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literature

Alpha Index:  A-B  C-F  G-K  L-Q  R-S  T-Z

Subjects:  A-B  C-E  F-L  M-Z

     
Erotica and Pornography  
 
page: 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  

In the immensely popular Uncertain Companions (1992) by Robbi Sommers (b. 1950), sensuality sweeps the heroine Veronica into a fantasy world where she becomes Feronia, the beloved of the moon goddess Devana.

The mainstream lesbian mystery novelist Katherine V. Forrest (b. 1939) has written an erotic coming-out novel, Curious Wine (1983), as well. And she has collaborated on collecting the stories in The Erotic Naiad (1992).

Sponsor Message.

The writers in the 1991 anthology Bushfire, edited by Karen Barber, celebrate how much fun sex can be. Those in Herotica (1988) and its sequels, edited by Susie Bright (b. 1958), and Woman in the Window (1992), edited by Pamela Pratt (1958-1993), represent a variety of new voices.

JoAnn Loulan (b. ca 1948) has written a number of sex guides. And there are even lesbian pornographic magazines, the most important of which is On Our Backs.

But the most striking index of the degree to which new possibilities are being explored by women is that some of the new work is sadomasochistic although with a very different feel from male-oriented material because, as Henderson notes, the authors are careful to imply the informed consent of all the characters.

Perhaps the best of such works are the stories of Macho Sluts (1988) by Pat Califia (b. 1954), the advice columnist of the gay news magazine The Advocate and also the author of man-with-man erotica. Sara Dunn describes the stories of Macho Sluts as moving "beyond the need to apologize."

Califia herself describes the stories as liberating fantasies; apparent coercion is framed as fantasy controlled by the submissive partner. In the same vein, the novella Bad Habits (1991) by Lindsay Welsh (b. ca 1960) is distinguished by its balanced racial treatment.

Edmund Miller

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literature >> Overview:  Censorship

Governments, publishers, editors, and even gay writers themselves have censored gay content in literature from the Renaissance to the present.

literature >> Overview:  Chinese Mythology

Chinese mythology is rich in stories about homosexuality.

arts >> Overview:  Erotic and Pornographic Art: Gay Male

Given the historic stigma around making, circulating, and possessing overtly homoerotic images, the visual arts have been especially important for providing a socially sanctioned arena for depicting the naked male body and suggesting homoerotic desire.

arts >> Overview:  Erotic and Pornographic Art: Lesbian

Considering the unique set of problems facing lesbians who want to produce erotic art for the enjoyment of other lesbians, it is remarkable that so much lesbian erotica has been produced in so brief a time.

literature >> Overview:  Greek Literature: Ancient

Ancient Greece holds a unique place in the heritage of homosexual literature as it was a society that openly celebrated same-sex love in its poetry and prose.

literature >> Overview:  Japanese Literature

The trajectory of the treatment of same-sex love in Japanese literature differs radically from that in Western literatures, but offers many interesting texts that include male-male or female-female love.

literature >> Overview:  Middle Eastern Literature: Arabic

The expression of male homoerotic sentiment is one of the dominant themes in classical Arabic literature from the ninth century to the nineteenth.

literature >> Overview:  Middle Eastern Literature: Persian

Over a period of two millennia, sodomy has been by turns condemned and celebrated in Persian literature.

arts >> Overview:  Pornographic Film and Video: Bisexual

Bisexual pornography began in earnest during the mid-1980s, but the quality and number of bisexual videos has decreased dramatically since their heyday in the 1980s.

arts >> Overview:  Pornographic Film and Video: Gay Male

Gay male pornographic film and video, which dates from the release of Wakefield Poole's The Boys in the Sand in 1971, has provided gay men an all-too-rare positive image of gay sexuality.

arts >> Overview:  Pornographic Film and Video: Lesbian

Although pornography is controversial among lesbians, it has nonetheless been openly embraced by a faction of pro-sex lesbians, and there has emerged a small but growing film and video industry committed to authentic lesbian pornography.

arts >> Overview:  Pornographic Film and Video: Transsexual

Most of the pornography that features transsexuals is neither made by nor for them, but in recent years trans porn activists have began to produce pornography for transsexual and other queer audiences.

arts >> Overview:  Pulp Paperbacks and Their Covers

Despite the stereotyping of their cover art and their pathologizing of lesbianism, the American pulp novels of the 1950s and 1960s subverted the social and political prohibitions against homosexual expression during the McCarthy era.

