In 1986, the December edition of Lesbian News featured an article by The Joy of Lesbian Sex Collective which claimed that ‘finger fucking symbolizes the kind of violence that is experienced in heterosexual sex’ and that ‘women who practice penetration are butch and male identified’. Many letters protesting this view were published the following month.
Melbourne’s Truth newspaper picked up the story and ran it under the headline ‘Lesbian Stink Over Use of Fingers – Penetration Row Rages’. The story from Truth was reprinted in the first issue of Melbourne’s Australian Lesbian Diary. By dismissing the views of the Joy of Lesbian Sex Collective as a ‘load of garbage’, the editor of the ALD was brought into immediate conflict with a significant section of the lesbian feminist community.
Melbourne’s Shrew Bookshop wouldn’t stock ALD, Adelaide’s Murphy Sisters banned it and Sydney’s Feminist Bookshop received numerous complaints about it, but the magazine’s drawings, photography, erotic fiction and BDSM content prompted readers to compare the black and white glossy favourably with Bad Attitude and On Our Backs.
There don’t seem to be any further articles written by the Joy of Lesbian Sex Collective. The Collective emerged at a time when its lesbian feminist account of sexuality was being challenged in the pages of Lesbian Network and Lesbian News, and during a year in which the ALD and Sydney’s Wicked Women magazine were also launched.
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