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discuss how public institutions, spaces, and concerns impact visions of what a “proper” intimate life can look like. For this week’s forum, answer one or both of the following questions using specific examples from the readings:

1. How are alternative or non-normative visions of intimacy challenging or “rewriting” dominant ideas of “intelligible” intimacy?

2. How do seemingly “atypical” spaces of intimacy (dating apps, sex work and transactional intimacy, etc.) reveal complexities of intimacy? How do they compare to conventional lessons on how intimacy “should” work?

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,
.
.
In imac : A Special I
La
e
en Be lan
“I didn’
hink i
o ld
n o
hi
a ” i
he
ec e
epi aph of in imac .
To in ima e i
o comm nica e
i h he pa e
of ign and ge
e , and
a i
oo in imac ha
he
ali
of elo ence and b e i . B
in imac
al o in ol e an a pi a ion fo a na a i e abo
ome hing ha ed, a
o
abo
bo h one elf and o he
ha
ill
n o
in a pa ic la
a . U all , hi
o
i
e
i hin one of familia i
and comfo : f iend hip,
he co ple, and he famil fo m, anima ed b e p e i e and emancipa ing kind of lo e. Ye
he in a dne
of he in ima e i me b a co eponding p blicne . People con en
o
hei de i e fo “a life” o
in i
ion of in imac ; and i i hoped ha
he ela ion fo med
i hin
ho e f ame
ill
n o
bea
if ll , la
ing o e
he long d
hap
a ion, pe –
ac o
gene a ion .
Thi
ie
of “a life” ha
nfold in ac
i hin he in ima e phe e
ep e e , of co
e, ano he fac abo
i : he na oidable
o ble , he
di
ac ion and di
p ion
ha make hing
n o
in np edic ed
cena io . Romance and f iend hip ine i abl mee
he in abili ie of e ali , mone , e pec a ion, and e ha
ion, p od cing, a
he e
eme,
mo al d ama of e
angemen and be a al, along
i h e ible pecacle of neglec and iolence e en
he e de i e, pe hap , end e . Since
he ea l
en ie h cen
he e
ong ambi alence
i hin he in ima e
phe e ha e been eco ded b p olife a ing fo m of he ape ic p blici . A p e en , in he U.S., he ap
a
a e
he cene of in imac , f om
C i ical In
? 1998 b
i
24 (Win e
The Uni e
i
1998)
of Chicago. 0093-1896/98/2402-0001$02.00. All
igh
e e
ed.
281
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282 La
en Be lan In imac : A Special I
e
p
choanal i and
el e- ep g o p o gi l alk, alk ho , and o he
i ne ing gen e .
J i p dence ha al o aken on a he ape ic f nc ion in hi domain, no abl a i adicall
eca
in e p e a ion of e pon ibili
in
ca e of ma i al and child ab
e. B
i i
e
al ha a
men
ha
emain
he mo
con o e ial of he e change . The eme gence of e al ha a men la a a emed fo
he n an ed e ali a ion of in i
ional
pace
a kl ma k
he amne ia a o nd hich de i e’ op imi m and i
hle ne con e ge. Again and again, e ee ho ha d i i
o adj dica e he no m of a p blic o ld hen i i al o an in ima e one, e peciall
he e he mi ed- p in
men al and affec i e ela ion of collegiali
a e conce ned.
The e ela ion be
een de i e and he ap , hich ha e become ine nal o he mode n, ma -media ed en e of in imac , ell
ome hing
el e abo
i : in imac b ild
o ld ; i c ea e pace and
p place
mean fo o he kind of ela ion. I
po en ial fail e o
abili e clo ene al a
ha n
i
pe i en ac i i , making he e
a achmen
deemed o b
i
e
“a life” eem in a
. E en f om hi
ha
i
all
mall cl
no one kno
ho
e
a e of con
an if la en
lne abil-
of e ample and cene i become clea
o do in imac ; ha e e
one feel e pe
abo
i (a lea abo
o he people’ di a e ); and ha ma fa cina ion
i h he agg e ion, incohe ence,
lne abili , and ambi alence a
he
cene of de i e omeho e cala e he demand fo
he
adi ional p omi e
of in ima e happine
o be f lfilled in e e one’ e e da life.
