Posts Tagged ‘Fatale Video’

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

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.

Cosmo Style

Saturday, August 18th, 2012

Helen Gurley Brown 1964We were saddened to hear of the passing of Helen Gurley Brown this past week. While not exactly in line with Feminist Beliefs back in the 1970s, she believed in sex. Because of her belief that women could be homemakers or in the workforce and still sexy, we owe her a nod of gratitude.

She pioneered putting sexy women on the pages of Cosmopolitan. It hadn’t been done before.

It wasn’t really until On Our Backs and Fatale Video (now Fatale Media, as you know) came into being that we dykes were able to openly proclaim our sexuality.

It’s hard to imagine now, but 30 years ago there were Take Back the Night Marches in New York and elsewhere, protesting violence against women and protesting porn. The Sex Wars were in full swing.

Forgive us for taking some liberties with history here, but feminists and sex had an uneasy relationship for a while, despite what we were actually doing in bed.

Where did Helen Gurley Brown fit in to all this? Cosmopolitan was a sexist rag, some thought. But then we caught up to Cosmo in a way that we didn’t expect.

Cosmopolitan was one of the first mainstream magazines to jump on Bend Over Boyfriend and take up the issue of “role-reversal fantasy.”

Straight gals had Cosmo. Thanks to Helen Gurley Brown’s passion for sex, straight women didn’t have to be ashamed of sex.

Being out there and sexy was one thing we shared with Helen Gurley Brown. RIP.

Yours in good love and sex,

Nan & Christi

P.S. Get the Bend Over Boyfriend Gift Set and save 15%.

P.P.S. You’re invited: Join Fatale Media on Pinterest. Sexy boards include—“Lesbians We Love,” “LGBTQ Life,” “Femme Thrills,” “Hearts Aflutter,” “Butch,” “Sexy Lesbians” and more. It’s fun!