I joined Goldsmiths in 2019 from Royal Holloway, University of London, where I was a Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Law. My work explores the regulation of sexuality, criminal law and criminal justice, technologies and biopolitics, feminist and queer theory. Underpinning all my research is a longstanding interest in the relationship between pleasure and risk.
My current research examines gender, sexuality and cultures of drug use. This is the focus of a project funded by the British Academy/Leverhulme Trust (https://sexandpsychedelics.squarespace.com) looking at how and why people use psychedelics to manage trauma related to sex in the context of a 'renaissance' of research into the benefits of legalising psychedelics as therapeutic medicines. Previously, I led a wide-ranging project on the past, present and future of sex on drugs, funded by the Wellcome Trust.
I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and teach Criminal Law and Tort on the LLB.
Teaching and Supervision
I have previously supervised PhDs in a range of areas, including the criminalisation of young people who 'sext'; HIV medicine use in Nigeria; sex, drugs and consent.
I currently co-supervise two PhD students:
Adam Morby (Politics), Adam Christianson (Sociology)
My current principal interests are sexual cultures and cultures of drug use, and the intersections between the two. I am particularly interested in notions of sexual wellness, and complicating the meanings we attach to sex-related drug use, whether for enhancement or repair.
I am currently working on the following:
Sexuality and Psychedelics (2021 - present): This British Academy/Leverhulme Trust-funded project examines how and why people use psychedelic drugs to manage sexual trauma (subjectively defined). Although psychedelics remain criminalised, they continue to be hailed as effective mental health technologies. I am interested in how people understand their experiences with these substances in relation to sexual problems specifically. This research builds on a previous Wellcome Trust-funded project on pharmacosexuality (https://pharmacosexuality.wordpress.com/) (2018-2020), which examined the meanings attached historically and contemporarily to sex-related drug use, and the role illicit drugs have played in shaping contemporary sexual cultures and sexual identities.
Gender and Online Drug Purchasing (2022 - present): Working collaboratively with Dr Jennifer Fleetwood (Sociology, Goldsmiths) and Release UK, this project and the resulting report explores changing patterns of women's drug purchasing during and 'after' the Covid pandemic. We have received an Impact Grant from the Socio-Legal Studies Association to promote and publicise the results of this research.
Longer term I am also working on a project on the regulation of sex and sexual intimacies in British prisons alongside Dr Sarah Lamble, Dr Tanya Serisier and Lizzie Hughes (Birkbeck).
I also maintain my longer term interests in new criminal-legal developments and processes of criminalisation in the area of sexuality and sexual representations, and have published widely on e.g. 'revenge pornography', 'extreme pornography', and 'chemsex'.
Publications and research outputs
Dymock, Alex. 2022. Queering psychedelic erotics: Encounters with the inhuman and nonhuman. In: Alex Belser; Clancy Cavnar and Beatriz C. Labate, eds. Queering Psychedelics: From Oppression to Liberation in Psychedelic Medicine. Santa Fe, New Mexico: Synergetic Press. ISBN 9781957869032
Dymock, Alex. 2020. Defending Pornography: The Case Against Strategic Essentialism. In: C. Ashford and A. Maine, eds. Research Handbook on Gender, Sexuality and the Law. Edward Elgar, pp. 484-496. ISBN 9781788111140
Dymock, Alex. 2018. A Doubling of the Offence?: 'Extreme' Pornography and Cultural Harm. In: Avi Boukli and Justin Kotze, eds. Zemiology. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 165-182. ISBN 9783319763118
