Pornographic Film and Video: Lesbian
by Teresa Theophano
Encyclopedia Copyright © 2015, glbtq, Inc.
Entry Copyright © 2002, glbtq, Inc.
Reprinted from

Pornography has always sparked a great deal of controversy among lesbians. Traditionally rejected by lesbian feminists as an inherently male institution both violent and misogynistic, pornography has nonetheless been openly embraced by a faction of pro-sex lesbians (and so-called “do-me feminists”) for the past two decades.

At the same time, there remains to this day a decided dearth of the authentic lesbian pornographic film–which only emerged in the mid-1980s in the first place. It is easy enough to find numerous woman-on-woman scenes in the majority of heterosexual pornographic
films, of course; but these representations of all-female sexuality are generally so inaccurate, and so clearly geared toward a straight male audience, that very few could truly be considered lesbian.

In contrast, most “lesbian” scenes in straight pornography feature stereotypical male-fantasy women with surgical enhancements, uniformly thin bodies, and long hair and nails. Despite the identification of many commercial porn actresses as bisexual or polysexual, there is never a butch in sight in these movies It was not until 1985 that the first pornographic film made entirely by and for lesbians appeared, well over a decade after the first gay male pornographic films emerged.

The then brand new technology of video facilitated the making of two short films, Private Pleasures and Shadows, which were released together on one tape. These movies were the brainchild of Fatale Video, founded by Nan Kinney and Debi Sundahl–the same duo
who launched On Our Backs, the first sex magazine created for lesbians by lesbians, in 1984.
Fatale went on to release other lesbian-made porn videos such as Hungry Hearts (1989); the infamous Suburban Dykes (1991), which starred Nina Hartley, a well-known, openly bisexual commercial porn actress; Bathroom Sluts (1991); and the instructional video How to Female Ejaculate (1992), among others.

Gay Male Porn vs. Lesbian Porn
In a culture that has long fostered the open expression of male sexuality while discouraging overt female sexuality and aggression, it comes as no surprise that pornography has historically been created by and for men, both gay and straight. In addition, the longstanding “sex wars” between pro-and anti-porn feminist camps also contributed to the scarcity of dyke-made porn.

The sex wars fought ferociously through the 1980s and made public by groups
such as Women Against Pornography, have not yet ceased. In contrast, a loud outcry over pornography in the gay male community–or among straight men, for that matter–has yet to surface.

It is interesting to note, then, the disparity between the politics of gay male pornography and that of lesbian pornography. For example, gay male porn has long consisted of a huge number of films and magazines, and gay porn theaters were at one time commonplace. In terms of sheer quantity, there is simply no parallel in lesbian culture.

One reason for this is the economic situation of lesbians, who are in general a less economically prosperous group than gay men. Fronting the money to produce pornography has proven a challenge–especially when the lesbian market for explicit material remains tiny in comparison to the market for gay male or straight porn.

Very few lesbian sex magazines are published in the United States (On Our Backs being the only one with which most lesbian readers are familiar). Moreover, the small number of lesbian videos that do exist tend to embody political statements and emphasize issues such as diversity, safe sex, and varied expressions of sexual identity, which sometimes results in a less than truly titillating film for many viewers. interestingly enough, many lesbians regularly watch and appreciate gay male pornography, presumably because, among its other merits, it entails neither an overwhelming focus on political correctness nor the distracting and often disturbing heterosexual power dynamics found in straight porn.

Gay porn and lesbian porn have something important in common, however: they serve as positive, accurate representations of queer sexuality–a rare depiction in our society. As pro-sex lesbians and feminists point out, sexual material made by women and intended for a lesbian audience can be tremendously life-affirming in a world still permeated with heterosexism and lesbian exploitation.

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).

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 transsexual 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.

Despite continuing debates over pornography within the feminist and lesbian communities, lesbian indieporn companies have emerged to enjoy considerable success. SIR envisions creating a lesbian porn empire, and in 2001 Fatale Video–which is also launching an erotic book imprint–released a collection of shorts entitled Afterschool Special.

Groups such as Feminists for Free Expression and Feminists Against Censorship continue to fight for the right of women to make and watch pornography. It seems that more than ever, lesbians are seizing that right.

