Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Unlimited Intimacy by Tim Dean

The University of Chicago blurb and the review by distinguished scholar Martha Nussbaum says it all about this provocative tome from Dean, Professor of English at the University of Buffalo and scholar of sexual difference, as well as one of the few people who can write intelligently sbout sex, Lacan and Freud--

Unlimited Intimacy is about barebacking—when gay men deliberately abandon condoms and embrace unprotected sex— Purposely flying in the face of decades of safe-sex campaigning and HIV/AIDS awareness initiatives, barebacking is unquestionably radical behavior, behavior that most people would rather condemn than understand. Unlimited Intimacy, Tim Dean’s riveting investigation into barebacking and the distinctive subculture that has grown around it, could not be more timely

Dean’s profoundly reflective account is neither a manifesto nor an apology; instead, it is a searching analysis that tests the very limits of the study of sex in the twenty-first century. Dean’s extensive research into the subculture provides a tour of the scene’s bars, sex clubs, and Web sites; offers an explicit but sophisticated analysis of its pornography; and documents his own personal experiences in the culture. But ultimately, it is HIV that animates the controversy around barebacking, and Unlimited Intimacy explores how barebackers think about transmitting the virus—especially the idea that deliberately sharing it establishes a new network of kinship among the infected. According to Dean, intimacy makes us vulnerable, exposes us to emotional risk, and forces us to drop our psychological barriers. As a committed experiment in intimacy without limits—one that makes those metaphors of intimacy quite literal—barebacking thus says a great deal about how intimacy works.

"Unlimited Intimacy is novel, fascinating, insightful, and courageous. Tim Dean convincingly argues that confronting head-on a sexual subculture that is alien to most readers, and understanding the fantasies that propel it, is a very good way of stimulating thought - not only about that subculture, but about one's own choices and behavior, and about the general social process of demonizing and pathologizing certain sexual practices." - Martha Nussbaum"

An amazing book- it should not be off our radar.I wonder,however,how many of the few remaining book review sites will consider it.

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