Raj, S (2010) Que(e)rying Violence: Rethinking Pleasure, Harm and Intimacy in Lesbian Sadomasochism. Gay and Lesbian Issues and Psychology Review, 6 (3). 122 -131. ISSN 1833-4512

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Intimacy and violence, often seen as antithetical concepts, have been increasingly intertwined concepts in the diverse sexual practices of lesbian women. In thinking through this relationship, it is important to ask how policy and legal approaches conceptualise violence. Distinguishing between the embodied qualities of violence, in a socio-cultural context, relies on a consideration of power, pleasure and ethics. However, none of these terms are universal or self-evident. Bodies experience violence and intimacy in culturally specific and historically located ways. Understanding the sustainability of lesbian relationships requires a more nuanced approach to understanding the affects of violence. While violence has injurious effects, it may also be linked to the production of pleasure and erotics. Working with this paradox, my paper will tease out the ways which physical and emotional wellbeing is affected by experiences of lesbian sadomasochism. Comparing these divergent experiences through a discursive analysis of desire, sexuality and medical health, I will argue that harm must be located with respect to its embodied specificity rather than defined by particular acts. Differentiating what is meant by ‘violence’ in intimate lesbian sexual situations, physically intrusive acts or verbal taunts are not intrinsically counterproductive to the wellbeing of a relationship. Violence is both productive and oppressive. Thinking through the differing positions of violence in lesbian relationships requires a careful revision of pleasure, resistance and emotion.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: BDSM, Law, Psychology, Queer, Sadomasochism
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Law
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2017 09:45
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2017 09:45
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/2735

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