Bleu Productions website:
Califia, Pat. Public Sex: The Culture of Radical Sex. San Francisco: Cleis Press, 2000.
Fatale Media website:
Henderson, Lisa. “Lesbian Pornography.” New Lesbian Criticism. Sally Munt, ed. New York: Columbia
University Press, 1992. 173-191.
Milliken, Christine. “Eroticizing Safer Sex: Pedagogy and Performance in Lesbian Video.” Lesbian Sex
Scandals: Sexual Practices, Identities, and Politics. Dawn Atkins, ed. Binghamton, N. Y.: Harrington Park
Press, 1999. 93-102.
SIR Video website:
Taormino, Tristan. “Desperately Seeking Dyke Porn.” The Village Voice 45.17 (April 26-May 2, 2000): 142.
About the Author
Teresa Theophano, a freelance writer, is a social worker who specializes in community organizing with glbtq
populations. She is also the editor of Queer Quotes (Beacon Press, 2004)

The Cat & The Platinum Blonde

Andrea planned to take a few days off to go camping, to clear her head and maybe hook up with other like-minded outdoor-type women.


Andrea, caught in a very loveless marriage decides to head for the outdoors and to clear her head alone. A camping aficionado since a young girl it was the one place she could really relax and forget all her worries.

The place she was headed is a special reserve that caters to the female camper. Rugged outdoor women who enjoyed the company of other women of similar tastes. There was always a chance to meet up with another woman who also was looking for a few laughs and maybe a little lesbian activity.

On this particular, the campgrounds are filled with women actively looking for girls or women to hook up with. In fact, Andrea made a rather interesting discovery not long after getting her campsite together. A nude woman, clad in only a tiger print G-string, made it obvious to Andrea what she was looking for, right from the get-go.

Their hookup was wild, lusty and in the end, exhausting. Walking back to her camp Andrea had the feeling this was just the place she needed to get her mind off her troubles.

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The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions

Madison and Shelby were traveling that road of good intentions with their charity event, what they didn’t know was it was that well-paved road was heading straight to hell.


The nurses on staff at the University Medical center made plans to raise money for the needy during the holidays. The young team of nurses came up with a novel idea to reach their goal. They decided to hold a sporting event and sell tickets at the door.

Madison and Shelby are both nurses at the Med Center and they were selected to compete in the event. Besides working together, the two girls are also long-time friends. Little did they know that agreeing to compete against each other would test the very foundation of their friendship.

Even up to the time the two stepped into the oil pit in their very sexy bikinis they thought only of their good intentions to help the less fortunate. Little knowing the hell that was about to come raining down.

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Rachelle wants to video a wrestling match between herself and another woman so she hires a Vicky a famous jobber. It took a lot of convincing to get Vicky to agree, but the effort was worth it to Rachelle and so was Vicky.


Vicky at one time wrestled in erotic matches with other women. Some of the matches were filmed and that is where Vicky earned her notoriety. She was a consummate Jobber. She could take any domination, humiliation, or degradation her opponent could dish out. That is why Rachelle gave her a call.

Rachelle was planning a special birthday gift for her husband’s fiftieth birthday. Since he was a female wrestling enthusiast Rachelle had the perfect gift for him. Rachelle hired Vicky to wrestle her, knowing Vicky was game for any kind of debauchery on the mat. Vicky was reluctant at first but eventually came around with the promise of a $5,000 payout.

Rachelle reeled Vicky is pretty good by underselling her abilities and claiming limited experience. Vicky falls for her story and arrives at the designated venue expecting a pretty tame workout. All the while Rachelle, being the consummate heel was getting quite aroused at the prospect of getting her hands all over Vicky. In the end, there was no doubt Vicky earned her money, and Rachelle got her money’s worth.  

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Samantha and Carrie have plans to renew a romance after twenty-five years but after a vigorous start their rendezvous mysteriously cut short leaving Samantha angry and frustrated.


Samantha and Carrie became lovers during their time in college. Twenty five years have passed, the two had kept in contact via phone, email, and letters but both have moved on, marriage, children and all the boring times that accompany them. The two decide to rectify that and spend a weekend in a hotel and try to renew the fire that once was their romance.

The first day they are together, it’s like they were never apart, same people, though a bit older with the same passions. Their torrid sex the first night held real promise for a spectacular three days together and maybe more in the future.

