The Spectre of Promiscuity : Gay Male and Bisexual Non-monogamies and Polyamories book cover
1st Edition

The Spectre of Promiscuity
Gay Male and Bisexual Non-monogamies and Polyamories

ISBN 9780754649069
Published November 28, 2007 by Routledge
216 Pages

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Book Description

Wide-ranging research suggests that partners in gay male and bisexual relationships do not necessarily expect monogamy, or see it as an important issue. Although the frequency of gay male and bisexual non-monogamous partnerships tends to be widely acknowledged in social science literature, these relationships have rarely been explored in more detail. By providing rich empirical data, thoughtful analysis and theoretical debate, this book makes a significant contribution to the sociological literature on sexual and intimate relationships. More specifically it explores the diversity of gay male and bisexual relationship practices in the context of heteronormative citizenship and intra-social movement conflict, and highlights the complexity of power relations that circumscribe queer people's relationships and sexual lives. Written in an accessible and engaging manner, The Spectre of Promiscuity provides important insights for further studies on sexual culture, discourse, citizenship, politics and ethics.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: beyond the myth of equality and democracy; The state of the law: heteronormative citizenship and sexual counterpublics; Researching non-monogamies: stories on positionality, intersubjectivity and power; Sex and assimilation: gay male non-monogamies and the question of equality; Gender troubles: bisexuality and non-monogamy; Polyamory: different kinds of love stories; Negotiating non-monogamy: difference, power and intimacy; Between resistance and normalisation: non-monogamy, sexual politics and ethics; Appendix; Bibliography; Index.

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Christian Klesse is Lecturer in Cultural Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. His research interests fall in the areas of sexuality, gender, race/ethnicity, social movement politics, power, social identities, body modification, research methodology, and social theory.


'Queer inspired, empirically grounded, methodologically up front, humanistically concerned and critically engaged throughout, this study looks at how a group of contemporary people live non-monogamous relations. It is an important book for all who think, read or live radical sexual politics.' Ken Plummer, University of Essex, UK 'This is an informative, engaging and thought-provoking book that critically examines questions of power, autonomy and consent within non-monogamous gay male and bisexual relationships.' Jon Binnie, author of The Globalization of Sexuality 'A fresh, thoughtful and illuminating portrait of non-monogamous practices and polyamorous relations in Britain today. Klesse provides us with a sensitive and ethical account, attuned to the complexity of inequality in its refusal to romanticise sexual diversity. The Spectre of Promiscuity is vital reading for sociologists and others interested in the changing landscape of sexual power, commitment and compromise.' Davina Cooper, University of Kent, UK 'This is an engaging and unusual book - both scholarly and entertaining, funny and thoughtful. It made me want to reconsider not only how I do my work but also how I live my life. Students will love it and learn important lessons about life, love and research methods.' Gargi Bhattacharyya, Aston University, UK