New Publication Expresses Embodied Asexual Identity as Feminist Performance Art!

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There's a new journal article where the author expresses her embodied asexual identity through a work of feminist literary and poetic performance art. From the introduction:

"In this piece of performative life writing, I evoke the lost narrative of the female asexual, by drawing on Nguyen’s (2015, 469) ‘me-search,’ a methodology that acknowledges ‘the intimacy between myself as subject and the subject of my scholarly work.’ I equally utilise Spry’s (2001) account of performing ethnography, addressing her critique of the academy’s disembodied approach to scholarship, by highlighting ‘the body as a site of scholarly awareness and corporeal literacy’ (2001, 706). Weaving poetic language and critical self-reflexivity, this piece aims to dance around the linearity of academic prose and to enable the elaboration of ‘migratory identities’ (2001, 706). This aim is captured in Spry’s (2001, 708) words: ‘I have learned that heresy is greatly misaligned and, when put to good use, can begin a robust dance of agency in one’s personal/political/professional life.’ Indeed, dance as a metaphor for an alternative vision of female (a)sexualities is key to this piece. I am influenced by Cixous and Clément’s (1986) concept of ‘the feminine libidinal economy,’ which highlights the life-affirming and creative potential of the moving female body in thwarting the death drive of patriarchal structures. It is hoped that the sense of movement evoked will lead to what Spry (2001, 721) refers to as ‘open agency,’ an emerging voice unfettered by patriarchal constraints. This approach is pertinent when considering the narrative of the female ‘asexual,’ which has been reduced to stereotypes of frigidity and chasteness within popular, queer and feminist discourses (Cerankowski and Milks 2014).

Drawing on Ahmed’s (2006) queer phenomenology, where sexuality is viewed as the lived body’s relationship with time and space, this piece seeks to reconceptualise asexuality as a reoriented queer sensibility, with realigned erotic poles from autoeroticism to polyamory. In the process, it seeks to challenge the fixity of identity categories and highlight their inadequacy in narrating the complexities of lived realities. It also seeks to capture embodied moments when identities are in flux, and the sense of becoming these offer. Female (a)sexualities and indeed the category of ‘woman’ can therefore be viewed as dancing processes, which we can continually deconstruct and reconstruct in light of our collective dance."

Sadlier, Aoife. "Evoking the Female 'Asexual': Narrating the Silenced Self." Life Writing 0, no. 0 (2018): 1–23.

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This is my work! :) Thanks for sharing! I also have another article, which further explores my concept of Zorbitality, as a way of reconfiguring asexuality through collective movement, beyond patriarchy and capitalist discourses: 


I'll have an article coming out in 'Sexualities' soon, specifically about Zumba Fitness and its celebration of the asexual and autoerotic body.  Watch this space!

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