

Dorothy Allison, Joan Nestle, Pat Califia, Sarah Schulman, Sapphire, myself we couldn't be published in the lesbian presses because of our politics and sexuality, and we couldn't be published in the mainstream world because of its overt homophobia and misogyny. These were some of the best American writers of their generation! Honey Lee and I were very close to Nan and Debbie, like a little family. There weren't a lot of butch femme younger couples at the time— in fact, we felt like the new demonstration. Even though Honey and Nan weren't technically "editors" they worked on the magazine all the time.

She took over magazine distribution and embarked on the first lesbian porn video production with Deb. Myrna and Debi had a falling out after the first issue, and I honestly don't know to this day what it was all about. But she dropped out, in any case, and I became editor. In my first paragraph, I tried to convince dykes to get over their sex toy phobias, especially about penetration. I said, "penetration is only as heterosexual as kissing is".

Theses and Dissertations Available from ProQuest

I teased everyone about how they could revolutionize their sex life with a little humor and playfulness. My sentiments were quite spontaneous, but I realize now it was a novel approach. I had lesbians come into my sex toy shop and actually start CRYING about how they worried that they were going to be kicked out of the gay universe because they wanted to get fucked. No one would believe it now. The early OOB writers came from a few places, including a lot of classified ads we placed around lesbian journals that would take us.

We inherited the Samois mailing list, which was huge at the time. Plus, it was stuffed with intellectuals and artists. The gay men who edited Drummer were our mentors in many ways. They had patience and wisdom for everything from printer nightmares to diva models who suddenly acted like they were going to run for Miss America. The magazine started out with three pieces of fiction, one major feature, a few columns of advice and reviews, and three pictorials. Just like Playboy! We even had a "Bulldagger of the Month" in our first issue.

We were so controversial in the beginning, it completely defined us. There were about three women's bookstores in the whole country who would sell us. Prominent women's bookstores either banned us, or carried one copy with a big sign on it about how treacherous and gynocidal we were. Just try and ask them for a copy! Part of their misfortune was tied to the overall demise of independent bookstores but to some degree they had alienated their natural audience by being such elitists and censors.

They never relented. I loved the stubbornness of lesbian separatism, I even miss it now, but the anti-sex germ within it was nothing but pure destruction. We thought our scene was awfully smart. I remember composing an ad for UTNE Reader, which read: "The most intelligent sex magazine in the world just happens to be lesbian.

We were witty and incisive and outrageous. The men's' sex magazines were a torpid bore, straight women hadn't crawled out of their egg yet, and the academics were only talking theory while we were DOING IT. We attracted subscribers from a new hip strata of the counter culture. Debi was the Mac visionary.

7th Heaven (1927)

That makes me laugh so hard now. We used PageMaker 1. It just cracks me up to think of our design disadvantages. But there was no way to pay the printer bills otherwise. But Apple put us into the nascent geek world, and as everyone discovered, geeks were very sex-positive, in fact, they came up with the word. Nowadays a gay or sex magazine can make credible ad sales. But in the early 80s, it was like soliciting charitable contributions. No one except the old school porn boys were making any money in the sex biz and they didn't understand our audience or mission.

We got most of our content for little or nothing. I worked for free until the very end. We all made our nut in other ways. But because it was a sex magazine, we had to pay a premium to find a printer who would take us. This is the most clear example of how sexual expression is suppressed he who owns the press makes the rules. We had to pay times the amount a normal magazine would pay who didn't have "dirty pictures.

Terese Willis - Wikipedia

The printers were afraid they'd be closed down by the federal government if they printed porn. In truth, they hadn't been bothered since the early 60s. It's just that the same old farts ran the place, like elephants, and they never got over the McCarthy era.

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I still remember a few other benchmarks The leading lights of the lesbian movement had their heads in the sand when it came to this disease. The standard issue was "lesbians cant' get it. What did they know? I can't believe how irresponsible they were.

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In fact, lesbians at that time were more likely to have sex with "high risk men"-- ie, gay or bi men-- than exclusively straight women were. This was before AIDS became such a big issue for hets as well. Anyway, we ran the story that no one wanted to tell.

Syed's Kindle Library

ANother instance of speaking the unspeakable was something a bit more fun. At the end of the 80s, I met a number of dykes who told me they liked to watch gay pron. I thought it was a hoot, since I'd never tried it. But when I started talking about, I found that many lesbians thought this was another new low in dyke aesthetics. I had no idea what a huge story that would end up being On a more practical level, I would easily claim that On Our Backs created the first mainstream acceptance of "women's erotica', the practical steps to finding one's g-spot, and having a free 'n' easy attitude toward dildos and vibrators.

We taught the world how to use a strap-on. We made sex fun and smart for women, something that was entirely in a female self-interest. It went way beyond homosexuality, it was really feminist sex liberation.