Is the lesbian/bi fetish a recent thing?

Is it? Was this a popular fetish 20, 50, 100 years ago? Are there ancient Roman tablets saying “two chicks getting it on is hot”?
Was it there but repressed? Or is it just some weird modern aberration? Is it as popular in other countries as in America?

Well, I saw Caligula… there was a whole bunch of it in that movie!

Proof positive, I say… :smiley:

Hmm… well no i think it is kind of obvious that 50 - 100 etc. years ago lesbians were kinda shot/stoned/burnt etc. as for being as popular in other countries… well here in Australia, some people get into it, and if you rip a lesbian your committing a crime… even if it has nothing to do with their sexuality, people are getting retarded about shit like that, if a lesbian does seomthing stupid - she should be told, just because she licks clit instead of cock doesnt make her immune to criticism! (little bit off the point but yeh…)
So yes, now lesbian/bi chiqs are very “trendy”, but i think 50-100 years ago… they probly werent, just a hint i picked up from somewhere…

Damn. I goofed up and my whole post attempt disappeared.

To sum up… No. In the US, look to recent soft and hard core porno as the origin of this thing (popularization of lesbian/bi depictions).

Penthouse magazine in particular might be looked to as the source. I am no porn aficianado, but my guess is that they popularized (put it as acceptable in the nationwide circulation, major advertiser girlie mags) it in the 1970’s along with the “pubc hair wars”. A circulation booster and a way to get a chunck out of Playboy’s dominance.

Penthouse brought the world the awful film Caligula as well.

Of course, I am not saying Penthouse invented lesbianism or bisexuality or the menange-a-trios in the 70’s…

The OP mentions the Romans. While wealthy Roman women had a bit more property rights than Greek women of the classical age, overall it was very, very much a “Man’s World”. Men could have mistresses, rape the slaves, engage in pederasty, etc., etc., but women were to bear legitimate heirs and woe betide them if they did anything that so much as seemed to indicate they even thought of polluting the bloodline. Lesbianism seems from what I have read to been looked at in this context; it didn’t produce children belonging to another bloodline, so as long as it didn’t keep a woman from running to the master of the house when summoned, it was thought of one of those peculiarities that some women were given to occasionally. In short, it seems to have been viewed as an entertainment for those women that wwere inclined to it, but like any other entertainment it was not to interfere with her duties to her home and husband.

In the 1770s, there were a bunch of broadsheets accusing Marie Antoinette of being a lesbian—and they contained a lot more in the way of woodcuts and description than was strictly necessary. Also, the Marquis de Sade included a lot of chick-on-chick (on-whip, on-restraining devices, etc.) in his books.


What does ‘rip a lesbian’ mean?

If a non-lesbian does something stupid (like bad spelling / grammar) shouldn’t they be told too? :confused:

I have the feeling that - like so many things - this fetish works in circles. There will be a time when it is really mainstream, then nobody gives a damn, then it is shunned, then moves towards mainstream again.

Lesbianism/Bisexuality was really “in” in Germany in the 1920. Then all homosexuality was really “out”(-lawed) in the 1930s and 40s. The 50s were “no sex please”, the 60s and 70s were “let’s shag everything that’s not up the tree on the count of 3”. The 80s were a bit more modest again and in the 90s /00s homosexuality is now mainstream again.

What I have noticed is: advertisment makers have realized homosexuals are an important target group with lots of cash. There are a lot of commercials/ads over here that - while not overtly depicting lesbians - are implying lesbianism.

We also have our first officially gay pair in a series of commercials by Iglo (most important maker of frozen convenience food). They were received quite well.

Attraction is almost entirely a sociological phenomenon. We are all sociolized to believe that a certain type of woman is attractive. Maybe its because (to be freudean) one’s mother looked one way, or you were just bombarded with social messages young to believe that certain women are attractive. So based on that, Id have to say lesbianism == hot is sort of a passing fad in the history of man.

This may be shooting too low, but I think that part of the reason for the poularity of “lesbian” porn is homophobia. I would bet that in any society with a homosexuality taboo, woman-only pornography would be a popular diversion for men, paradoxically.

