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sex between women

 

This tag is used for any general discussion of erotic physical activity between women or one where more specific terms are not mentioned.

LHMP entry

Blake is looking at the history of the dildo in early modern culture not as a physical object, but as fulfilling the function of a fashion accessory. This, despite opening the conversation by stating that she is not viewing it for its symbolic purpose, but for its functional one. In passing, she notes that philosophical arguments about the function on the dildo in history have resonances with modern arguments about the symbolism and function of dildoes in lesbian relationships.

Satan’s Harvest Home is an anonymous polemic (published 1749) railing against the perceived rise of effeminacy, sodomy, and prostitution in English society.

William Walsh was a late 17th century English poet and critic. The work of his that piques our interest is a philosophical treatise A Dialogue Concerning Women, being a Defence of the Sex, which is dedicated to someone identified as Eugenia. The work is in the form of a debate between Misogynes (the misogynist) and Philogynes (the lover of women), with authorial asides commenting on their arguments and directly addressing the dedicatee.

Jean-Baptiste Tavernier was a French gem merchant and traveller in the 17th century. He traveled extensively for business to Persia and India, making six voyages between 1630-1668. At the request of King Louis XIV of France, in 1675 he wrote up his experiences as Les Six Voyages de Jean-Baptiste Tavernier.

Thomas Glover was born in Constantinople to an English father and Polish mother and was raised there, being fluent in Turkish, Greek, Italian, and Polish (as well as English). He served as secretary to two successive English ambassadors to Constantinople before being installed as ambassador himself in 1606. He was recalled to London in 1611 under something of a cloud, perhaps due to interceding in Moldavian royal politics, but evidently it blew over.

Ottaviano Bon belonged to an aristocratic family in Venice and was active as a diplomat. I’m having trouble finding a clear biography of him through online sources. He has no English Wikipedia entry, and the Italian Wikipedia entry is brief and sketchy.

The Flemish scholar Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq was named an ambassador to the Ottoman Empire by the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I. From around 1554 through 1562 he was in Constantinople, primarily to negotiate a border treaty. But Busbecq was deeply interested in manuscripts, in natural history, and in describing his experiences in an extensive correspondence with friends, which he later collected and published.

This post is part of a series of primary source materials illustrating how Europeans perceived, reported, and discussed female homoeroticism in the Ottoman Empire during the 16th to early 18th centuries. I’ll give a larger context for why this is a period of interest for European interactions with a non-European, non-Christian culture that could not be dismissed easily as  not being of equal power an importance to their own.

This article looks at two stories within the 1001 nights that set up scenes of apparent homoeroticism due to gender disguise. In two romances—that of Qamar and Budur, and that of Ali Shar and Zumurrud—the woman disguises herself as a man during a period when the lovers are separated, and then when they are reunited and the disguised woman is in a position of greater social power, she teases her lover (who has not recognized her or even realized she is a woman) by demanding that he submit to her sexually (believing he is submitting to a man).

This article looks at how beauty and attractiveness and desirability are framed within the early manuscripts of the 1001 Nights as involving similarity rather than gender difference. While later editions, and especially translations and adaptations into western languages, tended to insert a more binary-gendered aesthetic into the descriptions of characters in the thousand and one nights, this is a conceptual shift from the early versions.

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