TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview of the Collection

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Arrangement

Related Material

Administrative Information

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Personal Papers

Series 2: Outer Limits

Series 3: Published Documents and Other SM Resources

Finding Aid to the Debra Miller Papers on Outer Limits



Overview of the Collection

Repository: Leather Archives & Museum
6418 N. Greenview Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60626
www.leatherarchives.org
Creator: Miller, Debra
Title: Debra Miller Papers on Outer Limits
Dates: 1987-ca. 1994
Quantity: .42 linear feet
Identification: PERS0039
Language: The records are in English.

Biographical Note

Debra Miller was involved in the S/M community in the late 1980s and early 1990s, having the nickname Mean Mommie. She was an early member and eventually a membership secretary of Outer Limits. Her last known place of residence is in Sherman Oaks, California.

Outer Limits was a female S/M group founded in Seattle, Washington in the late-1980s. Early on, the group established that they would serve "women born lesbians” who viewed S/M as “a form of eroticism based in an exchange of power negotiated between two or more sexual partners.” Their membership focused on confidentiality, safety and consent. Their idea of support would be demonstrated through both educational and social events, including workshops, barbecue fundraisers and play parties, among other events. By 1992, the group had grown and was able to host Powersurge, “the first ever international S/M Lesbian Conference,” in Seattle. The reason for the conference was to focus solely on leatherwomen’s questions and concerns by having an event separate from the other gay and lesbian conferences of the time. It included workshops, panels, demonstrations, events and activities. Debra Miller helped to facilitate the “Babes and Dudes (Femme & Butch Dichotomies)” workshop that year.

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Scope and Contents

The Debra Miller Papers on Outer Limits contains materials pertaining to and collected for the founding of Outer Limits. Other collected materials pertain to Debra Miller’s personal interests, including party invitations and information on S/M workshops and other events.

Series 3: Published Documents and Other S/M Resources contains materials from the following groups or events:

  • The Society of Janus is a “non-profit organization which explores consensual Dominance Submission, S/M, and Bondage and Discipline”. It was formed in San Francisco in 1975 by Cynthia Slater and is still in existence today.

  • The Lesbian Sex Mafia (LSM) was founded in 1981 and is still in existence. As their business card states, it is “a social and information group for lesbian and bisexual women interested in so-called ‘politically incorrect’ sex fantasy and role playing, bondage, discipline, S/M, fetishes, costumes, alternate gender identities, etc. [Their] principles are few but basic: confidentiality, consensuality, safety, and the right of women to explore their sexuality as they choose.”

  • The Denver Area Dominants and Submissives (DADS), the first pansexual S/M support group in the Rocky Mountain Region, was founded in 1983.

  • The Outcasts, a BDSM leather women’s group in San Francisco from 1984-1997. They disbanded and were reformed as The Exiles, which exists to the present day.

  • The S/M Leather Contingent represented the leather community at the March on Washington for lesbian and gay rights on October 11, 1987. It was attended by more than 650,000 people and led to a huge expansion of sm leather fetish organizing.

  • The SSCA/Beyond Vanilla was formed as a result of the March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights 1987. A planning conference was held February 13-14, 1988 in Dallas, Texas and a welcome letter was sent out to SM Leather community members on March 26, 1988 along with a proposed statement of purpose and response sheet.

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Arrangement

The Debra Miller Papers are arranged as follows:

Series 1: Personal Papers
Series 2: Outer Limits
Series 3: Published Documents and Other S/M Resources

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Related Material

  • Associated Press, The. “Man Faces Charges of Robbery, Rape.” Eugene Register-Guard 2 October 1988: page 2C. Web. 6 January 2016.

  • Barber, Michael A. “Victim’s Computer May Reveal Killer’s Name.” Seattle Post-Intelligencer 7 June 1988. Print.

  • Outer Limits friendship pin, Pin Collection, RCID #2010001901, Leather Archives & Museum, Chicago, Illinois.

  • Laura Goodwin Papers, PERS0025. Archival Collection, Leather Archives & Museum, Chicago, Illinois.

  • Outer Limits (Seattle), Vertical File Collection, Leather Archives & Museum, Chicago, Illinois.

  • Powersurge, Vertical File Collection, Leather Archives & Museum, Chicago, Illinois.

  • Sandmutopian Guardian, Vertical File Collection, Leather Archives & Museum, Chicago, Illinois.


Separated Material

  • The Chain Link, issue 2 (Summer 1987).

  • Living in Leather III (1988) information brochure.

  • Olivia: The 1992-93 Collections pin-up art catalog.

