Queer pleasures: Some thoughts

Nikki Sullivan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Queer praxis is often conceptualized as a creative construction of alternative ways of being; a strategic practice of self-(trans)formation. The practice of queer pleasures constitutes one such mode of possibility. Within this model, queer pleasures represent the threshold of a politics that promises a radical confrontation with inhibiting normalities. Yet by applying political priorities to pleasure, and by incessantly equating pleasure with the sexual, there is a risk of re-establishing hierarchies and conventions, and, moreover, of reinforcing a notion of the subject as self-transparent, autonomous and intentionally motivated. This paper explores some of the dimensions of pleasure that this politics tends to ignore-the trivial, quotidian, accidental, embarrassing, boring, insignificant, mediocre-and asks whether this overlooking is accidental or a structural inevitability. I will explore queer's investment in the politics of pleasure, and speculate about alternatives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-255
Number of pages5
JournalSocial Semiotics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1999


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