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Not GaySex between Straight White Men$
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Jane Ward

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781479860685

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479860685.001.0001

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Against Gay Love

Against Gay Love

This One Goes Out to the Queers

(p.191) 6 Against Gay Love
Not Gay

Jane Ward

NYU Press

This chapter examines the implications of “sexual fluidity” for queer politics. It argues that queer scholars may wish to pay close attention to how narratives about fluidity rely on the existence of romantic gay love and sincere gay subjects, both of which are increasingly compelled into being as congenital heterosexuals distinguish their frivolous and politically inconsequential homosexual experiments and accidents from the romantic, affected, and homonormative conditions of an essentialized gay life. It shows that the discourse surrounding heterosexual fluidity feeds into the production of the homonormative homosexual, who in contrast with lascivious butch dykes, sadistic leather daddies, and other fear-invoking queer figures, is motivated by a complex of sincere gay feelings—namely, the desire to fall in gay love, to have a gay family, to be out and proud. In an unexpected turn, “heteroflexibles” co-opt much of what is “naughty” about homosexual sex, casting heterosexuality as the domain of the masculine, the virile, the erotic, the unfettered, and even the forbidden, while homonormativity and genetics converge to redefine “gay” in affective, domestic, and sexless terms. The chapter ends by considering how queers might resist this co-optation.

Keywords:   sexual fluidity, queer politics, straight white men, heterosexual fluidity, homosexuality, romantic love, gay love

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