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Administrative Information

Processing Information

All metal staples were removed along with unmarked manila folders and plastic bags items came in. Newsprint was photocopied and integrated into the appropriate series. Duplicate handouts and papers removed.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Personal Papers
Folder 1 includes typed and handwritten correspondence to Debra Miller. Some letters are dated from 1988-ca. 1996; one letter is addressed to Debra and Tsilke; one letter is addressed to Mean Mommy Debra. Letters share personal stories, provide updates on events, and give thanks to Debra. Folder 2 includes invitations to various events and parties, information on out of town events.
Box Folder
1 1 Personal correspondence to Debra Miller.
2 Nebraska’s Fantasy ’90 information and registration form; San Francisco Leather Weekend ’90 information and registration form; letter from Pat Califia about an SM event dated January 14, 1991; Colorado Outdoor Leather Dykes’ When Hell Freezes Over 1991 information and registration form; Leather SM Round-Up event information for September 1991; LSM Round-Up brochure for September 1993; Wear Me Out event postcard (ca. 2005); International Ms. Leather event invitation and registration form; Midknight Pink Production’s Theatre Erotica program; Stormyleather’s 1st Annual Dyke Mommy 3rd Annual Dyke Daddy Contest flyer; Mean Mommie for Dyke Mommy campaign flyer; Mean Mommie fantasy story; Play Party invitation; A TV Party invitation; dinner party invitation and photocopy.
Series 2: Outer Limits
Meeting minutes, agendas, bylaws, event notices and newsletter publications related to the Outer Limits dated from September 1988-September 1992. Folder 1 includes minutes, agendas and bylaws which were revised March 25, 1990. Folder 2 includes Outer Limits newsletters. Folder 3 contains fliers, registration forms and information about events put on by Outer Limits.
Box Folder
1 1 Handwritten notes on meeting agenda; Photocopy of meeting agenda; Photocopy of meeting agenda with handwritten notes on the meeting pertaining to the definition of a lesbian, purpose of the group, membership and doodles; Handwritten and typed lists of group name ideas; Handwritten list of names including Judy (Tallwing McCarthey) and Gail (Rubin); Proposed bylaws along with notes on going over the document in the meeting; Letter to members postmarked September 23, 1988; Business meeting highlights and agenda for January 29, 1989 meeting; Agenda for February 19, 1989 meeting; Agenda for March 19, 1989 meeting; Minutes with upcoming August and September events calendar; Calendar of Events for June–August, agenda for June 16, 1989 meeting and Outer Limits t-shirt order form; Agenda for July 1989 meeting; Minutes for August 13, 1989 meeting and a membership survey form; Agenda for September 17, 1989 meeting; Copy of bylaws revised on March 25, 1990.
2 Outerlimits News with recap of February 19, 1989 meeting; Outer Limits newsletter with recap of June 16, 1989 meeting; Outer Limits newsletter dated October 1989 that notes Debra was voted in as a secretary; Outer Limits newsletter dated March 1990; Outer Limits newsletter dated April 1990; Outer Limits newsletter dated June 1990; Outer Limits newsletter dated July 1990; Outer Limits newsletter dated October 1990; Outer Limits newsletter dated January 1991; Outer Limits newsletter dated February 1991; Outer Limits newsletter dated March 1991.
3 Switching workshop information dated February 26, 1989; Sex, Scenes and Scary Bedtime Stories event flyer for June 6, 1992; Powersurge 1992 information sheet; Powersurge 1992 information and registration form (insert taken from Outer Limits August 1992 newsletter); Debra’s Powersurge registration letter and information on which workshop she is to run; Powersurge Media Policy; Powersurge dungeon information; Powersurge 1992 program with schedule of events and workshops; 1st Annual Fetish Ball information flier; Powersurge Workshop Schedule, with “Language of Flowers” and updates on Outer Limits merchandise.,
Series 3: Published Documents and Other S/M Resources
This series contains materials collected from contemporary nationwide S/M groups in order to gather ideas on their respective organizational structures or events to aid in creating bylaws, a statement of purpose and other behind the scenes parts of Outer Limits. Folder 1 contains information on national S/M groups, some of whose descriptions can be found in the collection's scope and content notes. The SSC newsletter contains a handwritten Post-it reminder to "Call home New Years". Folder 2 contains pamphlets, membership registration, First Link newsletters, information sheets and other information released by the National Leather Association, including tickets, programs, notes and additional information associated with Living in Leather II, III and V. Folder 3 contains information on The International S/M Leather Fetish Celebration 1994. Folder 4 contains various published works and other S/M resources.
