By the ACON Women's Team 1994 (Women and AIDS Project & Glidup)
Reviewed by Kath Gelber
"This booklet is for anyone who identifies as a woman and who has sex with other women", proclaims the first line in this informative compilation. It's the most comprehensive and non-judgmental collection of information and tips I've seen.
Published by the AIDS Council of NSW (ACON), the pamphlet aims to overcome the myth that AIDS is not an issue for lesbians. Lisa Brockwell, manager of the Policy and Women's Unit at ACON, told Green Left Weekly that the booklet is "the first HIV resource for lesbians that has been produced in 12 years of the epidemic in Australia. It provides information to lesbians so they can make choices."
She said the booklet acknowledges that lesbians do get HIV and that there are positive lesbians in our community. It seeks to create a supportive environment in which that can be taken up. Brockwell says we need an environment in which women's sexuality can be talked about, to break down the denial about HIV. The booklet is a first step in that process.
The booklet covers a wide range of practices and issues such as menopause, injecting drug use, sex work and sex toys. Interspersed throughout are humorous and appropriate black and whites photographed by Angela Bailey.
And what is lesbian sex? "The kind of sex you're having", they reassure us.
The booklet includes a couple of "compulsory reading" sections on "The ABC of HIV and testing" and "Your Vagina — the inside story", as well as a varied collection of practices, tastes and issues that should cater to every expression of female desire. It also includes a glossary of terms, defining everything from chocolate to communicable diseases, as well as a shopping guide which tells you where to get hold of your (sometimes elusive) latex accessories.
Every woman should have one prominently positioned on her bedside table. Copies are available from ACON (Ph: 02-206 2000)