BEN IS DEAD Sex Issue #20/21 (Hollywood, CA: October/November 1992).
4to. Colour photo-illustrated wrps. Newsprint, 110pp. Illustrated throughout.
A special sex-themed double issue of the LA-based feminist ‘zine that ran for over 30 issues. It was created in 1988 by Deborah ‘Darby’ Romeo while she was working as the art director for Grey Advertising; she named it after a dream she had about her husband Ben, a French punk rocker she divorced not long after the magazine started (as in ‘Ben is dead to me’); on the staff page of this issue she is listed as “Femme Fatale (of the worst kind)”, while the ‘zine’s co-editor Kerin Morataya is listed as “Born Again Virgin or Ms. Cleavage USA”.
The front cover image depicts Carla Bozulich (founder of The Geraldine Fibbers) and Steak (from local band Steakhouse) by in-house photographer ‘Wild’ Don Lewis.
Contents include Darby’s joint interview (together with Annabelle Port and Don Lewis) with Joe Zinnato, purveyor of erotica, Burroughs collector, and former member of electro-punk band Nervous Gender; Ethan and Annabelle Port’s interview with Michael Lebkowicz and Dr. Susan Block (see also item #163); Carla Bozulich’s interviews with performance artist Ron Athey, writer and stripper Patty Powers, and “stripper and speech therapist” Debbie Tay; plus interviews with Vaginal Davis’s band !Cholita! The Female Menudo (with Cholita family tree), and Duchesse De Sade (Barbara Planek).
Also “Boom! I Got Your Boyfriend: The Definitive Guide on How to Have an Affair with an Involved Man” by Juana Frank; “Fucking Feminism” (“about feminism and pornography”) by Nina Dentata (of femipunks Vagina Dentata, and later Lavender Witch); a 4pp. “Sex Guide To L.A.”, listing bookstores, bars, clubs, etc. “for those who are sexually in touch, sexually aware, sexually frustrated, or sexually disturbed”; The Ben Is Dead “not board with Sex Game”; “A Substance by Substance Guide to My (former) Drugs of Choice and Their Effects on Sexual Drive” by Mikki Halpin (later editor-at-large for Glamour, The New Yorker and Refinery 29); “Sex Secrets of the Stars”, including noise/punk musician Shannon Selberg, artist Mike Kelley, Christina Kelly (Sassy magazine), performance artist Elizabeth Rowin, and John Napier of Ethyl Meatplow; “Computer Sex for Dorks” by Ethan Port; Kerin and Darby’s “Vibrator Reviews”; reviews of Gay and Lesbian ‘zines (incl. Girljock, Queer Fuckers Magazine and Whorezine); and more.
Also live reviews (incl. Meat Puppets, Firehose and Lisa Suckdog), record reviews (incl. Girls Against Boys, Mudwimmin and Suicide); and numerous ads. for record labels, record stores, clubs (incl. Cunt Club, “L.A.’s first alternative dance club for women”) and other long-lost attractions from the downtown LA ‘90s music and art scenes.
Slight wear to upper edge of back cover, o/w a Very Good plus copy of one of BID’s biggest-selling issues.