The in en i ie of he e m l iple domain indeed de igna e in imac
a a pecial i
e. Thi n mbe of C i ical In i
ake on a a p oblem
ho
o a ic la e he a
he
opian, op imi maining e ion of
in imac mee
he no ma i e p ac ice , fan a ie , in i
ion , and ideologie ha o gani e people’
o ld . The e a
ga he ed he e, ho e ca e
a e e man di cipline and domain , a
idel in he c i ical and
he o ical egi e
in hich he
ep e en
he con in i ie and di con in i ie
i hin he in ima e field, looking a
hei pa ic la impac on
he ca ego i a ion of e pe ience and
bjec i i . The
eek o nde and he pedagogie ha enco age people o iden if ha ing a life i h
ha ing an in ima e life. The
ack he p oce e b
hich in ima e li e
ab o b and epel he he o ic , la , e hic , and ideologie of he hegemonic p blic phe e, b
al o pe onali e he effec of he p blic phe e
La en Be lan , a coedi o of C i ical In i , eache Engli h a
he
Uni e i
of Chicago. She i he a ho of The Q een of Ame ica Goe o
Wa hing on Ci : E a
on Se and Ci i en hip (1997) and The Ana om
ional Fan a : Ha ho ne, U opia, and E e da Life (1991).
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of Na-
C i ical In
and ep od ce a fan a
life: he
ha p i a e life i
i
Win e 1998 283
he eal in con
eal, he el e he e, he fallen, he i
a
o collec i e
ele an . Ho
can
e
hink abo
he a
a achmen make people p blic, p od cing an pe onal iden i ie and bjec i i ie , hen ho e a achmen come f om
i hin pace a a ied a ho e of dome ic in imac , a e polic , and
ma -media ed e pe ience of in en el di
p i e c i e ? And ha ha e
he e fo ma i e enco n e
o do
ali ed e en ,
ake place on he
a
,a
hich migh
o k, b
a el
i h he effec
egi e a an
of o he , le
in i
ion-
ee , on he phone, in fan-
hing b
e id e? In imac
name
he enigma of hi ange of a achmen , and mo e; and i po e a e ion of cale ha link he in abili
of indi id al li e o he ajec o ie
of he collec i e.
A ela ed aim of hi ef aming of in imac i h
o engage and
di able a p e alen U.S. di co
e on he p ope
ela ion be een p blic
and p i a e, pace
adi ionall a ocia ed i h he gende ed di i ion of
labo . The e ca ego ie a e con ide ed b man
chola
o be a chaic
fo ma ion , legacie of a Vic o ian fan a
ha he o ld can be di ided
in o a con ollable pace ( he p i a e-affec i e) and an ncon ollable one
( he p blic-in
men al). Fan a , ho e e , ma
nde de c ibe he conin ing a
ac ion of he a achmen o hi di i ion beca e he di co
e
o ld de c ibed b
he p blic and he p i a e ha , hi o icall , o gani ed
and j
ified o he legall and con en ionall ba ed fo m of ocial di iion (male and female, o k and famil , coloni e and coloni ed, f iend
and lo e , he e o and homo, ” nma ked” pe onhood e
acial-, e hnic-, and cla -ma ked iden i ie ). A imple bo nda
can e e be a e and
make he o ld in elligible; he aken-fo -g an edne of pa ial a onomie like p blic and p i a e make hi cl
e of a onomic a ocia ion
in o fac
i hin o dina
bjec i i
a
ell. Thi chain of di a ocia ion
p o ide one a of concei ing h
o man in i
ion no
all a ocia ed i h feeling can be ead a in i
ion of in imac .
The e i a hi o
o he ad en of in imac a a p blic mode of idenifica ion and elf-de elopmen , o hich I can all de onl b iefl he e.
