Mediated intimacies: Raw sex, Truvada, and the politics of chemoprophylaxis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter starts from the proposition that raw sex does not exist. Especially today, when erotic imagery and discourses of sexuality saturate contemporary cultures, there can be no sexual experience that remains unmediated by social conceptions of what sex is or should be. The idea of sex as raw, unmediated contact with another body or being is nothing more than a fantasy – albeit a powerful one – that responds to the intensively mediated conditions of modern existence. If our erotic lives were not so filtered through technology, pornography, pharmacology, and other forms of expertise, then perhaps the yearning for unmediated intimacy would not be so strong. I want to suggest that gay men’s sex lives, because more heavily mediated than most, are particularly susceptible to the fantasy that “raw sex” represents. Paradoxically, however, the amplification of discourse about rawness serves only to make the thing itself ever more elusive.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRadical Sex Between Men
Subtitle of host publicationAssembling Desiring-Machines
EditorsDave Holmes, Stuart J Murray, Thomas Foth
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781315399539
ISBN (Print)9781315399546
StatePublished - Aug 29 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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