Dr Alex Dymock

Staff details

Position Lecturer
Department Law
Email A.Dymock (@gold.ac.uk)
Dr Alex Dymock

Dr Alex Dymock’s expertise lies principally in sexuality and gender studies with a focus on criminalised and marginalised sexual desires and practices. Her work draws frequently on her interdisciplinary background and combines methods from the humanities and social sciences.

Prior to joining Goldsmiths in 2019, Alex was a Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Law at Royal Holloway, University of London. She completed her PhD at the School of Law, University of Reading in 2015 and before this undertook an MA in Gender and Culture at Goldsmiths, and a BA in English Language and Literature at the University of Leeds. She converted her first degree to law at the University of Westminster.

In 2018-19 Alex led a project funded by a Wellcome Trust Seed Award in the Humanities and Social Sciences entitled Pharmacosexuality: the past, present and future of sex on drugs, and is currently writing up the findings of this research. The project investigates the historical and contemporary interaction between the pharmaceuticalisation of sexuality and recreational drug use in sexual contexts, and uses both archival and qualitative methods. More information about the project is available on the project website (pharmacosexuality.wordpress.com) and on Twitter: @pharmacosex.


Alex is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and her Criminal Law teaching frequently employs critical and radical pedagogies. She also has an interest in experiential learning through assessment, and in 2018 was awarded a Royal Holloway College Teaching Excellence Prize for her work in this area.

Public engagement

Alex has a keen interest in engaging the public with academic research. Her research has been featured in a number of media outlets, such as an interview on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour, articles in the Guardian, and a recent article for the Wellcome Collection. She has given talks at venues such as the British Film Institute, Public Health England, Amnesty International, and the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies.

Featured Publications

Dymock, A. and van der Westhuizen, C. (2018) ‘A dish served cold: Targeting revenge in revenge pornography’ Legal Studies, published online 27/12/18

Dymock, A. (2018) ‘Spectacular Law and Order: Photography, social harm and the production of ignorance’ in Agnotology, Power and Harm: The Study of Ignorance and the Criminological Imagination (eds. Alana Barton and Howard Davies), Palgrave Macmillan Critical Criminological Perspectives Series, pp. 189-211.

Dymock, A. (2018) ‘Anticommunal, antiegalitarian, antinurturing, antiloving: Sex and the ‘irredeemable’ in Dworkin and MacKinnon’, Paragraph: A Journal of Modern Critical Theory 41(3): 349-363.

Dymock, A. (2018) ‘A doubling of the offence? Murder, ‘extreme’ pornography and the politics of cultural harm’ in Just Harm? Rethinking Zemiology and the Broader Context of Social Harm (eds. Avi Boukli and Justin Kotzé), Palgrave Macmillan Critical Criminological Perspectives Series, pp. 165-182.

Dymock, A. (2017) ‘Responding to Sexual Harms in Communities: Who pays and who cares?’ in Ask: Building Consent Culture (ed. Kitty Stryker), Portland, OR: Thorntree Press, pp. 57-62.

Research Interests

Alex’s research interests centre on interdisciplinary sexuality and gender studies, particularly sexual 'deviance' and subcultures, pornography and the law, the history of sexuality, sexual medicine and psychiatry, and feminist and queer theory. She also has interests in the history of drugs, and the relationship between crime, criminal justice and visual culture.

Aside from Alex’s work on sex and drugs, other recent and current research projects include:

  • A book developed from her PhD thesis, which examines the interaction between the history of discourses of perversion and criminal law in England and Wales
  • A new project developed with colleagues at Birkbeck and Royal Holloway on the sexual politics of prisons
  • The longstanding cultural, legal and social impacts of the Operation Spanner investigation.
  • A series of publications on criminal law, sexuality and technology


Book Section

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


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