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Words, Freud once wrote, are magic. Nowhere have words been more magical than in the writing of sexuality. Through words and concepts we learn what is good or bad, pleasurable or painful, significant and insignificant. The terms we use about sexuality do not simply describe something out there. They help shape what sexuality is.
The Languages of Sexuality offers concise and incisive essays on key words and concepts which have played a significant role in shaping our understanding of contemporary sexualities and intimacies. Nearly a hundred essays illuminate the terms related to sexuality in fresh, and often unexpected ways, with entries ranging from ‘abjection’ and ‘abortion’ to ‘transgender and ‘Viagra’. Written with clarity, insight and passion by an internationally renowned theorist of sexuality, this book is not only an invaluable handbook, but also a personal exploration of the fluid, shifting, ever evolving meanings of sexual life as reflected and refracted through words and concepts.
This book is an invaluable resource for both students and researchers with interests relating to sexuality and intimate life, gender studies, cultural studies, history and sociology. It will also appeal to a wider audience interested in critical debates about the nature and meanings of contemporary sexualities.