The basis being, if one is going to look at a sexually aroused woman, one would be much more comfortable if there wasn’t also a sexually aroused man in the picture.

Okay, let’s make a distinction here. The OP is asking if the (straight male) fetish of hypersexualizing lesbian relationships is recent, not if lesbianism itself is.

Mike Leigh’s 1999 film Topsy-Turvy about Gilbert and Sullivan’s staging of The Mikado in 1885 has a scene in which Sullivan (Allan Corduner) indulges himself with several (French, I believe) prostitutes who briefly put on a lesbian display for him. I’m not certain what source material Leigh used to come up with the idea for this scene, but I seriously doubt he just made it up.

An internet search for +“Arthur Sullivan” +lesbian generates a list of gay (and lesbian) sites claiming Sullivan as one of their own. It’s conceivable to me that the scene in Topsy Turvy shows Sullivan watching a lesbian show and hoping it will arouse him (thus proving he is not gay) but I’ll have to admit I wasn’t paying close enough attention to the movie when it played on cable to judge. I’d have to see it again.

That said, the scene doesn’t look anachronistic, and one could imagine a Victorian gentleman of wealth engaging in activity like this, several years before the advent of pornographic film.

Lesbianism as a motif in pornography is NOT a new thing–it’s at least 250 years old. Take John Cleland’s Fanny Hill (1749). In many ways, the sex is very conventional (especially by the standards of today’s pornography). Nevertheless, the first sex scene in the book is a lesbian one.

My guess is that if you checked Casanova’s memoirs, the works of de Sade, or Victorian pornography like My Secret Life, you’d find plenty of lesbianism portrayed (though I don’t have the texts at hand).

What? It’s not a fad?

I could have sworn. Pet rocks, the Macarena, and Lesbianism. I think I read it in Tiger Beat. :smiley:

Acteon was a veteran hunter. One day while looking for game in the forest, he heard voices. Years of practice allowed him to move withot making the slightest of noises. Acteon peered through a screen of leaves and saw Artemis, goddess of the hunt, bathing with her handmaidens. He views the glorious spectacle of what Ovid describes as “hardcore girl on girl action”. Then, he gets caught. Artemis transforms Acteon into a deer and he is killed by his own hounds.

So my guess is that the fetish dates back to ancient Greece.

Suffering Sappho…

It’s likely that there has always been a male fascination with lesbians and lesbian porno for men may go way back. However, the main stream popularization of the idea (e.g., Friends) is probably due to Howard Stern. He would drive home the idea that “lesbians mean ratings” over and over on his show. A few years ago there was a prominence of lesbians in the media. I always felt that Stern never got the credit he deserved for driving home the lesbians = ratings ideas to the members of the media that would listen to his show.

Female homosexuality has never been a turn on for me. Of course, thats probably because I realized early in life that women who prefer women would narrow the odds of ME getting laid!:smiley: Maybe I looked at it as a waste of perfectly good pussy!

I think that it has around for quite a while. One fairly recent example was Philip Larkin’s first stories wrtten in the 40’s was about fruity goings on in a Girl’s school, recently rediscovered
"Two Philip Larkin stories describing lesbian sex at a girls’ school and an Oxbridge college are to be published for the first time. The manuscripts which Larkin wrote in 1943 are in Hull University’s library, where he was a librarian from 1955 until his death in 1985.

He wrote ‘Trouble At Willow Gables’ and ‘Michaelmas Term At St Bride’s’ under the pseudonym Brunette Coleman. James Booth, reader of English at Hull University, has written an introduction to the novellas, which are due to be published by Faber & Faber next year. "The stories are full of hockey-hardened bodies, poplin pyjamas and beatings with hairbrushes,“Booth told the Sunday Times”

glee, I suspect it might be short for “rip into [insert person]” which means to say negative things about them.

I contend that either there are no such novellas, or that they contain no explicit sex scenes.

Either admit that you made the whole thing up, or post excerpts of the scenes in question.

(On the off chance my post is less than clear, allow me to add :smiley: )