Lesbian pulp has always been the stuff of guilty pleasure. Originally written as throwaway titillation for mostly straight male readers, it’s still hard to justify spending hours over, even as a bit of retro fun. But like all fiction styles, there’s good stuff and bad. Paula Christian is considered one of the better writers of the 1960s, and the recently re-released The Other Side Of Desire shows why. The two 1965 stories, Amanda and The Other Side Of Desire, are fast-paced, fun and although they don’t come with happy endings -“ back then, dykes in pulp didn’t settle down with the woman of their dreams -“ they don’t end in total devastation either. Both stories have similar themes: seemingly straight woman is seduced by dangerous mystery lady -“ hot sex and a broken heart follow. Perfect for a long plane ride or a chaise lounge by the pool.
Review: Stacy Farrar
Despite my self-loathing at what I was so boldly doing, my fear and revulsion and the thoughts that were forming in my mind, I was becoming terribly excited and could feel all my pressure points pulsing away. I found myself looking down at my own breasts, far more visible with the low cut of the dress, and I couldn’t stop myself from wondering how it would feel to have a woman’s breasts pressed against mine, naked. Would one shift so that the four breasts would be in between each other, or would one try to keep some kind of alignments, or whatever it might be termed. The question took on an academic importance that only an inebriated state could allow and I was desperate to know the answer.
Amanda, I heard myself say in a low voice.
Uh-huh? She’d removed the cloth and was stroking my forehead, sending strange feelings through me.
Are you gay?