Susanna Paasonen: Thinking Sex and Play, Many Splendored Things Launch.
Professor Susanna Paasonen will argue that play in the realm of sexuality involves experimentation with what bodies can feel and do and what people may imagine themselves as doing, liking and preferring.
For Paasonen, play involves the exploration of different bodily capacities, appetites, orientations and connections. Occasionally strained, dark and even hurtful in the forms that it takes and the sensory intensities that it engenders, sex presses against previously perceived and imagined horizons of embodied potentiality. Play pushes sexual identifications into motion.
We know that sexual palates vary across people’s lifespans, and that playful experimentations form a key role in how people discover their diverse sexual turn-ons and turn-offs. Yet little attention has been paid to thinking through the diverse interconnections of sexuality and playfulness.
In Many Splendored Things, from Goldsmiths Press, Paasonen examines the notions of playfulness and play as they shed light on the urgency of sexual pleasures and the elasticity of sexual desires, while considering their connection to categories of identity.
Drawing on a broad range of scholarship on sexuality, play, and the media, Paasonen moves from the conceptual to the concrete, examining advice literature on sexual play, the vernacular aesthetics of the Fifty Shades series, girls’ experiences of online sexual role-playing, popular media coverage of age-play and Jan Soldat’s documentary films on BDSM culture.
Co-hosted by the Goldsmiths Press and the Centre for Feminist Research.
Wine reception to follow the lecture.
Dates & times
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