Peer Reviewed Articles and Chapters
Abstract: This article examines representations of lesbian nonsexuality in the film The Kids Are All Right and in responses to the film by feminist and queer scholars. In some moments, the film offers a limited endorsement of lesbian nonsexuality, placing pressure on the category lesbian to include nonsexuality and asexuality. However, in their responses to the film, many feminist and queer scholars rejected nonsexuality as an aspect of lesbian experience, placing pressure on the category lesbian to exclude nonsexual and asexual women. Asexual activism challenges scholars to question their sex-normative commitments and to keep the category lesbian open and flexible.
Abstract: In this article, I analyze the ethical and social implications of using neurotechnological interventions to alter sexual desires and behaviors. I focus on the psychopharmaceutical interventions that exist or are being developed to treat paraphilias, sex addiction, hypoactive sexual desire disorder, and “marital discord.” I argue that these interventions may simultaneously reflect and reinforce troubling social norms about sexuality and relationality while potentially reducing sexual diversity. Thus, if we wish to use these psychopharmaceuticals, we must think carefully about how to do so without threatening sexual diversity or further marginalizing sexual minorities.
Abstract: Recently, scientific and popular press articles have begun to represent sex as a health-promoting activity. A number of scientific studies have identified possible health benefits of sexual activity, including increased lifespan and decreased risk of certain types of cancers. These scientific findings have been widely reported on in the popular press. This “sex for health” discourse claims that sexual activity leads to quantifiable physical and mental health benefits in areas not directly related to sexuality. Analyzing this discourse provides an opportunity to better understand both broader health promotion discourses and current norms and anxieties about sexuality. In this article, I place this “sex for health” discourse within the context of broader health promotion discourses and within the context of a number of historical and contemporary discourses connecting health and sexuality. I argue that although the “sex for health” discourse may serve to de-stigmatize sexual activity for some, it may also increase pressure on others to be sexually active and may further pathologize sexual “dysfunction.” In addition, these representations often serve to further privilege a normative form of sexual behavior – coitus in the context of a monogamous heterosexual partnership – at the expense of non-normative sexual desires, identities, and practices.