J i gen Habe ma ha a g ed ha he bo geoi idea of a p blic phe e
elied on he eme gence of a mode of c i ical p blic di co
e ha fo m la ed and ep e en ed a p blic’ in e e
i hin ci il ocie
again
he
a e.’ The de elopmen of c i ical p blicne depended on he e panion of cla -mi ed emifo mal in i
ion like he alon and he caf6,
ci c la ing p in media, and ind
ial capi ali m; he no ion of he democ a ic p blic phe e h
made collec i e in imac a p blic and ocial
ideal, one of f ndamen al poli ical in e e . Wi ho
i he p blic’ ole a
c i ic co ld no be e
1. See Ji
abli hed.
gen Habe ma , The S
in o a Ca ego
of Bo
b idge, Ma ., 1989).
geoi Socie
c
,
al T an fo ma ion of he P blic Sphe e: An In
an . Thoma B
ge
and F ede ick La
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i
ence (Cam-
284 La
en Be lan In imac : A Special I
e
Pe on
e e o be p epa ed fo hei c i ical ocial f nc ion in ha
Habe ma call he in ima e phe e of dome ici , he e he
o ld
lea n ( a , f om no el and ne pape ) o e pe ience hei in e nal li e
hea icall , a ho gh o ien ed o a d an a dience. Thi i o a
ha
libe al ocie
a fo nded on he mig a ion of in imac e pec a ion
be een he p blic and he dome ic. B if he eme gence and e panion of in i
ion ha gene a ed an in imac in hich people pa icipa ed ac i el
e e een o be c cial o he democ a ic poli , in i
ion
ha p od ced collec i e e pe ience, like cinema and o he en e ainmen fo m , came o mi
he c i ical demand of democ a ic c l
e
i h he de i e fo en e ainmen aken fo plea
e. Since he non aional and nonin i
ionall inde ed a pec of he in ima e had been
( heo e icall ) bani hed f om legi ima e democ a ic p blicne , plea
ekno ledge c ea e p oblem fo he no ional a ionali
i h hich collec i e c i ical con cio ne i
ppo ed o p oceed. Thi de elopmen ,
along i h he e pan ion of mino i i ed p blic ha e i o a e denied
ni e
ali
collec i e in imac
e pec a ion , ha m ch complica ed
he po ibili
of (and e en he e hic of he de i e fo ) a gene al ma c i ical p blic phe e deemed o be c l
all and poli icall in ima e i h
i elf.2
Fo in imac
efe
o mo e han ha
hich ake place i hin he
p
ie of in i ion , he a e, and an ideal of p blicne . Wha if e
a i eme ge f om m ch mo e mobile p oce e of a achmen ? While
he fan a ie a ocia ed i h in imac
all end p occ p ing he pace
of con en ion, in p ac ice he d i e o a d i i a kind of ild hing ha
i no nece a il o gani ed ha
a , o an
a .3 I can be po able, na –
ached o a conc e e pace: a d i e ha c ea e pace a o nd i h o gh
p ac ice . The kind of connec ion ha impac on people, and on hich
he depend fo li ing (if no “a life”), do no al a
e pec he p edic able fo m : na ion and ci i en , ch che and he fai hf l, o ke a
o k,
i e and eade , memo i e of ong , people ho alk dog
o
im a he ame ime each da , fe i hi
and hei objec , eache
and
den , e ial lo e , po
lo e , li ene
o oice
ho e plain
hing manageabl (on he adio, a confe ence , on ele i ion c een ,
2. See O ka Neg and Ale ande Kl ge, P blic Sphe e and E pe ience: To a d an Anal i
of he Bo geoi and P ole a ian P blic Sphe e, an . Pe e Laban l, Jamie Daniel, and A enka
Ok iloff (Minneapoli , 1993). See al o Mi iam Han en, fo
a d o Neg and Kl ge, P blic
Sphe e and E pe ience, pp. i – li and Babel and Bab lon: Spec a o hip in Ame ican Silen Film
(Camb idge, Ma ., 1991). Fo a po e f l medi a ion on he con adic ion be
ncon cio
Pe
een he
d i e o a d omnipo ence and he p ojec of democ ac , ee Joel Whi ebook,
e ion and U opia: A S d in P
choanal
i and C i ical Theo
(Camb idge, Ma ., 1995).
