There are far fewer references to f/f relationships in history, but I very much doubt that’s because the phenomenon didn’t exist. To just look at one example in Antiquity, Greek men of the Classical period were notoriously omnisexual. Poets, playwrights, painters, and sculptors celebrated male/male love with gorgeous works of art. We don’t see many examples of women doing the same, but then we have to remember that in places like Athens and Sparta, high status women were usually illiterate and never worked in the arts. So the only thing we know about them is what men chose to report — which turns out to be not very much. We have to read between the lines to deduce anything about how high status Greek women actually lived.

Even so, we have the example of Sappho from the 6th century BCE. She was an educated Greek woman and a poet who proclaimed her love of women in the romantic sense.

She’s just about the only female voice of her era to come down to us directly, and she was apparently a lesbian. In fact, our word lesbian (as I’m sure you already know) comes from the island of Lesbos where she she ran a school for high status young women.

He public praise of women loving women must not have been too scandalous, otherwise aristocratic families would not have sent their daughters to her.

And I know a universe of one isn’t enough to draw conclusions from, but what are the odds? The only woman of that era whose voice we can “hear” actually loved women. I think that has to at least suggest something about prevalence.

Written by

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot.

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