The morning began full of hope for Samantha, still aroused from the previous night. However an early morning phone call from home, and Carrie is forced to curtail their beautiful weekend. The shock leaves Samantha angry and frustrated. Alone in a hotel room, in a city far from home and hornier than a sailor on shore leave. The thought of returning home crossed her mind but was immediately dismissed.

Samantha was determined she was going to capture all the lewd and lascivious sex she had planned and attacked the issue like a seasoned sex strategist. Her planning paid off in spades, at times maybe over paid but Sam was certain she would return home with her raging libido under control.

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Atlantis Events & Olivia Cruises:

All You Need to Know About Gay or Lesbian Cruises / ZACHARY LAKS

Recognizing the surging demand, nearly every cruise line, from luxury to midrange to mass market, works to attract gay and lesbian travelers. LGBTA cocktail parties or meetups are a popular activity onboard various ships. Some cruise lines even cater to the community on land through various partnerships. (For example, Celebrity Cruises sponsors the Miami Beach Gay Pride festival, the first cruise line to ever partner with this celebration of the community.)

Passengers will find gay and lesbian travelers on just about any cruise, but some companies offer specialized sailings catering specifically to gay cruisers. All-gay charter companies, such as Atlantis Events (focused on gay men) and Olivia (exclusively for lesbians), charter entire cruise ships — from large, mainstream ships and smaller luxury ships to riverboats — and customize the whole trip.

The charters work closely with the cruise line to develop itineraries, and they always bring aboard their own group of entertainers, musical guests and speakers. Major cruise lines that frequently host LGBTQ charter cruises include Celebrity, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Uniworld, Azamara and Virgin Voyages.

Here, we introduce you to the main charter companies catering to LGBTQ cruisers, and provide a preview of upcoming gay and lesbian charter cruises. Cruises can expect many postponed trips to finally set sail, a few newly-charted cruises that are sure to sell out fast, and new travel groups catering to the LGBTQ community.

Gay and lesbian charter companies conduct extensive research before committing to a foreign destination. There have been well-publicized incidents of all-gay charters facing opposition and scattered protests at ports in such countries as Grand Cayman, Jamaica and Turkey, so the gay charter companies generally steer clear of controversy and head to the “greatest hits” port stops, mostly in the Caribbean and Europe. Gay travelers should be aware that, in some ports, they might be faced with different levels of social tolerance.

This information, with specific dates, offers a snapshot of some of the adventures, but it’s not meant to serve as a comprehensive calendar. Refer to each company’s website for any updates or additions. Be aware that some gay and lesbian cruises sell out very quickly.

Winter Wonderland & Christmas Market Riverboat Cruise

The charm of Christmas perfected in true historic European style,

Winter Wonderland & Christmas Market Riverboat Cruise is Olivia’s third Christmas market tour.

This year, board Avalon’s Imagery II

along with over 120 women for a holiday-spirited journey from Frankfurt to Prague. The journey includes stops in Würzburg to see the largest ceiling fresco ever painted, a guided tour of medieval Bamberg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the delicious hot mulled wine of Nuremberg. Fares start at $4,399 for a porthole cabin, based on double occupancy.

Dates: Nov. 29 – Dec. 7, 2021

Costa Rica and Panama Canal Luxury Cruise

Head to the rainforest in a sailing yacht with this

Costa Rica and Panama Canal Luxury cruise

aboard Windstar’s 148-passenger

Wind Star

. Explore mangrove swamps, jungle forests and beautiful beaches in search of the region’s diverse flora and fauna. A private beach barbecue and Panama Canal transit will be highlights. Fares start at $5,459 for an outside cabin with a porthole, based on double occupancy.

Dates: Jan. 15 – 22, 2022

The LGBT Community

Why You Should Think Twice Before You Talk About  It.


How often you’ve heard someone talk about “the heterosexual community”? Rarely I imagine but the term “LGBT community”, or sometimes “gay community”, is frequently used by pretty much everyone.

Not everyone’s experience of sexuality or gender is the same.

What does the phrase “LGBT community” mean to you? Chances are if you don’t identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans yourself, you might think about what you’ve seen on TV – so Queer as FolkOrange is the New Black, or The L Word , to name a few TV hits. It might also bring to mind images of brightly coloured rainbow flags or Pride parades.

But just stop for a minute and think about how often you’ve heard someone talk about “the heterosexual community”? Rarely I imagine – but the term “LGBT community”, or sometimes “gay community”, is frequently used by pretty much everyone.

