Health & Biofutures Seminar: Chemsex: a case for gay analysis

Date/Time: Fri 03 Nov / 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Location: Monash University, Room E561, (Menzies Building) 20 Chancellors Walk, Clayton Campus

School of Social Sciences (SoSS)


Health & Biofutures Seminar: Chemsex:  a case for gay analysis

Gay men’s sexual health practitioners have coined the term ‘chemsex’ to refer to a sex and drug trend said to be uniquely connected to gay culture and the use of hookup apps. This paper problematises the conceptualisation of chemsex by investigating its emergence, parameters, presumptions and particular exclusions. I argue that recent attempts to make chemsex public are so committed to normative intimacy that the many pleasures and possibilities associated with gay sex and drug use are only ever allowed to emerge as dangerous. In the contemporary public sphere, making chemsex public is a risky experiment in itself, since the presumed addressee of contemporary publics is neither a sexually-active gay man nor a drug-taker. Reading the recent documentary Chemsex (2015, dir. Fairman & Gogarty) and related discourses from the UK, I suggest that chemsex discourse demonstrates that (i) normative morality needs it monsters, and (ii) it has recently been trying its best to make monsters out of sexually-active gay drug users.

Please RSVP to by Friday 3rd November.

Kane Race is Associate Professor of Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney. He is a volunteer with the queer contingent of Unharm, a grassroots, drug-policy activist organisation, and the author of Pleasure Consuming Medicine: the queer politics of drugs (Duke UP, 2009). This talk comes from his new book, The Gay Science: intimate experiments with the problem of HIV, which has just been released with Routledge.

For further information, please contact A/Professor Mark Davis on 9905 9190.

Friday 3rd November 2017

2:00pm – 4:00pm

E561 (Elizabeth Burchill Room)
Level 5, East Wing, Menzies Building
20 Chancellors Walk
Clayton Campus

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