Advertisement

Sexuality & Culture

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 413–425 | Cite as

Shame, Sexual Addiction, and Consumption in American Culture

  • Michelle E. IwenEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

Sexual addiction has risen to the forefront of many popular culture depictions of mental illness. A disorder unrecognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, sex addiction is portrayed in the 2011 film Shame with sensitivity and sophistication, following the downward spiral of protagonist Brandon, as his compulsive acquisition of sex is upset by the arrival of his sister. This film serves to complicate the relationship between sex, the traditional masculine film gaze, and neoliberal cultures of consumption. Using Mulvey’s classic reading of scopophilia, Zizek’s readings on desire in film, and Foucault’s work in Discipline and Punish and The History of Sexuality, Volumes 1 and 2, in addition to psychological studies of pleasure and deviance, I explore the conflation of the ‘eye/I’ of the audience, filmmaker, and the subject.

Keywords

Sex Addiction Gaze Shame DSM-V 

References

  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., text rev.). Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  2. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  3. Autism Speaks. (2014) Answers to frequently asked questions about DSM-5. http://www.autismspeaks.org/dsm-5/faq#why. Accessed March 20, 2014.
  4. Barthes, R., (1998). Image music text (S. Heath, Trans.). New York: Hill and Wang.Google Scholar
  5. Bynum, B. (2002). Discarded diagnoses. The Lancet, 359(9325), 2284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Ebert, R., (2013). Robert Ebert’s Journal. The best films of 2011. 15 December 2011. http://www.rogerebert.com/rogers-journal/the-best-films-of-2011. Accessed March 20, 2014.
  7. Falla, J., (2001). Disorderly consumption and capitalism: The privilege of sex addiction. College Literature. Oral Fixations: Cannibalizing Theories, Consuming Cultures. 28(1):46–63.Google Scholar
  8. Feinberg, S., (2011). ‘Shame’ director Steve McQueen on making his NC-17 sex addiction drama. Hollywood Reporter Online. 12 December 2011. www.hollywoodreporter.com. Accessed November 20, 2012.
  9. Foucault, M., (1985). The history of sexuality: The use of pleasure. Volume 2 (R. Hurley Trans.). New York: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
  10. Foucault, M., (1990). The history of sexuality: An introduction. Volume 1 (R. Hurley, Trans.). New York: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
  11. Foucault, M., (1995). Discipline and punish: The birth of the prison (A. Sheridan, Trans.). New York: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
  12. Giugliano, J. (2003). A psychoanalytic overview of excessive sexual behavior and addiction. Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity, 10, 275–290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Holden, C., (2012). Behavioral addictions debut in proposed DSM-V. Science. 19 February 2010. www.sciencemag.org. Accessed December 2, 2012.
  14. Irvine, J. (1993). Regulated passions: The invention of inhibited sexual desire and sex addiction. Social Text, 37, 203–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Irvine, J. (1995). Reinventing perversion: Sex addiction and cultural anxieties. Journal of the History of Sexuality, 5(3), 429–450.Google Scholar
  16. Kafka, M. (2009). Hypersexual disorder: A proposed diagnosis for DSM-V. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 39, 377–400.Google Scholar
  17. Katehakis, A., (2012). Sex addiction beyond the DSM-V. Psychology Today. 12 December 2012. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sex-lies-trauma/201212/sex-addiction-beyond-the-dsm-v. Accessed March 20, 2014.
  18. Kelland, K., (2014). In the brain, sex addiction looks the same as drug addiction. Reuters. 15 July 2014. http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/07/11/us-britain-study-addiction-idUKKBN0FG21W20140711. Accessed July 17, 2014.
  19. Levine, M. P., & Troiden, R. R. (1988). The myth of sexual compulsivity. Journal of Sex Research, 25(3), 347–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. McQueen, S. (2011). Shame. United States: Fox Searchlight.Google Scholar
  21. Money, J. (2003). History, causality, and sexology. Journal of Sex Research, 40(3), 237–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Mulvey, L. (1999). Visual pleasure and narrative cinema. In L. Braudy & M. Cohen (Eds.), Film theory and criticism: Introductory readings. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Oscars (2014) Nominees for the 86th Academy Awards. http://www.oscars.org/awards/academyawards/86/nominees.html. Accessed March 20, 2014.
  24. Porter, R. (2006). What is disease? In R. Porter (Ed.), The cambridge history of medicine. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Reid, R. C., Carpenter, B., Hook, J. N., Garos, S., Manning, J. C., Gilliland, R., et al. (2012). Report of findings in a DSM-5 field trial for hypersexual disorder. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 9(11), 2868–2877.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Scarry, E. (1985). The body in pain: The making and unmaking of the world. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Singer, L. (1990). Eye/mind/screen: Toward a phenomenology of cinematic scopophilia. The Quarterly Review of Film & Video, 12(3), 51–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Solomons, J., (2012). Artist turned director Steve McQueen on New York, Last Year’s Riots, and why sex addiction is the subject of his latest film. The Observer. 7 January 2012: Web. http://observer.guardian.co.uk/. Accessed November 25, 2012.
  29. Sprenkle, D. H. (1987). Treating a sex addict through marital sex therapy. Family Relations, 36(1), 11–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Walton, A. G., (2012). What effect will changes to the DSM-5 have on people with (and without) mental health issues? Forbes Online. 03 December 2012. www.forbes.com. Accessed December 5, 2012.
  31. Siebers, T. Disability studies and the future of identity politics. In Disability theory. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  32. Zavarzadeh, M. (1991). Pleasure, resistance, and the postmodern. In Seeing films politically. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  33. Zizek, S. (1989). Looking awry. October, 50, 30–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Zizek, S. (2003). The violence of the fantasy. The Communication Review, 6, 275–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Zizek, S. (2013). Camera Shy, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah. The Baffler, 22, 8–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Arizona State UniversityTempeUSA

Personalised recommendations