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Opposite Sex: Gay Men on Lesbians, Lesbians on Gay Men

Sara Miles, Eric Rofes

10 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0814774768 / ISBN 13: 9780814774762
Published by NYU Press, 1998
Used Condition: Good
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Opposite Sex: Gay Men on Lesbians, Lesbians ...

Publisher: NYU Press

Publication Date: 1998

Book Condition:Good

About this title


The past decade has seen an extraordinary outpouring of research, writing, and talk about lesbian and gay sexuality, triggered in part by the confluence of the AIDS epidemic, the feminist sex wars, and the development of queer studies. Yet many lesbian and gay writers and readers have been frustrated by recurring gaps and absences in the queer studies approach to sexuality, as well as by the limitations of explicit queer community discourse around sex.

Opposite Sex brings the sex back into queer studies, making real bodies, acts, and desires central to analysis of the complex relationships between male and female homosexualities, and their impact on lesbian and gay culture. The contributors to this volume--scholars, artists, activists, and journalists--redress the remarkable dearth of thoughtful discourse about the many ways in which lesbian and gay men are implicated--and viewed within--in each other's sexual realities.

Opposite Sex includes writing by lesbians and gay men about each other's bodies, interpretations of different male and female homosexual sex cultures, and reflections on the history, sociology, and politics of changing discourses around queer sexuality. Passionate and challenging, this anthology shows the rich and complex forms through which individuals and communities make meaning from their quotidian sexual impulses, their utopian sexual mores, and their idiosyncratic sexual acts.

The contributors include Roberto Bedoya, Kaucylia Brooke, Lawrence Chua, Linnea Due, Sandra Lee Golvin, Jewelle Gomez, Francisco J. Gonzalez, Della Grace, Amber Hollibaugh, Robert Jensen, Kate Kane, Elizabeth A. Kelly, Monica Majoli, Mimi McGurl, Robert Reid-Pharr, Gayle Rubin, Lawrence Schimel, Richard Schimpf, and Susan Stryker.


The grouping together of "gay and lesbian" is now an accepted part of American speech, but while there are many experiences gay men and lesbians share, there are also obviously innumerable personal, political, and emotional differences between the two groups--differences that produce confusions and tensions. In Opposite Sex: Gay Men on Lesbians, Lesbians on Gay Men, Sarah Miles and Eric Rofes have collected 14 essays by gay and lesbian scholars, activists, artists, and writers that begin to break the silence over what one homo-gender thinks of the other. Miles and Rofes state that their purpose is to "bring the sex back into queer studies," and while many of these essays contain theory and vigorous intellectual discourse, they are all dedicated to talking about actual feelings and actual bodies in the real world.

In "Another Place to Breathe," political activist Amber Hollibaugh talks about being a femme woman who looks like a drag queen, trying to be respectful of "real" drag queens on Fire Island. In "In Goldilocks's Footsteps," Elizabeth A. Kelly and Kate Kane discuss their feminist reactions to "Bear Magazine" and its portrayal of happily bulky, hairy men as an alternative to the stereotyped smooth, sculpted gay male gym body. Lawrence Schimel, in "The Butch/Femme Dance," talks about self-identification as a "femme" man attracted to "butch" women. In an age where identities based on gender and sexual orientation are always changing, Opposite Sex is smart, informed, imaginative, and always provocative. --Michael Bronski

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