|Series:||Next Wave: New Directions in Women's Studies|
For all its vaunted attention to sexuality, queer theory has had relatively little to say about sex, the material and psychic practices through which erotic gratification is sought. In Orgasmology, Annamarie Jagose takes orgasm as her queer scholarly object. From simultaneous to fake orgasms, from medical imaging to pornographic visualization, from impersonal sexual publics to domestic erotic intimacies, Jagose traces the career of orgasm across the twentieth century. Along the way, she examines marriage manuals of the 1920s and 1930s, designed to teach heterosexual couples how to achieve simultaneous orgasms; provides a queer reading of behavioural modification practices of the 1960s and 1970s, aimed at transforming gay men into heterosexuals; and demonstrates how representations of orgasm have shaped ideas about sexuality and sexual identity. A confident and often counterintuitive engagement with feminist and queer traditions of critical thought, Orgasmology affords fresh perspectives on not just sex, sexual orientation, and histories of sexuality, but also agency, ethics, intimacy, modernity, selfhood, and sociality. As modern subjects, we presume we already know everything there is to know about orgasm. This elegantly argued book suggests that orgasm still has plenty to teach us.
In Orgasmology, Annamarie Jagose takes orgasm as her queer scholarly object, tracing the career of orgasm across the twentieth century.
"Orgasmology disrupts queer doxa through a renewed emphasis on the materiality of sexual practice. Neither gay nor straight, queer nor normative, male nor female, orgasm shows up everywhere; its lability allows Annamarie Jagose to roam freely across a wide range of critical discourses, scenes, and textual objects. Sentence by sentence, this book is extremely rewarding - funny, finely observed, and smart in all the right places." - Heather Love, author of Feeling Backward: Loss and the Politics of Queer History "Just when they told you queer theory was dead, along comes a book that shows, yet again, what all the excitement was - and still is - about. Annamarie Jagose's patient, systematic demonstration that orgasm is the deconstruction of sex may seem at first to be pretty standard stuff, but the picture it discloses of the rise of twentieth-century sexuality, and of heterosexuality in particular, is so lucid and so surprising that you wonder why we never could see it in such eloquent detail before. You finish this book feeling ten times smarter than when you started it." - David M. Halperin, author of How To Be Gay
Annamarie Jagose is the author of" Inconsequence: Lesbian Representation and the Logic of Sexual Sequence" and of "Queer Theory: An Introduction."