By Ben Gove
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Additional info for Cruising Culture: Promiscuity and Desire in Contemporary American Gay Culture
Chapter 3, for example, partly considers the overlap between specific cultural factors and more general desires for a paternal substitute within David Wojnarowicz’s sexual fantasies. For the most part, however, the nature reserve analogy is apt, and is useful here for its emphasis on the psychical persistence – alternately avowed and disavowed throughout society – of the polymorphous perversity of infancy and early childhood throughout later life. In the context of promiscuity, this means that whether one is culturally pressured into or happily embraces monogamy (or both occur together), sexual desire – mediated through fantasy – necessarily exceeds its immediate material satisfaction through one regular partner.
102 While lesbian and gay political and cultural organisation was already well-established across the country during the 1960s, the Stonewall riots of June 1969 provided the material and symbolic catalyst for a more consistently radicalised – and hence more unapologetically visible – gay and lesbian movement to amass in urban areas, with national attention focused on New York. ’103 As the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) quickly emerged with its emphasis on revolutionary sociosexual emancipation for all minorities, the outpouring of groups, marches and more informal gatherings reconfigured the largely heterocentric promiscuous ‘sexual revolution’ trumpeted in the preceding decade within homosexual terms: For the first time ever, a community standard developed that transformed anonymous sex into a good thing – another choice on the broadening sexual palatte.
Sondheim and Wheeler, A Little Night Music, pp. 101–2. 41. Phillips, Monogamy, p. 29. 42. Foucault, The History of Sexuality, p. 37. 43. Millett, Sexual Politics, p. 122n. See also Wolf, Promiscuities. 44. Julien and Mercer, ‘True confessions’, p. 171; emphasis added. 45. Fain, ‘Is our “lifestyle” hazardous to our health? Part II,’ p. 19; cited in Weeks, Sexuality and its Discontents, p. 47. 46. Seidman, Romantic Longings, p. 169. 47. Delany, The Motion of Light in Water, p. 354. ’ Here the distinction appears to be between ‘promiscuous sex’ with strangers (usually in public spaces) and ‘social sex’ with known partners, such as his wife and their live-in male lover.