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Archive for the ‘Life Commentary’ Category

Welcome Back! A Note from Christi and Nan

Monday, February 13th, 2017

Thanks for hanging in there with us as we move our site to a new web hosting company. The site is almost finished being rejiggered by our illustrious webmaster, new hosts and SSL folks.

The last few weeks have been hellish. Our web hosts of nearly 20 years were bought by a large firm that apparently didn’t realize there were (gasp!) adult companies in its purview. So after botching the server move for us and many other small businesses, the corporate wonks stepped in and suspended Fatale’s site.

That’s the story.

Some things still need tweaking–like, I can’t post pictures in here yet! But soon, soon.

We’re looking forward to moving forward during 2017 and happy to have you on the ride with us!

Summer Heat

Saturday, July 16th, 2016

It’s been sweltering where we are this summer…and air conditioning is something the two of us don’t like too much. Necessary now and then but yuck.

When you can’t open the windows for the wall of heat that comes in, all we do is dream of getting away.

And away we will go next week—to Upstate New York to a family reunion, then to the Hudson Valley for a much-deserved week of R&R.

One thing that air conditioning is good for? Sex in the summer! Sex in the sweltering heat.

Take Her Down pool kiss

 

 

 

 

A nice swimming pool, with cool water to douse all heat-induced summer sluggishness, works wonders too.

We hope you’re somewhere to get away from the heat and enjoy the respite.

Till next time, yours in good love and (air-conditioned) sex!

Nan & Christi
nan@fatalemedia.com
christi@fatalemedia.com

P.S. Hot fun in the summertime! If you never saw Fatale’s sexy wrestling flick, Take Her Down, there’s a great lesbian pool scene in there. Enjoy!

Orlando

Monday, June 13th, 2016

hydrangea-bush

We mourn the dead and pray for the injured from the attack in the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando.

Our Prince Is Gone

Friday, April 22nd, 2016

Prince

 

We were in Minnesota last month for Nan’s mom’s funeral. Nan grew up in southern Minnesota, then headed north to “the Cities” to the University of Minnesota.

From there she and Deborah Sundahl went to San Francisco, cofounded On Our Backs and Fatale Video, and the rest is history.

In our kitchen sits a little wooden plaque painted in blue with black letters: “Minnesota: A Place in the Heart.”

When visiting Minnesota, we always get a chuckle when we listen to The Current, because they idolize Minnesota’s two patron musician saints, Bob Dylan and Prince.

Who could have ever thought that Bob Dylan would outlive Prince?

The shock and sadness when we learned of Prince’s death defies description. Flu. And on the heels of David Bowie’s death, the sadness only deepens. Cancer.

Prince wrote the soundtrack of the early days of On Our Backs and Fatale. He wrote the sexy soundtrack of the lesbian bars where we danced and flirted and celebrated coming out to the likes of “Little Red Corvette,” “Purple Rain” and “1999.”

Four albums released in the last 18 months. The fight for his name and copyrights was settled. He went right back to fueling our imaginations with productivity and creative genius.

For that, thank you, Prince. We will miss you.

Nan & Christi
nan@fatalemedia.com
christi@fatalemedia.com

Taking a Break

Friday, March 18th, 2016

Christi Cassidy and Nan Kinney

 

 

 

It’s not just the publicity stunts of Donald Trump and Company that’s got us in a mood for a break. It feels like that moment of calm before March Madness and the Final Four. Easter—Peeps and Cadbury Creme Eggs, anyone? Baseball’s Opening Day.

Lots of other people must be feeling it too, because we’ve had a run on Bend Over Boyfriend and Bend Over Boyfriend 2.

Most people have been buying both to save 15%. It’s a good deal.

It’s been an eventful month for us, with a trip Minnesota to visit family, and that was lovely.

But we’re ready for a break too. What’s tickling our fancy these days? The classics, of course!

Till next time,

Nan & Christi
nan@fatalemedia.com
christi@fatalemedia.com

P.S. Your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed. If you’re curious, order the Bend Over Boyfriend combo set and save 15%.

P.P.S. See what LesbianLife.About.com calls “the best lesbian porn.”

Carol – or The Price of Salt

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

Carol the movie

 

We finally saw Carol yesterday, based on The Price of Salt, a book we’d read long ago, under the pseudonym of Claire Morgan but written (we knew courtesy of Barbara Grier) by Patricia Highsmith, a favorite author.

For Todd Haynes’s movie, we were struck not only by Cate Blanchett’s portrayal of Carol Aird, but by the fresh-faced Rooney Mara.

“Forbidden Love” by Margaret Talbot, from the New Yorker, provides a nice background–to the book and to Patricia Highsmith.

Jeanne Cordova

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

Jeanne Cordova

 

RIP Jeanne Cordova, sexy butch activist who led the lesbian-feminist revolution in L.A. Founded the Gay Yellow Pages. Wrote a beautiful history of the time, When We Were Outlaws (Spinsters Ink, 2011), which won the Lambda Book Award for best memoir of the year. Dear friend and compatriot. We offer our condolences to her longtime partner, Lynn H. Ballen.

