Sex radicalism is also profoundly feminist, and with good reason. While many men are oppressed (in reality or potentially) for their sexual desires and practices, women are encouraged never to explore or experience our alternative sexual feelings in the first place. We are supposed to exist sexually within a (married, monogamous) relationship with a man, or else not at all. When we do step across the boundaries of compulsory heterosexuality and “good girl” propriety, we are often treated viciously. Women need each other’s support (although we do not always get it) to navigate the rough waters of living nontraditional sexual lives. Mainstream feminism learned this lesson from lesbians, who would not withdraw their demand for support from feminist organizations and institutions; it has not, however, extrapolated what it learned to women elsewhere on the fringe.

Carol Queen, from Whores and Other Feminists