3. Fo ca l ‘
o k on ecogni ing he m l iplici of ela ion engende ed a e e
momen b e ali ha been cen al o hi p ojec . See, fo e ample, Michel Fo ca l ,
“F iend hip a a Wa of Life” and “Se , Po e , and he Poli ic of Iden i ,” in E hic : S bjeci i and T
h, ed. Pa l Rabino (Ne Yo k, 1997), pp. 135-40, 163-73.
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C i ical In
i
Win e 1998 285
on line, in he ap ), fan and celeb i ie -I (o
o ) co ld go on.4 The e
pace a e p od ced ela ionall ; people and/in in i
ion can e
n
epea edl
o hem and p od ce ome hing, ho gh f e en l no hi o
in i o dina , memo able, o
alo i ed en e, and no al a
” omehing” of po i i e al e.5
In imac
een in hi p eading a doe gene a e an ae he ic, an
ae he ic of a achmen , b no ine i able fo m o feeling a e a ached
o i .6 Thi i
he e no ma i e ideologie come in, hen ce ain “e p e –
i e” ela ion a e p omo ed ac o
p blic and p i a e domain -lo e,
comm ni , pa io i m- hile o he ela ion , mo i a ed, a , b
he “appe i e ,” a e di c edi ed o impl neglec ed. Con adic o
de i e ma k
he in imac of dail life: people an o be bo h o e helmed and omnipo en , ca ing and agg e i e, kno n and incogni o. The e pola ene –
gie ge pla ed o
in he in ima e one of e e
da
life and can be
ecogni ed in p choanal i , e mainl
he a e een no a in imac b
a a dange o i . Like i e, de i e fo in imac
ha b pa
he co ple o
he life na a i e i gene a e ha e no al e na i e plo , le alone fe la
and able pace of c l
e in hich o cla if and o c l i a e hem.
Wha happen o he ene g of a achmen
hen i ha no de igna ed
place?7′ To he glance , ge
e , enco n e , collabo a ion , o fan a ie
ha ha e no canon? A
i h mino li e a
e , mino in imacie ha e
been fo ced o de elop ae he ic of he e
eme o p h he e pace
in o being b
a of mall and g and ge
e ;8 he i h fo no malc
e e
he e hea d he e da , oiced b mino i i ed bjec , of en e p e e a i h no o ha e o p h o ha d in o de o ha e “a life.” To
4. Man of he e ho gh abo
he ci c la ion of in imac
h o gh o ie and enco n e
ha ha e impac eme ged in con e a ion
i h Ka ie S e a . See Ka hleen S e a
, A Space on he Side of he Road: C l
al Poe ic in an “O he “Ame ica (P ince on, N.J., 1996).
5. On he an fo ma ional po ibili ie of he ome hing ha hold a place open fo
nfo e een change , ee La en Be lan , “’68, o Some hing,” C i ical In i
21 (Fall 1994):
124-55. Fo mo e on ome official and pop la con e
of con empo a
U.S. in imac
poli ic , ee Be lan , The Q een of Ame ica Goe
o Wa hing on Ci
(D ham, N.C., 1997) and “Femini m and he In i
Re ea ch, ed. E. Ann Kaplan and Geo ge Le ine (Ne
6. I ha e lea ned o hink abo
eading Jac
e plo ed he
eline Ro e,
ho e
he an ifo mali
o k ince Se
:E a
on Se and Ci i en hip
ion of In imac ,” in The Poli ic of
B n ick, N.J., 1997), pp. 143-61.
ali
endencie of he in ima e f om
in he Field of Vi ion (London, 1986) ha
ne en ci c la ion of de i e h o gh lang age in man
e ali , p choanal
bili
in hich fan a
i , li e a
e, famil , and na ion . She ho
i co ched lead o an ine i able fail e o
domain -cinema,
ho
he ling i ic in aabili e de i e in iden i ,
a co n e ailing de i e b domina ing
c
e o di a o o demoni e ha in abili ,
and, none hele , he ongoing ca ee of de i e ha p he apa
he e
f ame ha o gani e i . See e peciall Ro e, The Ha n ing of S l ia Pla h (Camb idge, Ma ., 1991) and S a e
of Fan a
(Ne Yo k, 1996).
