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It is striking how many of Shakespeare’s erotic plays have war either as their setting or are born out of a recent state of violent conflict. Troilus and Cressida and Antony and Cleopatra fall most clearly into the former camp, but think also of comedies like Much Ado About Nothing and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, where eros emerges from a newly forged peace only to constitute a new battleground of its own. This chapter probes the conjunction of war and eros that appears in almost half of Shakespeare’s plays, first through a broad survey of his corpus and then through studies of The Two Noble Kinsmen, Troilus and Cressida, and Romeo and Juliet. It argues that, far from merely contingent, theatrical conjunctions, Shakespeare provides us a deep conceptual study of the connection between eros and violence, both the potential violence of sexuality and the unsettling underlying sexuality of war.
Trish Salah contextualizes the broad post-2010 emergence of transgender fiction in a longer history of earlier trans and queer fiction and theory while arguing that “trans genre writing” has found recent prominence as a new minor literature. Particular challenges have led trans writers to innovate at the levels of language and aesthetics, perspective (collective, but not homogeneous), and genre, among others. Moreover, these works thematize and challenge norms and imperatives of empire, race, history, visibility, and geography.
Mary Pat Brady’s chapter poses an alternative approach to hemispheric fiction by reading not according the scales of concentric geometries of space (local, regional, national, transnational), but instead reconceptualizing what she terms “pluriversal novels of the 21st century.” She argues for attending to the complexly mixed temporalities, perspectives, and languages of novels that reject the dualism of monoworlds (center/periphery) for the unpredictability of stories anchored in multiple space-times. While this is not an exclusively 21st-century phenomenon, she shows that pluriveral fiction has flourished recently, as works by Linda Hogan, Jennine Capó Crucet, Julia Alvarez, Gabby Rivera, Karen Tei Yamashita, Ana-Maurine Lara, and Evelina Zuni Lucero demonstrate.
This chapter provides readers with a sense of the various ways Mailer experimented with and contributed to the novel form, as he tried his hand at everything from political allegory to detective novel to spy thriller to ancient epic, among other novelistic genres. The chapter contextualizes Mailer’s novels within their various genres and offers an overview of his development within the form.
Mailer engages provocatively with themes of sexuality in a number of his novels, in a variety of ways – from the overt and somewhat shocking sex scenes in An American Dream to the exploration of sex and mysticism in Ancient Evenings to the subplot focusing in on closeted homosexuality in Harlot’s Ghost. Many of the theories of sexuality posited in these works are grounded in previous essays and nonfiction, and reflect not only the culture in which Mailer lived but provide insight into his ongoing attempt to represent sexuality in language. For example, the exploration of homosexuality in Ancient Evenings can be traced back to The Prisoner of Sex, where he was also interested in the way sex is used to enforce hierarchies of power within the prison system, and then back as early 1955, where, in “The Homosexual Villain,” Mailer was still working to flesh out “the edges of the rich theme of homosexuality,” struggling to find a place for it in his construction of contemporary masculinity.
delves more deeply into the role of biopolitics in community formation by studying, via criminal court records, how policy makers in practice connected or associated physical health threats to those to morality and social order. The convergence is particularly clear for three themes: poverty, leprosy and sexuality. These topics convey social groups who were each affected by a vision of a healthy, orderly and prosperous community. Policing the common good through targeting these groups was in many ways the same as performing community: it helped constituting civic conduct and moral leadership. Besides accentuating public health as a factor, the aim of this chapter is to show that the same system of reasoning and perception of community shaped attitudes toward each of these groups or issues. This reasoning was for the most part based on a medical, Galenic worldview, which is best summarised by the notion of dynamic balance. Balance can be understood as a tool in biopolitics, and it worked on two levels: the practical and the metaphorical. Analysing these two levels demonstrates how urban authorities integrated the eradication of sin as a part of their program to protect communal health.
Mailer’s definitions of manhood lie at the center of much of his work; they not only inform the construction of his fictional protagonists, but are also connected to his ideas of existentialism, and are tied to his hopes for the future of America. Mailer’s notions of manhood also often intersect with his theories of violence, and thus threaten to uphold toxic notions of masculine power (which Mailer himself internalized throughout his life, evident in his performance of machismo), though Mailer also confronts the many pressures and vulnerabilities associated with cultural expectations of manhood.
