‘Sexing Up’ Bodily Aesthetics: Notes towards Theorizing Trans Sexuality

  • Zowie Davy
  • Eliza Steinbock
Part of the Genders and Sexualities in the Social Sciences book series (GSSS)


In this chapter we suggest that the organizing medical concept of ‘transsexuality’ either overtly represses and denies sexuality as a factor in trans experience, or explicitly understands transitioning as originating in a hypersexuality. We track this representation of trans embodiment as a form of excessive sexuality in the pornographic imagination, particularly with regard to the mythic figure of the ‘she-male’ that overshadows the ‘he-female’. Raven Kaldera and Hanne Blank suggest that the damaging impact of medical representations of hypersexuality on the cultural representation of transfolk, results in them being ‘pictured as cardboard cut-outs with improbable anatomy who will fuck and be fucked by anyone, anything, anytime, in any way’ (Blank and Kaldera, 2002: 7). Yet, until recently, erotic material featuring FtMs was non-existent, suggesting an apparent lack of sexual interest. At issue is the dearth of adequate erotic role models in sexually explicit representations as well as the lack of theoretical responsibility towards incorporating analyses of trans sexuality that begin from the transitioning body itself.


Gender Identity Sexual Desire Sexual Identity Aesthetic Experience Lived Experience 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Zowie Davy and Eliza Steinbock 2012

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  • Zowie Davy
  • Eliza Steinbock

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