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Digital Subscriptions > DIVA Magazine > May 2016 > PUTTING OUR PLEASURE ON THE PAGE

PUTTING OUR PLEASURE ON THE PAGE

SOME OF THE FIRST GLOSSY LESBIAN MAGAZINES FOCUSED ON SEX – AND WE’RE STILL BUYING IT. BUT WHAT ARE THE BARRIERS TO CELEBRATING WOMEN’S SEXUALITY IN DIVA? WORDS LOUISE CAROLIN

“Not another DIVA Sex Issue,” somebody jokes. “They seem to come round every other month!” Well, not quite... But let us put it this way: sex sells. And lesbians (along with other DIVA readers) are buying. Just as they always have done, in fact.

The first ever magazine for lesbians in the US with a nationwide bookstore distribution was On Our Backs. Launched in 1984 by Nan Kinney and Debi Sundahl, On Our Backs was born out of its creators’ passionate desire to see lesbian sexuality reflected, represented, discussed and demystified on the printed page. Four years later Quim became the first British magazine by and for lesbians that was available to buy in shops around the country. Like OOB, Quim’s subject was sex – the pleasure, the power and the politics.

It is not surprising that queer women in the 80s felt a compelling need to open a discussion about their sexuality and its representation. In her introduction to the anthology On Our Backs: The Best Erotic Fiction, former editor Heather Findlay explains, “It is hard to picture the climate then in the tiny, not necessarily representative but enormously influential clique we called ‘the lesbian community’. Lesbian feminism had provided many of us (as it did Nan and Debi) a philosophical framework and justification for our desire. But that framework often felt tight as a whalebone corset.”

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About DIVA Magazine

Our bi-annual sex issue is sizzling hot with 40 pages of lesbian and bi hotness Also in this issue Lesbian sex: Expectation versus reality Travelling solo, and safely, as a woman Wonderful, not weird: Readers share their unusual fetishes Sex in DIVA: Are we being censored? Born this way: Intersex and proud From the vaults: Hot 90s lesbian photography revisited Sharon D Clarke Kiran Gandhi Anohni Jack Monroe Eleanor Margolyes binge watches the whole of The L Word Plus all the very best in life, scene, books, film, music and TV.
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