Heterosexuality in Theory and Practice

Chris Beasley, Heather Brook, Mary Holmes

    Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

    46 Citations (Scopus)


    This book explores heterosexualities in their complex and everyday expressions. It engages with theories about the intersection of sexuality with other markers of difference, and gender in particular. The outcome will productively upset equations of heterosexuality with heteronormativity and accounts that cast heterosexuality in "sex critical, sex as danger" terms. Queer/feminist ‘pro-sex’ perspectives have become prevalent in analyses of sexuality, but in these approaches queer becomes the site of subversive, transgressive, exciting and pleasurable sex, while heterosex, if mentioned at all, continues to be seen as objectionable or dowdy. It challenges heterosexuality’s comparative absence in gender/sexuality debates and the common constitution of heterosexuality as nasty, boring and normative. The authors develop an innovative analysis showing the limits of the sharply bifurcated perspectives of the "sex wars". This is not a revisionist account of heterosexuality as merely one option in a fluid smorgasbord, nor does it dismiss the weight of feminist/pro-feminist critiques of heterosexuality. This book establishes that if relations of domination do not constitute the analytical sum of heterosexuality, then identifying its range of potentialities is clearly important for understanding and helping to undo its "nastier" elements.

    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationNew York, USA
    PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis
    Number of pages126
    ISBN (Electronic)9780203103920
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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