By Emma Jenkinson
Working our way through our list of Places to Visit, I went with my girlfriend to Hampton Court Palace. One of the old Royal Residences, most famously kept by Henry VIII and restored by Mary II and William III, Hampton Court is a beautiful building, and home to many intriguing tales. We spent the afternoon being stalked by Henry VIII (he was looking for Jane Seymour, who was hiding in the gardens), and Peter Lely asked us if we wanted to be nymphs for his painting of Barbara Villiers, Lady Castlemaine, shortly before we unlaced her bodice.
By Melissa A. Fabello
Once upon a time (as every good love story should start), I found myself enamored with a certain erotic art website. It was 2002, a year after the launch of the soon-to-be franchise, and somehow, its galleries of brash, naked, tattooed ladies trickled its way down to me — thanks, no doubt, to the circle of friends with whom I hung out: goths, punks, artsy kids, and other cafeteria fringe all lumped into one alternagroup conglomerate in my oh-so-small suburban high school. We didn’t separate skaters from ravers; we couldn’t afford to. So we all hung out together. And SuicideGirls was like a beacon of hope.
By Jenn Anderson
I came out as a lesbian fairly early in life. I grew up in a very conservative community, so I wasn’t sure how, exactly, to go about being gay. I dated a couple local girls who were, for lack of a better term, “girly.” It never really worked out, and I figured I was just bad at being queer. Where I’m from, girls are supposed to look feminine, boys are supposed to look masculine, and things don’t go well for you if you deviate from that. Let’s just say I spent most of my time in deviant land, since all I knew was that lesbians were supposed to be tough — and studly.
By Rosara Torrisi
In the past two years, I’ve thought a lot about body hair. Should I shave? wax? use some other strange chemical product that somehow burns the hair off my legs or vulva? I’ve had a series of debates with myself and others about the removal of body hair, and I think I’ve boiled it down to these key points.
By Melissa A. Fabello
Tis the season.
For sales on tanning.
Between proms, the onset of spring, and the promise of summer, the time is now to get ready for swimsuit season. Not only are we expected to lose ten pounds before we don our bikinis, but now out culture demands that we also be tan. Before summer even starts. Because that makes sense. I thought that what a tan in September meant was that you had a good time playing outside at the beach all summer long. Now a tan means – what? – that you can afford to artificially tan before the sun is even bright enough to tan you naturally? What the actual fuck.
Because if there’s one more thing that women need, it’s to feel inferior in yet another realm. And for a girl like me – an Italian, Sicilian girl like me? Whose skin holds yellow undertones, but whose northern Italian ancestral traits beat out her southern ones? Who is subtly picked on all year long for not being dark enough? It’s just another reason for me to roll my eyes.
Because my skin tone doesn’t bother me. My lack of melanin doesn’t make me feel less womanly, and it certainly doesn’t make me feel less Italian. If anything, it’s a lovely reminder (along with my random-ass blue eyes) of my Alps-ian heritage. And there’s nothing wrong with that.