Let’s Hear It For The Girls

In tribute to the recently announced passing of Tereska Torrès, who’s credited with writing America’s first lesbian pulp novel, Women’s Barracks, I thought it would be fitting to talk about romances for girls who, you know, like girls.

Women's Barracks Cover
According to the obituary in the New York Times, two years after Ms. Torrès’  novel was published, The House Select Committee on Current Pornographic Materials condemned it, stating that it was “too lurid.”

Thankfully, we’ve come a long way, baby, since those times, and now there are much more enticing and sensual F/F romances available for our reading pleasure. They’re easy enough to find, too, as the major romance e-publishers all have separate sections on their sites for lesbian romance. I can’t help noticing, however, that frequently the “lesbian” romances include a dude or two. Hmmm. What’s the deal there? Do the publishers think that women – particuarly straight women – don’t really want to read a romance with just women? That we need a guy to kind of balance things out? Could it be that the straight female-female romances don’t sell as well as those that include men?

I’ve had female friends confess (generally once a cocktail or three is under their belt) that they wouldn’t mind having a little tryst with another female just to “give it a try.” I’m wondering if that’s the readership for these “lesbian” romances that include men as part of the fun. Is it primarily straight women who are open to experimentation, or are the readers those who’d self identify as lesbians?

In either case, I for one am glad to know that there are choices out there for well-written romances between women. Even if you’re on the straight and narrow path in real life, in the alluring world of fictional stories we can be part of hot tingly romance  between the girls.

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