Sexuality and Eroticism in a Post-pandemic World

Beyond the Biopolitics of the New Normal

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The cultural change denominated as “the new normal” goes far beyond the adaptation to habits like physical distancing, limited person-to-person contact, teleworking, and self-isolation established with the COVID-19 pandemic. A series of significant transformations in human behavior spreads today in societies all around the world: physical intimacy decreases while virtual reality expands and alterity declines while artificial intelligence emerges, leading to structural reconfigurations of sex, relationships, gender awareness, and subjectivity. Sexuality and Eroticism in a Post-pandemic World explores this new cultural atmosphere through twelve interdisciplinary essays questioning global governmentality and challenging the biopolitics of the new normal—the administration of self-control societies so politically correct that repressed desire for otherness only finds a simulation of its satisfaction with the forced abnormality, outrageousness, and violence of mainstream porn—, going from ars erotica to alternative pornography, from online dating to gender fluidity, from LGBTQI+ artivism to sex life cultivation, and more.

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Phil Shining is an interdisciplinary researcher and writer focused on sex life cultivation, arts of living, and practice-oriented spirituality. Phil is the founder and director of the Sexuality and Spirituality Research Network (S&SRN), where he creates academic projects and edits its own books. He is an empirical sexual practice researcher assembling critical theory with Tantra, Yoga, Taoism, and Buddhism in training sessions and self-management programs. Phil is, along with Nicol Michelle Epple, co-editor and contributor to the book Exploring Sexuality and Spirituality: An Introduction to an Interdisciplinary Field (Brill, 2021). sexualityandspirituality.org / philshining.net

JON BRADDY is an Associate Professor of Communication at Florida Gulf Coast University, where he teaches Queer Theory. Dr. Braddy’s work has appeared in Exploring Erotic Encounters: The Inescapable Entanglement of Tradition, Transcendence and Transgression, eds. John T. Grider and Dionne van Reenen (Brill, 2019) and Expanding and Restricting the Erotic: A Critique of Current and Past Norms, eds. L. Buttigieg, S. Kanaouti, L. M. Evangelista, and R. S. Stewart (Brill, 2020). He has served as editor of the Florida Communication Journal. His work is heavily informed by philosophy, media theory, and cultural studies. Beyond Jon’s printed work, he has produced documentaries on varied topics including Liberation: One Generation After Apartheid, among others.
Foreword

Preface

List of Figures

Notes on Contributors

Introduction to the “New Normal” Biopolitics, Sexuality and Eroticism in a Post-pandemic World
  Phil Shining

Part 1
Beyond Repression: Defying the Moral Codes of 21st Century Authoritarianism
1 Transgressing the New Normal Sexuality and Obscenity in a Post-pandemic Spain
  Assumpta Sabuco Cantó

2 A Media Pandemic Sexualized Right-Wing Populism and the Politics of Mis-sublimation
  Sophia Kanaouti

3 A Room of Whose Own? Pleasure and Privacy in Pre-and Post-pandemic Havana
  Dara E. Goldman

Part 2
Beyond Sex: Embodying Pleasure and Sexuality in Times of Social Distancing
4 Pleasure in the Face of Death Poetry and Self-realization
  Rita Dirks

5 The Touch We Miss
  Nebojsa Kujundzic

Part 3
Beyond Gender: Challenging Patriarchal and Heteronormative Sex Education through Alternative Pornography
6 Alt Porn as a New Sexual Script
  Dionne van Reenen and Robert Scott Stewart

7 Sex & Love in the Time of Quarantine Re-signifying Gender and Erotic Representations—Erika Lust-Style
  Lily Martinez Evangelista and M. Emilia Barbosa

Part 4
Beyond the Senses: Immersing into Self-exploration through Visual and Plastic Arts
8 The Hunger for Touch Fatih Akin’s Gegen die Wand (Head-On) and the Cinema of Sensation
  Şebnem Nazlı Karalı and George Karpathakis

9 pros-thesis
  Lawrence Buttigieg

10 Scream at Life The Self as Erotic Figure
  Jon Braddy

Part 5
Beyond the Ego: Embracing the Spiritual Possibilities of Desire
11 The Era of the Erotic Understanding Epochal Change through Tantra and Christianity
  John R. Dupuche

12 Sex Life Cultivation Ars Erotica as an Alternative to Sex Education and Sex Therapy
  Phil Shining

Index

Readers interested in ars erotica, critical theory, cultural studies, feminism, gender studies, queer theory, sex education, sexology, Tantra, and visual arts.
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