156 pages | 4 B/W Illus.
Consumer Sexualities explores women’s experiences of shopping in ‘sex shops’ and using sexual commodities in their everyday lives. This enlightening volume shows how women take up sexual consumer ‘technologies of the self’ to work upon and understand themselves as confident and active sexual agents in postfeminist neoliberal culture. In guiding the reader through the historical emergence of sexual commodities ‘for women’ in feminism and postfeminism, Wood points to the normalisation and regulation of sexual practices and identities in and through consumption. Indeed, women’s accounts show the work involved in constructing the ‘right’ – knowledgeable, tasteful, and confident – orientation to sexual consumption and, by extension, in becoming an intelligibly ‘good’ sexual person. At the same time, the author draws upon de Certeau to show how the ordinary contexts in which sexual commodities are used can lead to unpredictable moments of adaptation, discomfort, playfulness, and resistance.
A rich analysis of women’s everyday strategies of ‘making do’ with the kinds of femininity and female sexuality that sex shop culture represents, Consumer Sexualities will appeal to scholars of sociology, cultural studies and gender studies with interests in gender, sexuality, sex, and consumption.
Introduction: Consumer Sexualities
Chapter One - Sexual Consumption and Liberation in Feminism
Chapter Two - Consumer Sex: Technologies of the Self
Chapter Three - Sexual Spaces: Going Sex Shopping
Chapter Four - The Sexy Body: Wearing Lingerie
Chapter Five - Sexual Objects: Using ‘Sex Toys’
Conclusion: (Sexual) Politics of the Ordinary
Sexualities in Society offers a dedicated and much-needed space for the very best in interdisciplinary research on sex, sexualities, and twenty-first century society. Its contemporary focus, methodological inclusivity, and international scope will provide a distinctive vantage point in terms of surveying the social organization of sexuality. It critically addresses numerous aspects of sex and sexuality, from media representations, to embodied sexual practices, to the sometimes controversial issues surrounding consent, sexual fantasy, and identity politics. It represents a critically rigorous, theoretically informed, and genuinely interdisciplinary attempt to interrogate a complex nexus of ideas regarding the ways in which sexualities inform, and are informed by, the broader sociopolitical contexts in which they emerge.