Sex Media

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk


Sex media have been a ‘battleground on which the sexual revolution took place’ (Shaeffer, 2014: 2 ) but they have also been a pleasurable mode of consumption and leisure sought in their own right. As the most egregiously sexual of sex media, pornography has had particular powers to engender anxieties about body/tech relations. As a body genre, porn is a technology that moves bodies through its presentation of the ‘frenzy of the visible’ (Williams, 1989), but more recently porn has been described as not merely moving its viewers to masturbation. Rewiring brains, producing ‘addictive’ and ‘compulsive’ behaviours, porn’s effects on the body are no longer described as transitory and possibly pleasurable but are now identified as long-term and debilitating. As the technology develops and promises forms of immersion in synthetic sexual experiences, medical tropes are increasingly used to explain pornography’s apparent threat, shifting dominant responses to porn consumption from a social/moral objection to the ‘devaluing’ of sex, to a more ‘neutral’ concern with ‘health’ and ‘wellbeing’. At a deeper level, the anxieties over erectile and vaginal disfunction and falling desire suggest acute cultural anxieties about bodies, technologies and sexual pleasures.
Period14 Jun 2019
Event titleTechnosomata
Event typeConference
LocationExeter, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational