sexuality

discourse

In proposing to examine the general economy of discourses on sex, Michel Foucault states his objective of defining "the regime of power - knowledge - pleasure that sustains the discourse on human sexuality in our part of the world." (p.11) For Foucault, "the 'economy' of discourses -- their intrinsic technology, the necessities of their operation, the tactics they employ, the effects of power which underlie them and which they transmit -- this, and not a system of representations, is what determines the essential features of what they have to say." (p.69) 

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eroticism

Georges Bataille defines eroticism as the "assenting to life up to the point of death". (Erotism, introduction) For Bataille, eroticism distinguishes man from the animals because it is a consciously intellectualized feeling that is possible only in a context where sexuality is repressed, or at least where erotic pleasure is independent of reproduction as an end. Bataille relates eroticism to a knowledge of evil and the inevitability of death, rather than simply an expression of joyful passion. He quotes de Sade's observation that "There is no better way to know death than to link it with some licentious image." While De Sade's "aberration" may be the logical extreme of this link, "In essence, the domain of eroticism is the domain of violence, of violation." (p. 16)

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sexuality

sexuality

In its current usage, sexuality refers to the cultural interpretation of the human body's erogenous zones and sexual capacities. That the same two sexes occur in every society is a matter of biology...that there is always sexuality, however, is a cultural matter. Sexuality is that complex of reactions, interpretations, definitions, prohibitions, and norms that is created and maintained by a given culture in response to the fact of the two biological sexes.

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