The sites/citing of female sexuality: An Irigarayan reading of Sex positive

The article aims to examine the ways in which sexological discourse represents gendered hegemonic modes of sexuality. In order to do so, the article makes reference to one particular text - the self-help sex manual by Johann Lemmer, entitled Sex positive (2006). The examination of Sex positive is pr...

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Published in: Communicatio Vol. 36; no. 3; pp. 309 - 326
Main Author: du Plessis, Rory
Format: Journal Article
Language: English
Afrikaans
Published: South Africa Taylor & Francis Group 11-01-2010
Unisa Press, University of South Africa
Taylor & Francis Ltd
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Summary: The article aims to examine the ways in which sexological discourse represents gendered hegemonic modes of sexuality. In order to do so, the article makes reference to one particular text - the self-help sex manual by Johann Lemmer, entitled Sex positive (2006). The examination of Sex positive is primarily focused on Lemmer's account of female sexuality, which is elucidated through three categories, namely the vagina, uterus and clitoris, yet Lemmer's descriptions thereof reveal the manifestation of patriarchal and phallocentric ideologies. This is not an idiosyncrasy peculiar to Lemmer alone, but relates to the phallocentric model of sexuality which is apparent in much of sexology - from its historical founders to its contemporary theorists. As such, the article also traces how Sigmund Freud's theories are evident in the writings of Lemmer. This marked presence is interrogated through an Irigarayan analysis: in doing so, Lemmer's account of female sexuality continues Freud's articulation thereof - women are defined in terms of a unitary male model.
ISSN: 0250-0167
1753-5379
DOI: 10.1080/02500167.2010.518786