In Memoriam: Honey Lee Cottrell

Friday, October 9th, 2015
“Coastbound Train Rachel and Elexis"

“Coastbound Train, Rachael and Elexis,” 1985. Image by Honey Lee Cottrell. Among her well-known photographs is this powerful image of Rachael Williams (the first Ms. Leather) and Elexis that first appeared in On Our Backs.

You may have known Honey Lee Cottrell. For sure you know her life’s work as a photographer and cinematographer.

Honey Lee Cottrell passed away on September 21, 2015, of pancreatic cancer. She was 69. We lost a friend and compatriot of Nan’s from  the early days of On Our Backs and Fatale Video. She was one of the “core four” at On Our Backs, along with Nan, Deborah Sundahl and Susie Bright.

Deborah Sundahl wrote of Honey Lee: “The most influential photographer of the 1980s and ’90s in her innovative and original representation of lesbian sexuality. Her specialty was articulating the butch-femme of the 1950s for a new era of lesbians.”

Honey Lee filmed Clips, which featured “the first-ever-seen-on-screen authentic female ejaculation. Nan said, “She was right where she needed to be to get that shot, strong and steady to capture the event.” What an historic event it was, too.

Honey Lee was a force behind the scenes at Fatale and lesbian pornography. She chronicled the world of lesbian sexuality at On Our Backs, Fatale Video and beyond. Her subjects were open and honest with her, gazing directly into the camera’s lens.

What writers and academics refer to as “the lesbian gaze,” Honey Lee personified in her work. Her images were published in books and journals and shown in exhibitions and shows. Her work is archived at the Human Sexuality Collection at Cornell University. (Read the whole obituary, written by Brenda Marston of Cornell University, here.)

Self portrait.  2009.  Image by Honey Lee Cottrell

Self portrait. 2009. Image by Honey Lee Cottrell

 

We’ll let Honey Lee have the last word:

“The lesbian gaze meant that there was a contemplation,” she said, “a restraint, a sincerity and a warrior-quality. This lesbian look was compelling. While your heterosexual woman model might compel the rest of the world to look at her, a lesbian was addressing you.”

Until next time,

Nan & Christi
nan@fatalemedia.com
christi@fatalemedia.com

P.S. You can see Honey Lee’s work in Clips and some of her photos on Fatale Media’s Pinterest boards. Kitty Tsui, Honey Lee with tux and oar, as well as some others.

Honey Lee Cottrell: A Life

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

The following is the obituary of Honey Lee Cottrell written by Brenda J. Marston of the Human Sexuality Collection, Cornell University.

 

Honey Lee Cottrell

Honey Lee Cottrell. 1978. Image by Tee Corinne.

Honey Lee Cottrell, a visionary photographer and filmmaker who pioneered lesbian erotica in the 1980s through her contributions to the women’s sex magazine On Our Backs, died on Monday, Sept. 21, of pancreatic cancer.

Cottrell revolutionized the female nude, validated women’s right to pleasure, and opened possibilities for women to see themselves and their desires in new ways through her engagement in a variety of feminist, artistic, and sex education projects. She studied at the National Sex Forum and was a member of San Francisco Sex Information in the 1970s. She co-authored I Am My Lover, a 1978 feminist book celebrating masturbation that she created with Joani Blank and Tee Corinne. She was an early member of the Lesbian and Gay History Project, founded in late 1978 in San Francisco.

In 1981, Honey Lee received a BA in film studies from San Francisco State University. She was director and camera for Sweet Dreams starring Pat Califia (National Sex Forum, 1980), and from 1985 to the early 90s, a cinematographer for Fatale Video, the first lesbian-created erotic movie company.

She was one of the “core four,” along with Debi Sundahl, Nan Kinney, and Susie Bright, who gave On Our Backs its style and success. When it started in 1984, she proposed a “Bulldagger of the Month” centerfold for the first issue. She explained that the idea was “to stand this Playboy centerfold idea on its head from, I would say, a feminist perspective… what would I do if I was a centerfold and how can I reflect back to them our values?” Her idea was not to be “the regular kind of centerfold, but something that will make a difference, shake people up, show the other side of the mirror.” Cottrell was a contributing photographer to On Our Backs for seven years.

She photographed her lovers and friends and documented queer and kink cultures for decades with her first camera, a 35 mm Nikkormat. She was exacting and precise in the photographs and collages she created, as well as in her dark room work. She studied with Ruth Bernhard, who invited Cottrell to be her printer. In addition to I Am My Lover and On Our Backs, her still photography has appeared in publications including The Blatant Image, Coming to Power, Sinister Wisdom, and Nothing But the Girl. Her exhibitions include shows at 848 Community Space in San Francisco, the Bacchanal in Albany, California, The Gay and Lesbian Historical Society of Northern California (now known as the GLBT Historical Society), the NAME gallery in Chicago, and her images were part of Cornell University’s Speaking of Sex exhibition.

