Mexican Men Meet Cyborg Masculinity: Gendered Subjectivities in the Technology of Erection Era

in Bodies in Flux
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Abstract

This chapter presents the results of an exploratory study that analyzed the relationship between gender and the non-medical use of drugs designed to treat erectile dysfunction, with the aim of identifying the discourses of masculinity that crossed these practices. Following a qualitative approach, semi-structured interviews with young men in northwestern Mexico with different experiences with performance-enhancer drugs were conducted. Collected data was analyzed from the notion of “cyborg masculinity” applied to the Mexican context. The results show that some of these men turn to drugs, like Sildenafil and Tadalafil, to maintain an erection even in the absence of sexual desire, an absence deemed inconceivable as a healthy young man “should always want and should always can have sex”. These men consider their ability to have erections a natural and automatic consequence of having a male body, regardless of personal indisposition, or dislike of the place and context in which sexual encounter takes place. The chapter will reflect on the implications for male subjectivity of the human-drug cyborg in a region where the increasing dominance of medical discourse on impotence converges with the vigorous ‘macho’ stereotype.