Dymock, Alex. 2018. Spectacular law and order: photography, social harm, and the production of ignorance. In: Alana Barton and Howard Davis, eds. Ignorance, Power and Harm: Agnotology and The Criminological Imagination. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 189-211. ISBN 978-3-319-97342-5
Dymock, Alex. 2017. Responding to sexual harms in communities: Who pays and who cares? In: Kitty Stryker, ed. Ask: Building Consent Culture. Portland, Oregon, USA: Thorntree Press. ISBN 978-1944934255
Lim, Bryan; Christianson, Adam; Nicholls, Emily Jay; Aldridge, Alexandra and Dymock, Alex. 2023. The Techno–Barbie Speaks Back: Experiments with Gendered Hormones. Paragraph: The Journal of Modern Critical Theory, 46(1), pp. 30-45. ISSN 0264-8334
Dymock, Alex. 2023. Acid Feminism: Gender, psychonautics and the politics of consciousness. The Sociological Review, 71(4), pp. 817-838. ISSN 0038-0261
Moyle, Leah; Dymock, Alex; Aldridge, Alexandra and Mechen, Ben. 2020. Pharmacosex: Reimagining Sex, Drugs and Enhancement. International Journal of Drug Policy, 86, 102943. ISSN 0955-3959
Lamble, Sarah; Serisiers, Tanya; Dymock, Alex; Carr, Nicola; Downes, Julia and Boukli, Avi. 2020. Guest Editors' Introduction: Queer Theory and Criminology. Criminology and Criminal Justice, 20(5), pp. 504-509. ISSN 1748-8958
Dymock, Alex and Van Der Westhuizen, Charlotte. 2019. A dish served cold: targeting revenge in revenge pornography. Legal Studies, 39(3), pp. 361-377. ISSN 0261-3875
Dymock, Alex. 2018. Anti-communal, Anti-egalitarian, Anti-nurturing, Anti-loving: Sex and the 'Irredeemable' in Andrea Dworkin and Catharine MacKinnon. Paragraph, 41(3), pp. 349-363. ISSN 0264-8334
Dymock, Alex. 2017. Prurience, punishment and the image: Reading ‘law-and-order pornography’. Theoretical Criminology, 21(2), pp. 209-224. ISSN 1362-4806
Dymock, Alex and Lodder, Matt. 2016. The Erotics of Injury: Remembering Operation Spanner Workshops 10th - 11th September 2015, University of Essex and Royal Holloway, University of London. Porn Studies, 3(3), pp. 320-323. ISSN 2326-8743
Dymock, Alex. 2014. Towards a Consent Culture: An Interview with Kitty Stryker. INSEP - Journal of the International Network of Sexual Ethics and Politics, 2(1), pp. 75-91. ISSN 2196-6931
Dymock, Alex. 2013. Flogging sexual transgression: Interrogating the costs of the 'Fifty Shades Effect'. Sexualities, 16(8), pp. 880-895. ISSN 1363-4607
Dymock, Alex. 2013. Unmastered: A Book on Desire, Most Difficult to Tell. Journal of the International Network of Sexual Ethics and Politics, 1(1), pp. 91-93. ISSN 2196-6931
Dymock, Alex. 2012. But femsub is broken too!: On the normalisation of BDSM and the problem of pleasure. Psychology and Sexuality, 3(1), pp. 54-68. ISSN 1941-9899
Conference or Workshop Item
Cefai, Sarah; Dymock, Alex and Serisier, Tanya. 2022. 'Is Consent Good for Women? A Feminist Symposium on Consent Culture'. In: Is Consent Good for Women? A Feminist Symposium on Consent Culture. Birkbeck, University of London, United Kingdom 17 June 2022.
Kneale, Dylan; French, Robert; Spandler, Helen; Young, Ingrid; Purcell, Carrie; Boden, Zoë; Brown, Steven D.; Callwood, Dan; Carr, Sarah; Dymock, Alex; Eastham, Rachael; Gabb, Jacqui; Henley, Josie; Jones, Charlotte; McDermott, Elizabeth; Mkhwanazi, Nolwazi; Ravenhill, James; Reavey, Paula; Scott, Rachel; Smith, Clarissa; Smith, Matthew; Thomas, James and Tingay, Karen. 2019. Conducting sexualities research: an outline of emergent issues and case studies from ten Wellcome-funded projects. Discussion Paper. Wellcome Open Research.
Further profile content
Grants and awards
The Sexual Politics of the Psychedelic Renaissance
British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Small Research Grant
Pharmacosexuality: The Past, Present and Future of Sex on Drugs
Wellcome Trust Seed Award in the Humanities and Social Sciences
Gender in online drug purchasing
SLSA Impact Grant
I would be delighted to hear from potential MPhil/PhD candidates interested in pursuing doctoral study in the following areas:
- Any area of criminal law or criminal justice (UK focus)
- Sexuality and gender, and feminist and queer theory
- Drug use and drug policy