'Sexing up' bodily aesthetics: notes towards theorizing Trans sexuality

Davy, Zowie and Steinbock, Eliza (2012) 'Sexing up' bodily aesthetics: notes towards theorizing Trans sexuality. In: Sexualities: past reflections and future directions. Genders and sexualities in the social sciences . Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, pp. 266-285. ISBN 0230290094

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Abstract

The sexualisation of transgender is a thorny issue due to the negative undertones within sexological texts. After many years of being on the one hand, silenced about sexuality or on the other hyper-sexualized, for fear of being pigeon-holed as unworthy recipients of medical interventions by the medical teams providing healthcare, transsexual and transgender people have started to explore and produce their “sexual bodies” and represent them in novel ways through prose, poetry and pornographic film. ’The political move to illustrate the wider ‘spectra of desire’ (Stryker, 2006) and experiences of trans-sexuality was announced to be politically important as a way of shifting stereotypical associations surrounding transgender and sexuality generally. These projects of sexual representation rely on transforming spaces and discourses within cultural mediums in which transpeople explore their sexuality. Pornography and erotica are two sites that offer personalized accounts of trans-sexuality that often speaks back to their medicalization. I argue that Queer and camp aesthetics are intrinsic to these personal explorations and representations. In the words of Kate Bornstein (1994: 163), over a decade ago, these productions offer “irreverence for the established order” and incorporate the “often dizzying use of paradox” which underpins my analysis. Using empirical and textual data, we illustrate that transsexualism and transgenderism are not solely about gender, as a core characteristic, and suggest that sexuality is part of trans subjectivity too. We further suggest that new representations of trans-sexuality pose an ideological challenge to the medical policy and practices surrounding transgender medicalization and the sedated ideas surrounding transpeople as either non-sexual or hyper-sexual. This focus will allow for new conceptualizations of trans-sexuality.

Item Type:Book Section
Additional Information:The sexualisation of transgender is a thorny issue due to the negative undertones within sexological texts. After many years of being on the one hand, silenced about sexuality or on the other hyper-sexualized, for fear of being pigeon-holed as unworthy recipients of medical interventions by the medical teams providing healthcare, transsexual and transgender people have started to explore and produce their “sexual bodies” and represent them in novel ways through prose, poetry and pornographic film. ’The political move to illustrate the wider ‘spectra of desire’ (Stryker, 2006) and experiences of trans-sexuality was announced to be politically important as a way of shifting stereotypical associations surrounding transgender and sexuality generally. These projects of sexual representation rely on transforming spaces and discourses within cultural mediums in which transpeople explore their sexuality. Pornography and erotica are two sites that offer personalized accounts of trans-sexuality that often speaks back to their medicalization. I argue that Queer and camp aesthetics are intrinsic to these personal explorations and representations. In the words of Kate Bornstein (1994: 163), over a decade ago, these productions offer “irreverence for the established order” and incorporate the “often dizzying use of paradox” which underpins my analysis. Using empirical and textual data, we illustrate that transsexualism and transgenderism are not solely about gender, as a core characteristic, and suggest that sexuality is part of trans subjectivity too. We further suggest that new representations of trans-sexuality pose an ideological challenge to the medical policy and practices surrounding transgender medicalization and the sedated ideas surrounding transpeople as either non-sexual or hyper-sexual. This focus will allow for new conceptualizations of trans-sexuality.
Keywords:trans sexuality, bodily aesthetics, hyper-sexuality, erotica
Subjects:R European Languages, Literature and related subjects > R900 Others in European Languages, Literature and related subjects
W Creative Arts and Design > W520 Body Awareness
L Social studies > L320 Gender studies
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Health & Social Care
ID Code:5003
Deposited By: Zowie Davy
Deposited On:03 Apr 2012 06:24
Last Modified:28 Aug 2014 13:01

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