And let’s not pride ourselves on the monogamy, either; this is another patriarchal imposition which women have sexualized – in fact I believe it can be seen in the K/S [Kirk/Spock] material (as in the romances) as a metaphor for intensity. The telepathic union can also be read as a way of expressing intensity and completeness, not duration, but here too sexual expression waits on ‘love’ while desire, by itself is not enough. Again I think we’re dealing with a sexualization of the feminine condition.

Russ, J. (1985). Pornography By Women For Women, With Love. In Magic Mommas, Trembling Sisters, Puritans & Perverts: Feminist Essays (pp. 79–99). Trumansberg, NY: The Crossing Press.

Like Lamb & Veith’s essay, this is a very early piece of fan studies writing and engagement with slash as a topic of study. As the title of the piece says, Russ views slash as “pornography by women, for women, with love”, thereby kickstarting a whole sub-branch of research on slash that seeks to map out its relationship to both porn and romance novels. Russ agrees with Lamb & Veith that slash, through depicting same-gender relationships, levels the playing field. But she also casts a critical eye over the genre, pointing out tropes where it romanticises and sexualises the constraints patriarchy puts on women.

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