Posts Tagged ‘intimacy’
“Intimacy has not always had the meaning it has for contemporary heteronormativie culture. Along with Foucault and other historians, the classicist David Halpern, for example, has shown that in ancient Athens, sex was a transitive act rather than a fundamental dimension of personhood or an expression of intimacy.”
~Lauren Berlant and Michael Warner. Sex in Public
I want us to reconsider the way we discuss greek (homo)sex in its relationship to intimacy. Here, in Berlant and Warner’s discussion of heteronormativity, pederastic sex was described as non-intimate and transitive. This framing of sex is used in a romantic way to think about sex “before” the heterosexual/heteronormative construction of “intimacy” as identity. They attempt to understand sex as a public or alternative way of communicating, relating and finding affection (not affection as “intimate” emotional affection, but affect in the form of relating to an older version of self).
However, what this narrative does is it uses a construction of Greek sex as non-intimate to further legitimate the “intimacy” of “modern” gay men who have sex with other men of the appropriate age. Although the act of clamning gay public sex as intimate is a disruptive/productive claim, I wonder how we could make room for this practice of “transferrence” to be intimate, and what that might perform.