This is paper I wrote on lesbian visibility and eroticism for a class on Renaissance literature and history in 2011. It is very dense– but perhaps still enjoyable.
...What I argue is that this invisibility of female homosexuality is not merely a result of the historical distance from the period, but rather a consciously acknowledged component of the understanding of female same-sex erotic desire at the time. In “Sappho to Philaenis,” the secrecy and immaculateness of the title characters’ sexual activity operates as one of Donne’s central arguments for the superiority of a female-female sexual relationship.
Via Gracie Passette