The Micropolitics of Heterosex

Kath Albury, Gender Studies, University of Sydney

Pub Talk

Thursdays at the Fremantle Hotel, corner Cliff & High Streets
Presentations start 6.30pm sharp.

17 October 2002


Does heterosexuality equal heteronormativity? Can heterosexuality be re-made without being completely undone? If so, can small shifts and changes in contemporary heterosexual practices and identities be seen as evidence of this re-making?

With the rise of 'amateur' sex magazines, contact lists, support networks and websites, the private inner sanctum of everyday heterosexual normativity (the suburban bedroom) has increasingly been made public; and the increasing visibility of alternative heterosexual sex and relationship styles demand different, queerer theories of straight sex.

The public representations of heterosex revealed on these sites (and in women's magazines and television programs such as Sex and the City) are not always explicitly politicised... nor are they adequately described in terms of 'transgression', 'liberation' or 'empowerment'. However, traditional theories of a sadistic male gaze (and deluded female complicity) are also clearly well short of the mark. In this paper I engage with the work of Michel Foucault and William Connolly to explore the potentials, challenges and pleasures of 'de-sanctified', non-compulsory heterosexualities.

Pub Talk | 2002

New: 5 September, 2002 | Now: 8 May, 2015