Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Global and Sociocultural Studies
First Advisor's Name
Dr. Jean M. Rahier
First Advisor's Committee Title
Second Advisor's Name
Dr. Caroline Faria
Second Advisor's Committee Title
Third Advisor's Name
Dr. Andrea Queeley
Third Advisor's Committee Title
Fourth Advisor's Name
Dr. Laurie Shrage
Fourth Advisor's Committee Title
Fifth Advisor's Name
Dr. Ben Smith
Fifth Advisor's Committee Title
sex, sexuality, sexual revolution, sexual community, sexual politics, kink, fetish, BDSM, alternative sexuality, polyamory, consensual non monogamy, play party, affect, emotion, intimacy, care, feminist geographies, geographies of sexualities, embodiment, resistance, race, sex, class, the erotic
Date of Defense
To date, feminist geographers and geographers of sexualities have yet to fully interrogate post sexual revolution society. In this dissertation I examine the politics of sex-positive play parties, through the case study of Kinky Salon (KS) – a global organization that claims to catalyze a contemporary sex culture revolution. This project expands on previous feminist geography and geographies of sexualities scholarship centering queer, kinky sex, demonstrating that non-normative sexual practices are informed by and contribute to sexual revolution legacies. I extend feminist geographies’ theorizing of affect and emotion to show how sexual intimacies are care-work, with the emotional power to bring about relation-building and sexual understanding. In doing so, play-based sex-positive politics are highlighted as a framework to promote community, and resistance against norms that constrain sexually deviant bodies.
This project highlights the complexities of sex-based efforts at social change, which I show continue to reflect inequalities in society even as they seek to transform it. I begin by asking: What is so political about playful sex? Answering this guiding question required a multi-sited, mixed methodological, ethnographic approach, to undertake a feminist geographical exploration of embodied sexuality, play, and care as activism. It took two years of field research to gain trust among members of a sex-positive community. I conducted fifty-three semi-structured interviews, and countless hours of informal conversations, proving crucial to my overall understanding of sex-positive culture. Time spent in the field was enriched by observant-participation as a volunteer, culminating in a transnational tour of a global community.
The data collected underscores the political contestations of inclusivity ethics and the transnational spread of sex culture aimed at changing discourses about deviant sex. I show that play is constructed as transformative for community members who adopt activist non-normative care practices that require new theorizing of sexual subjectivity. This project brings together geographies of sexualities and feminist geographies to move them forward. By revealing how affect, emotion, and intimacy, are co-constituted, I suggest that there is an opportunity to more fully explore what care ethics has to offer sexuality studies.
Bazzaroni, Christina, "Transnational Sex-Positive Play Parties: The Sexual Politics of Care for Community-Making at a Kinky Salon" (2019). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4050.
Gender and Sexuality Commons, Human Geography Commons, Leisure Studies Commons, Other Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Commons, Other Geography Commons, Politics and Social Change Commons, Social and Cultural Anthropology Commons, Women's Studies Commons
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