Evolution, Bodies and Pleasures, and a Monstrous Queer Future

David Andrew Griffiths
In Volume 2, Issue 1
Special Issue: Bodies

Abstract

This paper considers popular evolutionary narratives in relation to contemporary bodily norms. In particular I situate the idea of a ‘wrong’ use of the body alongside evolutionary theory and queer practices such as S&M and fisting. The idea of a correct sexual use of the body depends upon a heteronormative narrative of evolution. This narrative imbues the body with the history of individual and species development, and implies a future trajectory which is necessarily heterosexual as each individual is charged with the imperative of continuing the human race. This paper problematises this version of evolution and considers how ‘wrong’ uses of the body can produce new queer readings of bodily norms and can call for a different future, a future that could be non-heteronormative, perhaps non-human, even desirably monstrous. By focusing on theories and practices that disrupt the straight lines of evolutionary narratives, the supposedly impermeable borders between individuals and the unproblematic definition of the human subject, I argue that using your body ‘wrongly’ can produce resistant pleasures, pleasures that disrupt the subject’s position within heteronormative narratives, calling for new ways of thinking of bodies, pleasures, communities and futures.

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