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Pornographic Film and Video: Lesbian  
 
page: 1  2  3  

Politically Correct Smut

Something of a lesbian film phenomenon, the safe-sex video gained popularity among lesbians in the early 1990s. Movies such as Well Sexy Women (The Unconscious Collective, 1992), Safe Is Desire (Debi Sundahl, 1993), and the compilation film She's Safe! (1993) have been marketed as both self-help tapes and as pornography.

Such videos make it acceptable for lesbians to watch smut because it has a greater social purpose: it teaches lesbians about AIDS prevention rather than simply displaying activity between women that could be deemed exploitative (or co-opted by watchers of commercial straight porn).

Sponsor Message.

Perhaps this focus on safety in women's sex videos can be attributed in part to the fact that the majority of HIV/AIDS research has not focused on woman-to-woman sexual activity and transmission thereby.

In fact, little medical research into lesbian sexual practices has been done at all--somehow, the fact that lesbians really do have sex with each other, and in many different ways, has escaped the attention of many in the mainstream medical establishment.

However, the idea that women require videotaped instructions to figure out the proper use of latex gloves or dams lessens the credibility of these movies as educational materials--and may strike some viewers as downright silly.

Educational/erotic films for lesbians that do not stress latex include sex guru Annie Sprinkle's 28-minute "pornumentary" Linda, Les, and Annie (1989), which recounts Sprinkle's experiences with Les, a female-to-male lover who used to be a butch lesbian. The video, while perhaps not technically lesbian pornography, still proves of interest to sexually adventurous dykes.

Meanwhile, House of Chicks, a tiny lesbian production company, has produced a series of instructional videos such as The Magic of Female Ejaculation (1992) and How to Find Your Goddess Spot (1995). These are relatively small-scale projects, but have become easily available through the technology of the internet.

Recent Developments

Although Fatale did not release any new films between 1993 and 2000, several other lesbian pornographic videos, aside from safe-sex instructionals, surfaced in the 1990s.

The "San Francisco Lesbians" movies, an extensive series of "real lesbian" sex videos, became available through mainstream channels, starting with San Francisco Lesbians #1 in 1992 and continuing through an eighth installment in 1998.

Maria Beatty, with her company Bleu Productions, made numerous lesbian-themed S&M and fetish films, such as The Boiler Room (1998), Doctor's Orders (1998), and Les Vampyres (2000). However, while Beatty's films are highly artistic, they have a commercial bent that seems to appeal more widely to a heterosexual audience than to a lesbian one.

Christopher Lee's male-to-female transsexual porn film Alley of the Tranny Boys (1998) has proved to be of interest to many lesbians. In 1999, a Canadian lesbian pornographic film called Classy Cunts, made by Live Peach Productions, was screened to extremely limited audiences in Montreal. Unfortunately, this film, like some other very small-budget, wholly independent short films, is difficult to obtain.

The biggest breakthrough in the indie-porn industry came in 2000 with the release of SIR Video's full-length tape Hard Love/How to Fuck in High Heels. Several years earlier, SIR had co-produced two films in the "Bend Over Boyfriend" series--which focused on unconventional heterosexual sex--with Fatale Video. But their 2000 release was something very new in dyke pornography.

The two films--one a narrative about a broken-up butch/femme couple who still cannot resist each other, the other a "mockumentary" based on a spoken-word piece by one of SIR's founders--won rave reviews among lesbian audiences for both their authenticity and their genuinely sexy content.

Unlike any other by-and-for-lesbians pornographic film, and despite the fact that it featured explicit depictions of butch sexuality, the video actually made enough of a crossover into the mainstream to win a 2001 AVN (Adult Video News) Award--the porn Oscar--for Best All-Girl Feature.

Jackie Strano and Shar Rednour, the couple who formed SIR, also write, direct, and star in the films. Sugar High Glitter City, SIR's 2001 release, is described by its creators as featuring "a fabulously diverse cast and multiple dyke sexualities"; it seems that even the hottest dyke videos still have politics somewhere in mind, which is only to be expected in an industry that has traditionally either ignored or exploited lesbians.

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