Neither monstrous nor pastoral, but scary and sweet: Some thoughts on sex and emotional performance in Intimacies and What Do Gay Men Want?

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Abstract:

This extended meditation on David Halperin's What Do Gay Men Want? and Leo Bersani and Adam Phillips' Intimacies focuses on how these theorists think about sex, more than sexuality: how they use the ways that sex disorganizes the subject (abjection, impersonal narcissism) to ground strong accounts of better sociality at the scale of the personal and the political. The essay investigates the potentiality embedded in optimism about sex when it's not a drama but a scene of lightness and the comic.

Keywords: Bersani; Halperin; abjection; affect; narcissism; sex; sexuality

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07407700903034212

Affiliations: Department of English, University of Chicago, Chicago, USA

Publication date: July 1, 2009

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