Decently transgressing: expressions of female heterosexuality and the discourses of (hetero)sexual pleasure in South Africa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article explores sexual agency and pleasure among heterosexual women in South Africa. By focussing on Tupperware-style sex-toy parties, this article offers a glimpse into a ‘hidden’ world of white, middle-class women living in Johannesburg. What is revealed in this ethnographic account is that these gatherings promise women new ways of enjoying sex, while remaining within the boundaries of heteronormative notions of (hetero)sex. I use the term ‘decently transgressing’ to capture the ways in which the women in this study make sense of their (hetero)sexual selves and how they negotiate their (hetero)sexual agencies, particularly in relation to past and present heteronormative discourses within the South African context. The findings show that there are tensions between women wanting to embrace their own sexual agency and desires, yet at the same time being limited by certain heteronormative norms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)388-406
Number of pages19
JournalSexualities
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

Keywords

  • heteronormativity
  • sex-toy parties
  • Sexual pleasure
  • South Africa
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Anthropology

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Decently transgressing: expressions of female heterosexuality and the discourses of (hetero)sexual pleasure in South Africa'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this