The last chapter takes an in-depth look at body politics and sexuality and aims to do two things: first, to unpack the often sidelined aspect of the fighters’ desexualisation. How is this part of the subjectivity produced, believed, maintained and policed? What are the tensions that emerge from creating a desexualised guerrilla army that comes down from the mountains to liberate society? Second, this chapter discusses what I call ‘party bargains’. I argue that women break out of their particular societal constellations by joining the party and enter a new bargain, this time with the party. It discusses three sites of party bargains: the fighter, the civil activist or politician, and the mother, whereas the three categories are overlapping. I demonstrate that in each case these party bargains hold great emancipatory power and that chosen abstinence (for the guerrillas) can be seen as one of the main tools of female resistance that strengthens the female ranks. However, this process goes hand in hand with a strict process of discipline and coercion, and I ask whether the sex ban is in fact at the heart of the new gender norms and relations in the making and key to the party’s ability to control its revolutionaries.
Statius’ unfinished epic, the Achilleid, describes in its surviving opening portion the attempt of Achilles’ mother, Thetis, to stop him joining the expedition against Troy by disguising him as a girl on the island of Scyros. The chapter analyses Roman conceptions of gender and sexuality, as Achilles’ disguise does not prevent him from having sex with Deidamia. His underlying violent masculinity is revealed by the trickery of Ulysses.
Interactions between infertility and sexuality are numerous and complex. Recently more attention is being paid to the impact of infertility on the marital sexuality.
The aim of this study was to determine the effects of infertility on sexual functions.
A cross-sectional descriptive study, the obstetric gynecology department Basic demographic information was collected. Respondents were surveyed regarding sexual impact and perception of their infertility etiology.
Our patients had an average age of 33.2. The average number of years of infertility was 3.9 years.. The most common cause of female infertility was an ovulat disorder (36%), that of male infertility was sperm production defect. The confrontation with a diagnosis of infertility marks a difference in the way couples organize their sexual life. In our study, sexual problems after this diagnosis were experienced by 38% of women. Sexual dysfunction was detected as a pain problem (24%), a desire problem (10%), an arousal problem (4%), and an orgasm problem in 6% and. Faced with this situation, women felt guilty (46%), angry (72%) and anxious (82%). Infertility was perceived as the worst experience of life by 78% of our patients.
Infertility can interfere negatively in women sexuality. The investigation of sexual difficulties in infertility consultations must be systematic.
The intentional use of drugs before or during sexual intercourse (chemsex) is a phenomenon of special importance in the MSM (men who have sex with men) population due to its impact on mental, physical and sexual health. Sexual health issues related to chemsex practice have been described such as difficulties in achieving sober sex, erectile dysfunction or problems with sexual desire.
To describe the sexual health interventions (including sexual counselling and sexual therapy) for patients with chemsex practices in the NGO Apoyo Positivo in Madrid. We describe the main sexual problems.
The main sexual problems were dissatisfaction in sexual intercourse without substance and difficulties with sexual desire activation (70%); compulsive sexual behaviour (70%), difficulties with sexual orientation and non normative gender expression, difficulties in erection (34%), premature ejaculation (7%) and delayed ejaculation (10%).
Chemsex is a phenomenon that needs a multidisciplinary approach and mental and sexual health must be taken into account. “Sexo, Drogas y Tu” is a model of collaborative approach which is a pioneering intervention developed by an NGO in Spain.
The intentional use of drugs before or during sexual intercourse (chemsex), due to its impact on mental health, is a phenomenon of high importance in men who have sex with men. The main drugs usually described in chemsex related research are methamphetamine, mephedrone and GHB/GBL.
We present a narrative review of the evidence about the mechanisms of action of different drugs used in chemsex context.
Different drugs have been associated with chemsex use: stimulants such as cocaine, stimulants with empathogenic properties such as mephedrone, methamphetamine, MDMA; stimulants with a psychedelic effect such as 2C-B; depressants such as GHB/GBL and ethyl chloride; and dissociative hallucinogens such as ketamine.
Classical chemsex research includes only mephedrone, metanphetamine and GHB as “chemsex drugs”. Recently, different drugs have been described associated with chemsex practice. Clinicians may encounter polydrug chemsex users and the different mecanisms of action, mental health problems related to every drug and polydrug use must be takek into account.
Amidst ongoing wars and insecurities, female fighters, politicians and activists of the Kurdish Freedom Movement are building a new political system that centres gender equality. Since the Rojava Revolution, the international focus has been especially on female fighters, a gaze that has often been essentialising and objectifying, brushing over a much more complex history of violence and resistance. Going beyond Orientalist tropes of the female freedom fighter, and the movement's own narrative of the 'free woman', Isabel Käser looks at personal trajectories and everyday processes of becoming a militant in this movement. Based on in-depth ethnographic research in Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan, with women politicians, martyr mothers and female fighters, she looks at how norms around gender and sexuality have been rewritten and how new meanings and practices have been assigned to women in the quest for Kurdish self-determination. Her book complicates prevailing notions of gender and war and creates a more nuanced understanding of the everyday embodied epistemologies of violence, conflict and resistance.
