Embodying orgasm: Gendered power relations and sexual pleasure

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JournalWomen & therapy
DatePublished - 2001
Issue number1-2
Volume24
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)99-110
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

In this paper we discuss the potential for developing a feminist approach to women's sexual embodiment via an exploration of heterosexual sexuality. We contest both pre-social, biological accounts of sexuality and supra-social accounts: those that fad to locate desire and pleasure in their social context. In so doing we seek to avoid more abstract forms of social constructionism by analysing gendered, sexual bodies in interaction and bodies as located in material social relations and practices. In focusing on sexual pleasure we will contest dis-embodied, asocial formulations of desire and consider how desire and pleasure may be reflexively understood in the context of everyday/everynight sexual practices. Taking orgasm as a paradigmatic case, we will consider the relationships between the ways in which women's orgasm is conventionally represented and the social construction of "faked" and "authentic" orgasms.

    Research areas

  • women's sexuality, gender, power relations, orgasm, embodiment

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