Unearthing “New” Eroticisms: Feminist Theory as Transformational in “Aberrant” Sexual Desires and Practices

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Heather Kevill


This paper examines three elements of female sexuality: the clitoral orgasm, lesbianism, and feminist pornography. All three of these elements have traditionally been viewed as deviant in hegemonic discourse. Over the years, feminist theory and practices have transformed (or are transforming) each element from aberrant sites of desire to new modes of feminist knowledges. The female orgasm and lesbian identities were once “new” knowledge within feminism, and now feminist pornography emerges as an entirely reconceptualized way of exploring women’s desires, sexuality, and eroticism. With the aid of Elizabeth’s Grosz’s essay “The Future of Feminist Theory: Dreams for New Knowledges,” this paper demonstrates how feminist theory has served in re-imagining female sexual desires, practices, and identities.