This chapter examines Freudian psychoanalysis as a source of inspiration and ambivalence for Surrealism. Freudian postulates such as the centrality of subconscious activity in human behavior and its manifestation through automatic processes helped determine surrealist methods of art-making and poetical practice in the movement’s early years. Yet surrealists would gradually reappraise their reliance on automatism and other key psychoanalytical concepts which had been appropriated into the movement’s theoretical body, mainly by André Breton. Breton and his coterie developed forms of creative activity based on a looser interpretation of the inner life; in doing so, they helped provide inspiration for new psychoanalytic concepts – the most notable example was Jacques Lacan and Salvador Dalí’s iterative notion of paranoia. This novel understanding of the disorder illustrated how the same idée fixe could appear to manifest itself in different external phenomena by virtue of the subject’s delirious projections. The chapter demonstrates that, while Surrealism was influenced by psychoanalysis at its inception, in its later years it was Surrealism that influenced psychoanalysis.
This volume offers new insight into the breadth of contexts that inform Norman Mailer's body of work. It examines important literary, critical, theoretical, cultural, and historical frameworks for Mailer's writing, highlighting the ways his work reflects the concerns of twentieth and twenty-first century America. This book traces Mailer's literary influences; his contributions to a variety of literary genres; his participation in the American political sphere; the philosophical, religious, and gendered contexts that shape his work; and the iconic American figures he profiled. The book concludes with reflections on Mailer's literary and cultural legacy, emphasizing his advocacy for literary freedom and the contemporary resonance of his work.
This article analyzes the sensationalized media coverage of a serial murder case during the Egyptian revolution of the early interwar era. Despite conflicting evidence, the media blamed the murders on two sisters from southern Egypt named Raya and Sakina. Through a close reading of Egyptian editorials and news reports, I argue that middle-class nationalists constructed Raya and Sakina as barbaric women who threatened to pull the nation back in time in order to legitimize their claim to power. Borrowing from Ann Stoler's analysis of the relationship between race and sexuality and Maria Lugones's concept of the modern/colonial gender system, this article maintains that race was as central to nationalist conceptions of female barbarism as gender, sexuality, and class. The enduring depiction of Raya and Sakina as the quintessential barbaric Egyptian women symbolizes the way in which the modern woman was constructed at the intersection of race and sexuality.
While "no means no" considers sex as consensual until someone says no, "yes means yes" defines sex only then as consensual when all parties have explicitly agreed. Consent is thus positively determined by the presence of a yes and no longer negatively determined by the absence of a no. "Yes means yes" thus not only sets the limit as to when sex becomes sexual violence, it also tells us how morally "correct" sex should look like. In the first part I will give an insight into debates about affirmative consent in the US and Germany. In the following, I will work out how affirmative consent misjudges the subjectifying functioning of sexual power relations. I will show that the understanding of affirmative consent is based on a gendered giver-receiver grammar of consent, which stabilizes heteronormative notions of female sexuality as passive and male sexuality as active. Based on the results of conversational analytical studies on sexual communication, I will argue that the politics of affirmative consent underestimates the internalization of heteronormative discourses in sexual subjects.
The study of Theravada Buddhism and gender has often focused on the relationship between men's and women's roles, particularly their differing ability to become fully ordained monks. Yet in Thailand, as in many parts of the world, gender is more complicated than the binary of just men and women. Scholars have noted that what it means to be a man in Thailand is often defined in terms of not being effeminate, gay, or transgender. Drawing on Thai news stories, social media comments, and ethnographic research, I explore how monastic masculinity—the way in which what it means to be an ideal monk informs notions of being an ideal man—is constructed through the assertion that effeminate gay or kathoei (transgender) individuals cannot and should not be ordained. Taking into account such broader social constructions of gender and sexuality is important to better understand the relationship between masculinity and Buddhist monasticism.
In this chapter, we examine how women of diverse genders and sexualities speak about their relationships with animal companions. Drawing on an interview study, this chapter argues that for many women, loving relationships with animals highlight the tension between enmeshment and irreducibility. On the one hand, the women interviewed spoke about the genuine love and affection they experience with animal companions. This love was ‘more-than-human’, even if at the same time accounts of love were often framed in human terms. On the other hand, when speaking about the loss of an animal companion, the women interviewed acknowledged that the irreducibility of human and animal lives to one another meant that their grief was often not acknowledged. This chapter asks the question, then, of what it means to love an animal, knowing that humans are likely to outlive most domesticated animals and that the death of an animal is rarely seen as significant by other humans. How women of diverse genders and sexualities make sense of this question, this chapter argues, speaks to how being situated at the margins of intelligibility in terms of gender or sexuality affords women the space to think about the intelligibility or grievability of love for animal companions.