Gillian Hanscombe on Two Women in Love

Sexuality is for the young, it’s everywhere asserted: dress codes, haircuts, genre fiction, bar scenes–the burgeoning commercial pull of designer lesbianism that says sex is easy, sex is simple, sex is liberating, sex is fun, and sex is for the young. But in middle age we know for sure–even if we didn’t when we were younger–that what blows the mind, and what threatens the patriarchy, isn’t two women in bed together, but two women in love together. Two women in love can do anything: make contracts, or break them; leave children, or have them; buy houses, or sell them; start careers, or give them up; provoke all manner of mayhem for those around them and yet release an intensely creative energy in the ordering of their lives. Two women in love can invent a new reality, making and remaking a world where lesbian lives are central.

~Gillian Hanscombe, “In Among the Market Forces?” in An Intimate Wilderness: Lesbian Writers on Sexuality edited by Judith Barrington (Eighth Mountain, 1991).


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