3.55 (49 ratings by Goodreads)
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3.55 (49 ratings by Goodreads)
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For all its vaunted attention to sexuality, queer theory has had relatively little to say about sex, the material and psychic practices through which erotic gratification is sought. In Orgasmology, Annamarie Jagose takes orgasm as her queer scholarly object. From simultaneous to fake orgasms, from medical imaging to pornographic visualization, from impersonal sexual publics to domestic erotic intimacies, Jagose traces the career of orgasm across the twentieth century.Along the way, she examines marriage manuals of the 1920s and 1930s, designed to teach heterosexual couples how to achieve simultaneous orgasms; provides a queer reading of behavioral modification practices of the 1960s and 1970s, aimed at transforming gay men into heterosexuals; and demonstrates how representations of orgasm have shaped ideas about sexuality and sexual identity.

A confident and often counterintuitive engagement with feminist and queer traditions of critical thought, Orgasmology affords fresh perspectives on not just sex, sexual orientation, and histories of sexuality, but also agency, ethics, intimacy, modernity, selfhood, and sociality. As modern subjects, we presume we already know everything there is to know about orgasm. This elegantly argued book suggests that orgasm still has plenty to teach us.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 280 pages
  • 156 x 235 x 17.78mm | 395g
  • North Carolina, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 10 illustrations
  • 0822353911
  • 9780822353911
  • 427,947

Table of contents

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xix

Introduction. Orgasm and the Long Twentieth Century 1

1. About Time: Simultaneous Orgasm and Sexual Normalcy 40

2. Straight Woman / Gay Man: Orgasm and the Double Blind of Modern Sex 78

3. Behaviorism's Queer Trace: Sexuality and Orgasmic Reconditioning 106

4. Face Off: Artistic and Medico-Sexological Visualizations of Orgasm 135

5. Counterfeit Pleasures: Fake Orgasm and Queer Agency 175

Coda. Orgasm's End 207

Works Cited 217

Index 239
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Review quote

"[W]hile thinking too hard about achieving orgasm in the bedroom (...or kitchen...or office...or elsewhere) may foreclose its possibility, Jagose shows the opposite effect occurs in critical inquiry." -- Marcie Bianco * Lambda Literary Review * "Altogether, I did learn more about orgasms. As a piece of cultural criticism, it is scholarly and carefully wrought. . . . The strength of Jagose's book lies not in the repetition of this romantic position but rather in its careful trace of the human orgasm in social, medical and representational history. 'Seeing' orgasm's trace in this way is quite handy." -- Sally R. Munt * Times Higher Education * "The diversity of the archival material covered in Orgasmology is the book's greatest strength. Jagose's method is an intricate meshwork of discourses, unified by her focus on the same elusive object. . . . Jagose offers a fascinating tour of the orgasm in the 20th-century. . . ." -- Sand Avidar-Walzer * Los Angeles Review of Books * "Orgasmology is a frothy series of engagements with the cultural-bodily terrain of orgasm. . . . A good gift for the feminist-studies grad student who doesn't have time for orgasms." -- Ela Przbylo * Bitch * "Orgasmology itself enacts the discursive diversity and productivity that characterizes twentieth-century orgasm. Eloquently written, and supple and wide-ranging in its argument, the book is bound to produce galvanizing effects on scholars working in queer theory, gender studies and cultural studies." -- Guy Davidson * Australian Humanities Review * "Jagose's interdisciplinary archive - spanning science, philosophy, the arts, and media - structurally parallels the multivalence of her research subject and offers exciting contributions to the fields of feminist and queer studies. . . . Jagose's commitment to thinking orgasm in terms of a beyond, of elsewheres previously unknown, is compelling, exciting, and inspiring for anyone interested in busting the paradigms, and reinventing the possibilities, of the sexual and indeed the human." -- Ben Bagocius * Make * "Jagose models the payoff of looking at again, more, differently, or sideways after you (think that you) have taken a stance on something - including orgasms. As I read Orgasmology, I kept pausing to revisit texts and cultural moments that I have long found generative for queer thinking that either looked differently interesting from the orgasm out or from the orgasm revisited with the benefit of Jagose'seye toward history, representation, science, instruction, and politics." -- Erica Rand * GLQ *
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About Annamarie Jagose

Annamarie Jagose is the author of Inconsequence: Lesbian Representation and the Logic of Sexual Sequence and of Queer Theory: An Introduction.
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Rating details

49 ratings
3.55 out of 5 stars
5 12% (6)
4 45% (22)
3 31% (15)
2 10% (5)
1 2% (1)
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