Sunday, 30 March 2014

Compulsory Sexuality


I searched for definitions of compulsory sexuality using Google. The results were disappointing, so I’ve prepared my own definition:
‘Compulsory sexuality’ refers to a set of social attitudes, institutions and practices which hold and enforce the belief that everyone should have or want to have frequent sex (of a socially approved kind).
Compulsory sexuality differs from sexuality in that it is imposed from without, whereas sexuality is discovered from within. Compulsory sexuality states: “You must have sex, you must want sex”, but sexuality arises from a dynamic between people in which they reach a mutual recognition that, “We would like to have sex”.

The two are not entirely separable as compulsion becomes internalized. Thus, our sexualities are twisted into knots such as, “I want to want sex”, or, “I want to want the sex I am having”; conformity to the compulsion becomes the normative sexuality, deviation from it is experienced as pressure from within as well as without.

As this section covers a number of different expressions of compulsory sexuality, I’ve split it into sections on heterosexual, queer, asexual and “unfuckable” people, ending with a section on the way in which value is assigned to people based on the extent of their visible participation in sexuality.


Full Article [Imagining An Authentic Sex-Negative Feminism]
by Lisa Millbank at A Radical TransFeminist