7. Fo an elabo a e an e
o hi
e ion, ee E e Ko of k Sedg ick, “A Poem I
Being W i en,” Tendencie (D ham, 1993), pp. 177-214.
8. See Gille Dele e and Feli G a a i, “Wha I a Mino Li e a
e?” an . Dana
Polan, in O
The e: Ma ginali a ion and Con empo a
C l
e , ed. R
ell Fe g
(Camb idge, Ma ., 1990), pp. 59-69. See al o Be lan , “’68, o Some hing.”
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on e al.
286 La
en Be lan In imac : A Special I
e
li e a if h ea ening con e
a e me el el e he e migh
ell ne
ali e
he gho l image of one’ o n ocial nega i i ; and he con an ene g
of p blic elf-p o ec i ene can be blima ed in o pe onal ela ion of
pa ion, ca e, and good in en ion.9 The e a e good ea on fo hi a pia ion. Dome ic p i ac can feel like a con ollable pace, a o ld of poen ial nconflic edne (e en fo fi e min e a da ): a o ld b il fo
o . I ma
eem of a manageable cale and pacing; a be , i make
i ible he effec of one’ agenc , con cio ne , and in en ion. Thi lead
o ano he ea on he co ple fo m and i
pinoff o effec i el
iphon
off c i ical ho gh abo
he pe onal and he poli ical: o ef e he
ma
a ional na a i e of “a life” o ld e i e a conf on a ion i h ano he idea, ha ocial fo ce and p oblem of li ing ha eem no abo
he p i a e ” o ” a e, none hele , cen al o he hape of o
o .’0
I lea ned o hink abo
he e e ion in he con e
of femini /
ee pedagog ; and ho man
ime ha e I a ked m o n
den
o
e plain
h ,
hen he e a e o man
people, onl
one plo co n
a
“life” (fi
come lo e, hen … )? Tho e ho don’ o can’ find hei
a
in ha
o – he ee , he ingle, he ome hing el e-can become o
ea il
nimaginable, e en of en o hem el e . Ye i i ha d no o ee
l ing abo e e
he e he de i
and he amp a ion ha come f om
a emp
o fi in o he fold; mean hile, a lo of o ld-b ilding ene g
a ophie . Re hinking in imac call o no onl fo ede c ip ion b
fo
an fo ma i e anal e of he he o ical and ma e ial condi ion ha
enable hegemonic fan a ie o h i e in he mind and on he bodie of
bjec
hile, a he ame ime, a achmen a e de eloping ha migh
edi ec he diffe en o e aken b hi o
and biog aph . To e hink
in imac i o app ai e ho
e ha e been and ho
e li e and ho
e
migh imagine li e ha make mo e en e han he one o man a e
li ing.
Fo in imac onl a el make en e of hing . People alk abo
he
de i e fo i and he fea of i , b i he “i ” impl commi men ? In i
in an ia ion a de i e, i de abili e he e
hing ha in i ion of
in imac a e c ea ed o
abili e; and people a e con an l
p i ed
abo
hi . Thi ba ic di a o al i
ppo ed b he cen ali of in imaion o in imac . Con en ionall , in i e p e ion h o gh lang age, in imac elie hea il on he hif ing egi e of n poken ambi alence. I
i in e fe ed i h b me adi co e ( ela ion hip alk) and p efe
he
calm of in e nal p e
e, he aken-fo -g an edne of he feeling ha
9. Fo a
ong eading of he a ” he e ima e” ( he ejec ed, p ojec ed o b
ne e f ll lo objec of elf-iden i ) can ake on na a i e hape and in en i , ee Joan
Copjec, Read M De i e: Lacan again
he Hi o ici
(Camb idge, Ma ., 1995), pp. 117-39.
10. Fo a mode of ocial heo
ha he o icall and anal icall link he po ibili
of conc e e j ice o a adical nde anding of he a people a e poli icall (di )po e ed b
o ie , ee Pa icia J. William , The Alchem of Race and Righ : Dia
of a La
P ofe –
o (Camb idge, Ma ., 1991).