literature >> Overview:  Roman Literature

Roman writers on homosexual or bisexual themes generally followed Greek models; but unlike the Greeks, Romans condoned sex with slaves.

literature >> Overview:  Sadomasochistic Literature

Sadomasochistic literature, one of the most controversial forms of lesbian and gay writing, confronts such issues as domination, submission, uniformity, and humiliation and poses a constant challenge to them.

literature >> Bannon, Ann

In a series of five interlinked pulp novels set in Greenwich Village and its homosexual bars in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Bannon provides an important record of lesbian life in a period when few women dared speak openly about homosexuality.

literature >> Brown, Rita Mae

Lesbian poet and novelist Rita Mae Brown, best known for the highly successful Rubyfruit Jungle, resists neat categorization.

literature >> Burroughs, William S.

Both in his life and his novels, American writer William S. Burroughs was an outlaw and a provocateur, focusing on sexual repression as the fundamental element of social control and writing in a surrealistic and bitterly satirical mode.

literature >> Califia, Patrick

Controversial for defending sadomasochism and pornography, gender outlaw and sexual anarchist Patrick Califia, who recently underwent gender reassignment, is widely admired as a defender of individual freedom.

literature >> Catullus

The Roman poet Catullus incorporated homoerotic themes in his verse, both reflecting the passionate character of same-sex friendships and describing several of his own homosexual adventures.

literature >> Cleland, John

Although predominately heterosexual in its orientation, John Cleland's Fanny Hill has passages which give insight into lesbian and male homosexual roles and practices in eighteenth-century England.

literature >> Crowley, Aleister

An important figure in the European occult movement of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Aleister Crowley was publicly reviled in his time, but he was recently cited by the BBC as one of England's most influential citizens.

literature >> Delany, Samuel R.

Writer of science fiction, memoirs, erotica, cultural studies, and postmodern criticism, and winner of multiple Nebula, Hugo, and Lambda Literary Awards, Samuel R. Delany is widely regarded as one of the finest science fiction writers of his generation.

literature >> Ellis, Bret Easton

Perhaps the most accomplished of the "Generation X" writers, Bret Easton Ellis creates works distinguished by transgressive themes, a fascination with popular culture, and a spare but resonant prose style.

literature >> Forrest, Katherine V.

Writer and editor Katherine V. Forrest has played a major role in bringing lesbian fiction to the forefront of the mystery and science fiction genres.

literature >> Genet, Jean

Jean Genet's work has left a powerful legacy to post-modernity and remains a provocation to questions of gay identity.

literature >> Hall, Radclyffe

Radclyffe Hall, who lived her lesbianism openly and proudly, is best known for The Well of Loneliness, arguably the most important lesbian novel ever written.

literature >> Hansen, Joseph

Best known as the author of the Dave Brandstetter mystery series, Hansen also published a considerable body of nonmystery fiction and poetry, most of it dominated by homosexual characters and themes.

literature >> Kramer, Larry

Controversial playwright, novelist, and essayist Larry Kramer has been a pioneer in the gay political response to AIDS in America.

literature >> Mann, Thomas

One of Germany's greatest twentieth-century authors, Thomas Mann encoded his own homosexuality in his novels but thought that homosexuality led to the destruction of social institutions and the death of the individual homosexual.

literature >> Maugham, Robin

The defiantly homosexual scion of a powerful family, Robin Maugham became a popular and prolific writer who regularly features homosexual themes and homoerotic situations in his work.

literature >> Nestle, Joan

Through her writing, teaching, editing, and activism, Joan Nestle has devoted her life to promoting awareness of glbtq culture and advancing glbtq equality.

literature >> Nin, Anaïs

The bisexual novelist Anaïs Nin is best known for her sexually frank diaries and the erotica published after her death.

literature >> Petronius

Petronius' Satyricon is both the best evidence for homosexual behavior at the height of the Roman Empire and one of the most bumptious homoerotic picaresque narratives ever written.

literature >> Preston, John

One of the most prolific gay writers of recent decades, John Preston helped elevate pornographic fiction into a genre viewed as having literary merit.

literature >> Rechy, John

In his novels about hustling, preeminently City of Night and Numbers, John Rechy moves from the world of homosexual behavior into the world of gay identity.

literature >> Reed, Paul

By writing the earliest novel to respond directly to AIDS and subsequently producing innovative journal and sex writing, American author Paul Reed made several significant contributions to glbtq literature.

literature >> Rocco, Antonio

Italian rhetorician and philosopher Antonio Rocco is author of an early classic of pederastic literature, L'Alcibiade fanciullo a scola (Alcibiades the schoolboy), which was written in 1630 and published anonymously in 1652.