This might not sound like a big deal – after all it’s just a phrase used to identify a large group of people, right? But herein lies the problem, because after carrying out my latest research, which involved over 600 LGBT participants from across the UK, I’m not sure that community is a very suitable word for such a diverse group of people.

And as I explain in my new book, Exploring LGBT spaces and communities, the term “LGBT community” can be understood in many different ways, and can mean many different things to many different people.

A sense of place

In my research, people often said they experienced the “community” part of the phrase as an actual physical space. This could be a particular geographical area such as Brighton or San Francisco, or could relate to places frequented by LGBT people – such as bars and clubs – often referred to as “the scene”.

People I spoke to also reported experiencing this community aspect as part of a virtual space – such as online, or even in an imagined sense – in that LGBT people were thought to share “something”.

People revealed how they often had fears or negative expectations of wider society. And that this is in part why they invest in the idea of an LGBT community – as somewhere where they could feel safe and understood.

But the term does not capture differences and complexities of experience. It can also wrongly suggest some form of shared experience, which for some people can be frustrating because it seems to ignore their experiences of inequality or discrimination within – or exclusion from – so-called “LGBT community”.

LGBT and beyond

Then there is also the issue of the acronym “LGBT” itself, as it excludes a lot of people – such as those who identify as queer or intersex. And it was clear in my research that some people feel less welcomed within this acronym. Even those who do feature within these four letters – notably bisexual and trans people – can often feel marginalised by lesbian and gay people, and like that they don’t really belong to such a “community”.

People also spoke about their quest to find this “community” – with many trying and failing to discover such a thing. The idea of an LGBT community suggests that people who identify in this way should feel part of something. If they don’t it can compound negative experiences.

Many participants in my research also talked about experiencing discrimination from other LGBT people relating to their age, body, disability, ethnicity, faith, HIV status, or perceived social class. So although the phrase implies that LGBT people somehow automatically belong to a ready made community – this is simply not the case.

A group of people

It is clear then that community belonging is not a given just because people share a gender or sexual identity. And this is why the notion of “LGBT community” is problematic. As someone I interviewed argued:

The idea doesn’t exist, it’s a kind of big myth – a bit like saying there’s a brown-eyed community or a blonde community.

In this way, then, the use of the term “LGBT community” could alienate some people and even risks deterring LGBT (and other) people from engaging with services aimed specifically at them. As another participant said:

I find anyone who uses this language dubious and with doubtful intention.

This is not to say that we should abandon the phrase altogether, but often using “LGBT people” would be more accurate – and would not risk alienation felt by an already (at times) marginalised group of people.

Eleanor Formby, Senior Research Fellow in Sociology and Education, Sheffield Hallam University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.


8 tales of dominant women, that see their subs as individual secret gardens. As their domme they expect from them nothing less than their bodies and souls. Expected to do whatever their dommes want so the pleasures of the domme are also the sub’s pleasure


Bound to Lose

Jessica has found herself to be very unlucky in love. Bi-Sexual though she is, she just can’t win with either sex

Before the Mistress and the Stepmother there was Olivia’s Humiliation

A prequel to the bestselling ‘The Tale of the Mistress and the Stepmother’. A look at Olivia as she entered the BDSM lifestyle. More


Abbey is obsessed with Jessica, a young who works with her, and would like nothing better than to make Jessica her a love slave

Duchess of Domination

Stacey decides to skinny dip in the deserted hotel pool early one the morning. That idea gets squashed when Ciara arrives to crash her party

Love Hurts

Linda is a successful business owner. She also is a mother of her eighteen year old daughter Jenn and she is a lesbian.

Pleasure Bound

Husband out of town, Joanna gets to indulge in her secret fetish with Mistress Carol with a surprise visit from Carol’s friend Erma.

The Care and Feeding of Pets

Sienna has a dominant relationship with Naomi. Naomi is Sienna’s pet and Sienna is careful to nurture the symbiotic relationship.

The Tale of the Mistress and the Step-Mother

The Tale of the Mistress & the Step-Mother is a story for fans of older women dominating younger women. A story filled with the erotica pleasure and penetrating emotions. At times it is difficult to determine the Dom or the Sub.

Connect with Candice Christian

I really appreciate you reading my book! Please, if you have time, review my book.

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