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C i ical In
i
Win e 1998 287
he e o ld be a flo ing ei e a ion he e he in ima e i . Th
hen
f iend o lo e
an o alk abo ” he ela ion hip”; hen ci i en feel
ha he na ion’ con en ed- o ali ie a e hif ing a a ; hen ne
eade o ho
of ele i ion ho
bo o of hei ag eemen o eca
he
o ld in comfo ing a ; hen people of appa en l diffe en ace and
cla e find hem el e in lo , c o ded ele a o ; o
hen
den and
anal and feel ddenl mi
f l of he con e
in o hich he ha e
en e ed in o de o change, b no
a ma icall , in imac
e eal i elf
o be a ela ion a ocia ed i h aci fan a ie , aci
le , and aci obligaion o emain np oblema ic. We no ice i
hen ome hing abo i
ake on a cha ge, o ha he in imac become ome hing el e, an “i –
e”- ome hing ha
e
i e anal
ic elo
ence. I become ha de
o
ee he p e mp ion o e en he de i e fo
able aci ne i elf a a p oblem ha ep od ce panic in he in ima e field.
The e c i e a e no j
pe onal. When a e , pop la ion , o pe on en e ha hei defini ion of he eal i nde h ea ; hen he
no ma i e ela
be een pe onal and collec i e e hic become f a ed
and e po ed; and hen adi ional i e of plea
e and p ofi eem o
ge ” aken a a ” b
he poli ical ac ion of bo dina ed g o p , a en e
of an ie
ill be pe a i el fel abo
ho
o de e mine e pon ibili
fo he di
p ion of hegemonic comfo . Thi nea e n e le ocial and
poli ical ela ion be een, i hin, and among man people, na ion , and
pop la ion , e peciall fo me l
o e eign one . Va io kind of ha e
c ime, bi e ne , and “comedic” a i e f e en l en e.
In pa ic la , ac o
he globe challenge o he p blic/p i a e a onom f om femini , an ihomophobic, an i aci , and an ipo e
mo e-
men
ha e been e pe ienced a an i
p ion of he mo
ac ed and
a ional fo m of in ima e in elligibili , a cancelling o
of indi id al and
collec i e de inie , an impedimen o na a i i
and he f
e i elf.
Wha kind of (collec i e, pe onal) a ho i , e pe i e, en ailmen , and
memo
can be ppo ed, and ha kind of (collec i e, pe onal) f
e
can be imagined if, fo e ample, e ali
i no longe bo nd o i na ai e, doe no lead o abili ing ome hing, ome hing in i
ional (like
pa ia chal familie o o he kind of ep od c ion ha p op p he f e of pe on and na ion ); if ci i en and o ke a e no longe c ea ed
b familie and he in i
ion of loco pa en i , namel , chool and eligion ; if (beca e of AIDS, globall high mo ali
a e among na ional
mino i ie , en i onmen al o in , i len
an na ional e ploi a ion, ongoing mili a
and a a ion genocide , and o he ongoing o ce of
de
c ion) a gene a ion i no longe defined b p oc ea ional ch onolog , b
ma ked b
a ma and dea h? The immediac of a ma i ala
en al, b
i i a likel
o be a ma -media ed e en , an e en of
hea a and po fac o i ne ing, a i i o be a di ec blo
o he bod ;
and e can ee f om a ma’ c
en p e alence a an occa ion fo e imon ho
hocking i i
hen an in ima e ela ion i anima ed b
hee
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288 La
en Be lan In imac : A Special I
e
de a a ion. In imac
a
ppo ed o be abo op imi m, emembe ?
B i i al o fo med a o nd h ea
o he image of he o ld i eek
o
ain.