“The lesbian gaze meant that there was a contemplation,” she said, “a restraint, a sincerity and a warrior-quality. This lesbian look was compelling. While your heterosexual woman model might compel the rest of the world to look at her, a lesbian was addressing you.”

 Born in Astoria, Oregon, on January 16, 1946, the oldest of two children, she grew up in Michigan. After completing a year at Michigan State University in 1964-65, Honey Lee worked for at the Technicolor photo processing lab. As she later discovered, a number of lesbians were working there, having discovered it was a fairly safe place for butch women to work. Honey Lee was invited to visit one of these women, Harriet DeVito, who had moved to New York City, and then ended up driving across country with her to California in 1966. Along the way, Honey Lee discovered what her feelings for women meant to her, and Harriet became her first lover.

Once she arrived in San Francisco, she made it her home and became deeply involved in the creative lesbian community of artists, photographers, and film-makers in the Bay Area, as well as the progressive sex education activists. She opened her apartment on Bessie Street to friends and artists, helping find jobs and shelter for people in need.

To support her artistic work, Cottrell worked in two unions. As a member of the Marine Cooks and Stewards, she was able to fulfill her dream of travel to South Pacific where her father Duane Cottrell had served in WWII. She worked as a banquet waiter in Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union in the 1980s and 90s, retiring in 2012. A proud union member, she walked many a picket line protesting the mistreatment of workers especially recent immigrant populations working as room cleaners at San Francisco hotels.

Gayle Rubin, anthropologist and theorist of sex and gender politics, says that Honey Lee:

“was never someone who put herself out front … she was more of a quiet observer, but a persistently potent presence. She had a kind of strength and solidity that seemed to anchor things around her; as if she provided the gravity that held various circling planets in their stable orbits. And she just kept generating images, events, relationships, connections.”

She loved the outdoors and studied herbal medicine, native plants, and botany. With this perspective and perhaps with her photographer’s training to notice interesting small moments of daily life, she went through her illness and death with a combination of butch swagger and serenity, a confidence that everything would be alright. She continued to direct photo shoots and art installations, and found delights in each changing day. Two weeks before her death, she had the energy one day for a road trip, lunch at a favorite Middle Eastern deli with longtime and new friends, and a walk in the redwoods. No one was surprised that she crawled under “Caution” tape and a Do Not Enter sign to get to her favorite tree, a spot she had often brought her daughter Aretha Bright.

Past lovers and family members came to visit Honey in her last 40 days, and she died at peace in her home in Santa Cruz. She is survived by her mother Patricia Cottrell, brother Michael Cottrell, and daughter Aretha Bright— and her life companions Melinda Gebbe, Amber Hollibaugh, and Susie Bright.  Her papers will be cared for by the Cornell University Library Human Sexuality Collection, which will also address any questions about Cottrell’s life and work. Please direct condolences to her family at:

Mike, Judiebell, and Pat Cottrell, 3508 Greenwood Dr., Hermitage, TN 37076

Aretha Bright, POB 895, Santa Cruz, CA 95061

Susie Bright and Jon Bailiff, POB 8377, Santa Cruz, CA 95061
I declare

That later on,

Even in an age unlike our own,

Someone will remember who we are.

- Sappho

 

Cottrell’s artist statement: https://www.cla.purdue.edu/waaw/corinne/Cottrell.htm

Guide to the first part of her archives: http://rmc.library.cornell.edu/EAD/htmldocs/RMM07822.html

Sept. 6, 2015 Recording: https://youtu.be/o30jpQIwcBw

 

A Picture Is Worth…

Saturday, September 19th, 2015

Candida Royalle

Summer is over here in the Northern Hemisphere, and autumn beckons. Recently a much admired and well-loved feminist pioneer friend and colleague of ours died.

Candida Royalle, many of you know, was the visionary feminist pornographer who pioneered what became “couples porn,” which could be part of the mainstream. As Nan wrote in her sweet and moving column, “Remembering Candida,” Candida’s goal was always “to open up the mainstream porn market to porn made by women for women. And she achieved that goal.”

We posted a nice pic of Candida in the blog piece  and on Fatale’s Facebook page. One classy lady!

Fatale Media on Pinterest

 

 

Speaking of pictures, do come on over and follow us on Pinterest. Some of our boards include “Lesbians We Love,” “Femme Thrills,” “Dyke Pride,” “Butch” and more.

If you’re not familiar with Pinterest, think of it as a social media website with lots of bulletin boards where you can “pin” your pictures. It’s fun. Come join us!

Until next time,

Nan & Christi
nan@fatalemedia.com
christi@fatalemedia.com

P.S.  Check out Fatale’s super-cool lesbian titles, what LesbianLife.About.com calls “the best lesbian porn.”

P.P.S. See all Fatale’s cool videos, including the new My Best Friend’s Perfect Pussy.