Skip to main content

'The Rice Steamer': race, desire and affect in Sydney's gay scene

Buy Article:

$55.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


While for some Sydney's gay scene is a space of sexual liberation, for Asian-Australians it's also a space of racial segregation. Drawing on ethnographic research in gay venues in Sydney and employing Deleuze and Guattari's notions of 'striated space' and 'territorialisation', this paper explores the ways that racialised sexual desires constitute spatial formations and practices that literally confine gay Asian males into ghettos within gay space. The second part of this paper asks what processes of deterritorialisation are at play in gay spaces that might enable possibilities of connecting bodies not reducible to race. Using an autoethnographic and performative mode of address, I draw on a sexual encounter in a gay dance party in order to chart a set of affective connections, which, while not demolishing race, is nevertheless irreducible to it. In doing so I put forward a model of desire that forces us to rethink what queer space might look like.

Keywords: Asian-Australian; affect; desire; queer; smooth space

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Sydney, Australia

Publication date: 2008-09-01

More about this publication?
  • Access Key
  • Free ContentFree content
  • Partial Free ContentPartial Free content
  • New ContentNew content
  • Open Access ContentOpen access content
  • Partial Open Access ContentPartial Open access content
  • Subscribed ContentSubscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed ContentPartial Subscribed content
  • Free Trial ContentFree trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more