Box Folder
1 1 Safe Sane Consensual newsletter dated September 1987 with handwritten notes about workshops; The SM Leather Conference (October 10, 1987) information sheet including registration for the March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights; March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights October 11, 1987 pamphlet; Brochure on The NAMES Project: A National AIDS Memorial; Fold out of The NAMES Project Inaugural Display at the March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights 1987; Organizational Listing for United States and Canada dated January 1988; The Outcasts proposal for a new organization, including statement of purpose and proposed structure (undated); photocopy of The Outcasts Statement of Purpose and Structure version 1.2 dated July 20, 1987; Gay Male SM Activists newsletter for Fall 1987; The Society of Janus information sheet dated November 20, 1987; DADS Special Edition dated Valentine’s Day 1988; SSCA Beyond Vanilla planning weekend information, including Agenda for Small Groups, Working Draft of a Statement of Purpose and List of Functions and handwritten notes (February 13-14, 1988); SSCA Beyond Vanilla welcome and information letter, Proposed Statement of Purpose and List of Function, Response Sheet and contact information for the Interim Steering Committee (March 1988); Atlanta (area) SM Solidarity General Statement of Purpose; Lesbian Sex Mafia business card and prospective member information letter; The Lesbian Sex Mafia Statement of Purpose, Bylaws and Resolutions booklet; Portland Power and Trust information and policy; information on the Fairness Fund’s National Message Campaign.,
2 NLA individual membership application packet; NLA individual membership application pamphlet; NLA Fact Sheet; NLA National Bylaws from April 1990 including letter and ballot to ratify; NLA’s Blackout Ball III (1988) ticket; May Days 1990 registration packet which includes schedule, Mr. and Ms. N.L.A. Seattle Leather Contest registration form and NLA individual membership application; May Days 1990 weekend schedule; NLA’s Living in Leather V (1990) registration pamphlet; First Link newsletter, volume 2, number 1, December 1987; First Link newsletter, volume 3, number 7-8; First Link newsletter, volume 3, number 10; First Link newsletter, volume 4, number 3, March 1990; First Link newsletter, volume 4, number 4, April 1990; First Link newsletter, volume 4, number 9-10, September-October 1990; First Link newsletter, volume 5, number 3, March 1991; First Link newsletter, volume 5, number 6, June July 1991; Quarter Link newsletter, volume 6, number 1, February 1992; Living in Leather II (1987) registration form; tickets to Living in Leather II; Living in Leather II’s The Leatherwear Runway Show program; Living in Leather II program; photocopy of NLA newsletter announcing Living in Leather III and biography of Secretary George Nelson; Living in Leather III’s SM by Design fashion show program; Living in Leather III’s Schedule of Workshops and Events; Living in Leather V (1990) information and registration pamphlet; Living in Leather V program; Living in Leather V handwritten workshop notes, including for “B2: Verbal Abuse and Dirty Talk”, “B4: Do-It-Yourself SM” , “B5: Living the Relationship” and “B6: Consensual/Nonconsenuality”.
3 ISML 1994 volunteer sign-up sheet; ISML 1994 registration confirmation; ISML 1994 program booklet; Pornmentation information card; Gay Games IV opening and closing ceremonies information handout; Summer solstice printout; The Anarchist’s Ball (June 21, 1994) event information flier; Vulvafest (June 23, 1994) information card; “This Ain’t No Tea Dance, Sister!” June 25, 1994 event handout; Stonewall International March on the United Nations to Affirm the Human Rights of Lesbian and Gay People on June 26, 1994 information brochure; NLA Spanner Defense and Education Fund July 10, 1994 meeting information handout; directions for events.
4 Photocopy of Seattle Post Intelligencer article on Serena Willers (1988); Photocopy of Sachie Hyatt’s obituary; “The New Lesbian” article torn out from Hustler’s July 1992 issue; Sandmutopia Guardian: A Dungeon Journal, issue 10 (1992), with a mention of Outer Limits in the classifieds on page 27; Blackleather in Color information pack dated June 1, 1994; First Aid and Safety in the Playroom handout; Blackleather in Color advertisement prices; The Seattle Eagle pamphlet; photocopy of Pat Califia’s “A House Divided: Violence in the Lesbian SM Community”; Lars Eighner’s “Why I Write Gay Erotica” pamphlet; Paul King’s writing on body modification as performance art; Kinky Joe’s Erotic Furniture limited edition catalogue preview; Hedonic Engineering Algolagnic Accoutrements catalog.