Accepted Paper:

What is represented to be desired: erotic and sexual interactions and ideals of love of subjects who perform cross-dressing in a sexual exchange club in the city of Barcelona  


Alba Barbé i Serra (Universitat de Barcelona)

Paper short abstract:

This abstract aims to give an overview about the ideals of love and erotic&sexual practices of people who perform cross-dressing, through an ethnography that is located in a sexual exchange club in de city of Barcelona.

Paper long abstract:

Cross-dressing practice often appears associated with the representation and meaning of erotic experiences of the subjects who perform the practice. The fantasies, interactions and sentimental practices are linked with ideals of love that validate the representation of what should be desired. These ideals are based in naturalist criteria of romantic love present in Western societies. In the attractions and interactions that occur between the subjects who perform cross-dressing, and towards them, what is desired doesn't appear through a 'direct representation', but through what is represented to be desired.

Which is the framework around the heteronormative system where the subjects who perform cross-dressing are placed? Which is the link between cross-dressing and the erotic&sexual fantasies? Transphobia affects the conception about ideals of love and the sentimental practices of subjects? Does it affect their conceptions of desire and the sexual practices? Is there a dialogue between the meaning and experience in the cross-dressing practice, with discourses and stigmas that permeate the ideals of romantic love in the social imaginary? What happens when the attraction, the desire or sentimental practice is oriented towards someone who escapes the 'natural rules'? The ideals of love can be 'naturalized'? Finally, the ephemeral temporality of interactions and the lack of continuity ties outside the context of the club, affects sentimental practice?

Panel P02
Love exchange and sentimental circulations: rethinking romantic love (EN-FR)