Buggering Freud and Deleuze: towards a queer theory of masochism

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Thanem, Torkild ; Wallenberg, Louise (2010)
  • Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
  • Journal: Journal of Aesthetics & Culture
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/jac.v2i0.4642
  • Subject: masochism, fetishism, phallic woman, bisexuality, transgenderism, fashion photography

Both Freud’s and Deleuze’s understandings of masochism limit the transgressive and subversive forces of masochism by taking sexual difference for granted. Drawing on Newton’s fashion photography for Wolford and on feminist interrogations of Freud, Deleuze and masochism, this paper therefore seeks to develop an alternative, queer theory of masochism as sexual indifference. Viewing masochism as sexual indifference opens up movements of desire beyond the heterosexual matrix of male masochists and female mistresses. This is therefore an exercise in buggery. In the first half of the paper we bugger Freud’s understanding of masochism with Deleuze’s diverging understanding of masochism. In the second half we bugger Deleuze’s understanding of masochism with other parts of his own work, with feminist critique, and with Newton’s photography. Keywords: masochism, fetishism, phallic woman, bisexuality, transgenderism, fashion photography. (Published: 11 January 2010) Citation: Journal of Aesthetics & Culture, Vol. 2, 2010 DOI: 10.3402/jac.v2i0.4642
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