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Friday, August 10, 2012

10 Fun Facts You Didn't Know About Lesbians

Posted By on Fri, Aug 10, 2012 at 10:43 AM

click to enlarge Sappho's sapphic love scandalized even the goats she kept around as decorative props! - SIMEON SOLOMON
  • Simeon Solomon
  • Sappho's sapphic love scandalized even the goats she kept around as decorative props!

I watched Farewell, My Queen recently, mostly because I thought there'd be lesbian action in it. Spoiler: There's not! Unless you count one fervent forehead touching and a lot of lingering eye contact. But the film did make me realize how little I knew about Marie Antoinette, aside from the myth of the "let them eat cake" business. It didn't take me long to discover the pornographic pamphlets (it was for research!) that mocked Antoinette's extravagant lifestyle and accused her of all kinds of wrongdoings, including lesbianism, pedophilia, and incest.

Fun fact 1: Lesbianism at that time was known as performing the "German vice" and since Antoinette was Austrian (close enough?) this obviously proved she was totes banging chicks! With "royal dildos!" The Germans (unsurprisingly) countered this insult by calling lesbianism the "French vice" because the Pee-Wee Herman comeback never goes out of style, apparently.

Despite having a good decade of rug munchery under my belt, clearly I had a lot to learn about lesbianism, so I did some digging, and here are some gems I found.

(Ed. note: Most of these come from The Gay Almanac, unless otherwise linked/noted)

2. A labrys is a double-edged hatchet or axe that is commonly associated with lesbians, for those who've never seen the movie Bound. I thought that lady lovin' ladies liked the labrys because it sounded like labia. But no! The labrys gets its fame from Demeter, Goddess of Earth, who used it as a scepter in religious ceremonies. Where else she may have used that scepter isn't explicitly stated.

3. According to U.S. Census data, the state with the most gay couples is California (who didn't see that coming?) with around 90,000. Yet, California is one of the few liberal states where same-sex marriage is illegal. It's like the gay equivalent of that Rime of the Ancient Mariner poem: Lezzies lezzies everywhere, but not a one to gay marry!

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Anna Pulley

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