Cruising Culture

Cruising Culture : Promiscuity, Desire and American Gay Literature

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Description

Promiscuous sexuality remains a central source of cultural fear and fascination, as seen in the resurgence of heated debates within American gay culture on its place in the era of AIDS. Cruising Culture provides the first extensive critical examination of competing understandings and experiences of promiscuity, both in post-war American gay culture and in American culture more broadly. In this original and provocative book, Ben Gove unpicks the root assumptions and contradictions which contribute to dominant punitive notions of promiscuous sex and desire. He challenges normative dichotomies between 'good' monogamous sexualities and 'bad' promiscuous sexualities by illustrating the inherent promiscuousness of all sexual desire, regardless of consciously expressed attitudes to sexual practice. The reader is guided through the maze of conflicting attitudes towards promiscuity in American gay culture with innovative readings of texts by influential, but hitherto critically neglected, authors such as Andrew Holleran, Larry Kramer, John Rechy, Edmund White and David Wojnarowicz. The book also draws on numerous critical and historical perspectives to represent an intricate picture of promiscuous sexual life in contemporary America. Cruising Culture will be essential reading for gay/elesbian/queer studies, gender studies and American studies, and for anyone else seeking a thorough discussion of the complex debates surrounding promiscuity.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 156.2 x 234.4 x 17.3mm | 378.21g
  • EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New
  • 0748613617
  • 9780748613618

Review quote

Gove's book really packs a punch. Rather than perceiving gay popular fiction as a reflection of society's behavioural patterns, he highlights its importance as a catalyst for change. In doing so, he brings the subject to life and makes it more accessible to everyone. Cruising Culture develops an important reading of the cultural contradictions of gay promiscuity. He writes compellingly and accessibly about the complexity of fantasy the ecstasy and the distress of human desire. -- Jonathan Dollimore, author of Sexual Dissidence I found this a wonderful piece of work. It is first-rate both as cultural critique and as literary analysis. -- Alexander Doty, author of Making Things Perfectly Queer Rigorous and revealing. -- Gregory Woods, author of A History of Gay Literature Gove's book really packs a punch. Rather than perceiving gay popular fiction as a reflection of society's behavioural patterns, he highlights its importance as a catalyst for change. In doing so, he brings the subject to life and makes it more accessible to everyone. Cruising Culture develops an important reading of the cultural contradictions of gay promiscuity. He writes compellingly and accessibly about the complexity of fantasy the ecstasy and the distress of human desire. I found this a wonderful piece of work. It is first-rate both as cultural critique and as literary analysis. Rigorous and revealing.show more

About Ben Gove

Ben Gove has taught at the University of Sussex and at Lehigh University.show more

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