tribadism


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tribadism

(trĭb′ăd-ĭzm) [Gr. tribein, to rub, + -ismos, condition]
A relationship in which women attempt to imitate heterosexual intercourse with each other.
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204) By "immoral purposes," Barnes observed, lawmakers intended to include practices that "belong to the genus prostitution"--that is, "the exhibition of women in the nude, or in sexual concourse with animals, and sexual perversions such as tribadism, pederasty, irrumation, flagellation, masochism, sadism, mixoscopia, frottage and cunnilinguism.
Both "gynecological tribadism and statutory sodomy" she claims, were viewed according to a "logic of supplementarity" (154).
The book proceeds with chapters that range widely over "the Cultural Context of Early Christianity," including intriguing material on Greek homoerotic love spells from Egypt, astrological manuals that posit the stars as the cause of homoerotic desire, medical treatises that diagnose enlarged clitorises as the cause and proof of tribadism, and a Roman classification scheme that provides guidelines for interpreting dreams of female-female intercourse.
At that point, Renaissance humanists resurrected discussion of tribades in their commentaries on Sappho and Martial, while anatomists and physicians augmented Greek and Arab descriptions of tribadism with empirical information culled from anatomical dissection of the clitoris.
The tribade does not, however, make an appearance as a character in English romantic comedies, pastoral romances, or love lyrics celebrating female affiliations, nor is tribadism generally employed as a trope to figure female-female desire in such texts.
But are, for instance, tribadism (with the discursive emphasis on anatomical deviation and gender transgression) and romantic friendship (with the discursive emphasis on emotional affect) identical phenomena?
The result of these intertwined shifts is that hermaphroditism increasingly was associated with transvestitism and, more damagingly, with female sodomy or tribadism.
In the New York City House of Detention, for example, women prisoners engaged in "bull diking," and their love affairs included regular tribadism.