literature >> Rochester, John Wilmot, Earl of

In his poetry and his dramatic farce Sodom, the Restoration rake Rochester depicts heterosexual love as imperfect or incomplete and offers homosexual intercourse as a natural alternative.

literature >> Rumi

The Persian poet Rumi, who originated the "whirling dervish" order of Sufis, developed passionate relationships with other men and mixed spirituality with eroticism in his love poetry.

literature >> Sackville-West, Vita

Best known for her relationship with Virginia Woolf and for her scandalous love affairs, Vita Sackville-West was a prolific author of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.

literature >> Sade, Marquis de

Whether or not the Marquis de Sade was himself bisexual, homosexual activity is an important item in his program of revolutionary sexual libertinism.

literature >> Sa'di

The thirteenth-century Persian known as Sa'di wrote prose and poetry that included passages on the passionate love between men and boys.

literature >> Saikaku, Ihara

Saikaku's The Great Mirror of Male Love is a collection of short stories that depict male homosexual love as it was practiced in seventeenth-century Japan.

literature >> Saylor, Steven

Now best known for his highly successful mystery novels set in ancient Rome, Steven Saylor began his writing career by publishing erotica under the pen-name Aaron Travis.

literature >> Stein, Gertrude

In addition to becoming--with Alice B. Toklas--half of an iconic lesbian couple, Gertrude Stein was an important innovator and transformer of the English language.

literature >> Wilde, Oscar

Oscar Wilde is important both as an accomplished writer and as a symbolic figure who exemplified a way of being homosexual at a pivotal moment in the emergence of gay consciousness.

literature >> Woolf, Virginia

Passionate friendships with women were essential to the life and work of novelist Virginia Woolf.

arts >> Yeomans, Lee Calvin "Cal"

A trailblazer in post-Stonewall gay theater, Cal Yeomans explored sex and sexuality so directly in his critically-acclaimed plays that it made his work difficult to produce even in the gay community.


    Bibliography
   

Boswell, John. Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980.

Bright, Susie, ed. Herotica: A Collection of Women's Erotic Fiction. Burlingame, Ga.: Down There, 1988.

Bronski, Michael. "Classics from the Closet." The Guide 11.2 (February 1991): 118-121.

Dunn, Sara. "Voyages of the Valkyries: Recent Lesbian Pornographic Writing." Feminist Review 34 (1990): 161-170.

Eighner, Lars. Lavender Blue: How to Write and Sell Gay Men's Erotica. Intro. John Preston. Austin, Tex.: Liberty Imprint of Caliente (subsequently an imprint of Fire Island), 1987.

Marcus, Steven. The Other Victorians: A Study of Sexuality in Mid-Nineteenth-Century England. New York: Basic, 1966.

Mengay, Donald. "The Sodomitical Muse: Fanny Hill and the Rhetoric of Crossdressing." Homosexuality in the Renaissance and Enlightenment in England: Literary Representations in Historical Context. Claude J. Summers, ed. New York: Haworth, 1992. 185-198.

Munt, Sally, ed. New Lesbian Criticism: Literary and Cultural Readings. New York: Harvester, 1992.

Perkins, Michael. The Secret Record: Modern Erotic Literature. New York: William Morrow, 1976.

Preston, John. My Life as a Pornographer and Other Indecent Acts. New York: Richard Krasden Imprint of Masquerade, 1993.

Reade, Brian [Anthony], ed. Sexual Heretics: Male Homosexuality in English Literature from 1850 to 1900. New York: Coward-McCann, 1970.

Smith, Rupert. "One-Handed Reading." Lesbian and Gay Writing: An Anthology of Critical Essays. Mark Lilly, ed. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1990. 164-174.

Steiner, George. "Night Words: High Pornography and Human Privacy." Perspectives on Pornography. Douglas A. Hughes, ed. New York: St. Martin's, 1970. 96-108.

Steward, Samuel M. Chapters from an Autobiography. San Francisco: Grey Fox, 1981.

Vassi, Marco. Metatext, Mirth, and Madness: Erotic Tales of the Absurdly Real. Intro. Martin Shepard. New York: Penthouse, 1975.

 

    Citation Information
         
    Author: Miller, Edmund  
    Entry Title: Erotica and Pornography  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
 
    Publication Date: 2002  
    Date Last Updated March 12, 2012  
    Web Address www.glbtq.com/literature/erotica_pornography.html  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
 
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 1995, 2002 New England Publishing Associates  
 

 

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