An excerpt from Coming to Power: Writings and Graphics on Lesbian
S/M. Edited by members of Samois
Coming to Power is a collection of art, essays and erotica from
“lesbian feminists” out of the fabled, feared Old Guard of the San
Francisco BDSM scene. It contains some questionable and dated content
that you have to take with a grain of salt in order to enjoy and learn
from this book. But there’s a wealth of knowledge to be had.
This book came out in 1981. It is a 282 page piece of history I never
thought I would see, written by queer women into S/M, for queer women
into S/M. Samois published this in the midst of the Sex Wars,
documenting and refuting the heated anti-sex climate of established
lesbian feminism. Samois queers found each other caught between the
mortar of heterosexual alienation and they pestle of lesbian feminist
puritanism, and rebelled. This book is a long scream, a maniacal
laugh, a “fuck you.” Excuse me while I gush.