Thi
pecial i
mani ie and h mani
e eek
o f
he
ic ocial cience abo
ongoing con e
he mode of a
a ion in he h achmen
ha make pe on p blic and collec i e and ha make collec i e cene
in ima e pace . The e a
o follo begin o ca alog ome of in imac ‘
no m , fo m , and c ime : ho p blic in i
ion
e i
e of in ima e
life o no mali e pa ic la fo m of kno ledge and p ac ice and o c ea e
complian
bjec
(Poo e , G a on, Po inelli, Wa ne and Be lan ); ho
di co
e of e al
ffe ing o
a ma ha e o magne i ed c i e in a
hole e
of
ela ed field
ha
o ie of
he in ima e ha e become in epa-
able f om, fo e ample,
o ie abo
ci i en hip, capi ali m, ae he ic
fo m , poli ical iolence, and he
i ing of hi o
(Hancha d, Bo m,
He
og, Kipni , Poo e , Vogle , Po inelli, Wa ne
and Be lan ); ho
people become
p i ed b
he a
o dina
e change become in en ified pe fo mance of m
ali
and g o nded b
he cen ali
of i ali ed lang age fo in imac (Sedg ick, Feld, Vogle , Kipni ); ho memo
o k
o c ea e po able cene
ha
emind one of pa
in imacie and
pe fo m hei
ange eappea ance in n
al pace (Bo m, He og,
Po inelli, Sedg ick, Feld) and
al one (Sn de and Le in k ).
The o k of hi ” pecial i
e” i no fini hed, no b a long ho .
The ici i de of edi ing and deadline lea e me longing fo mo e ca e ,
mo e na a i e , mo e a emp
o b ing o e p e ion he a
a achmen
make o ld and o ld-changing fan a ie , b ibe people o li e
ha ho ld be nli able ela ion of domina ion and iolence, and o
on. The e i nei he p choanal icall ba ed e plo a ion in hi i
e,
no
o k on cinema, ele i ion, li e a
e, o le globali ed media, like
amp o ine ; and i gene al p e en ne and foc on no ma i i
gge o he place ha f
e o k migh go. B
I ho ld op he e.
In od c ion a e cap ion o he image a e
make , and like Joel Sn de , ho c a ed La a Le in k ‘ pho o b
an ed o cap ion hem
onl minimall , I an ed o cha
he p ojec fo
o
i ho
o e in e p e ing he
o k ha follo
. In an
ca e, le me hank m
ha d- o king
a ho and p od ce he e; he edi o on he ma head ho e ie ed
man e a
i h me; he f iend , a ho , and colleag e
ho ead he
in od c ion (Bill B o n, La a Kipni , Be h Po inelli, Roge Ro e, Kaie S e a , Candace Vogle , Michael Wa ne , Li a Wedeen); and Ja William , Ae on H n , Jennife Pe e on, Za ena A lami, and Neda Ulab ,
ho did he ha d edi o ial o k of ac all p
ing he i
e oge he .
Thank al o o Allan Sek la fo pe mi ion o e hi image on he co e .
Finall , ho ld an
eade be in e e ed in bmi ing o CI o k ela ed
o hi in imac p ojec , he
ho ld flag i a
ch. Then, pe hap , e
can look fo a d o cl
e of in imac in f
e i
e .
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BuyingandSellingthe “GirlfriendExperience” ‘b-:L
0 T
9
Buying
andSelling
the
“Girlfriend
Experience” .
TheSocialandSubjective
Contours
ofMarket
Intimacy
Elizabeth Bernstein
In the back room of a discreetly furnished apartment in a quiet San Francisco neighborhood, I am sitting on a brown leather so~ talking with Amanda, who
has just said good-bye ro the day’s first customer. We drink te.1..1srhe early afternoon
sunshine streams into the room, illuminadng many overstuffed bo~l~cases: an exercise bicycle, and Amanda herself-a slender woman in her lare thirnes with d~rk
hair and serious eyes. Smiling slighdy, she shrugs when I ask her how the session
with her client wern.
Actlta!ly, I spent mosr of rhe rime giving him a backrub, and we ~!so spenr a
lot of time talking before we had sex. In the end, we went over [time] by ;lb?ut
seven minutes ….
You know it’s really funny to me when people say that Im
sel!ing my body. Of all rhe work I’ve done, this isn’t abusive tom! body. Most
f my clients are computer industry workers-about
half. Sometimes I ask
0
myself: what about their bodies? 1hese men spend 40 homs a week hunch~d
over a desk. They live alone, eat alone, drive to work alone. Other than seemg
me, they don’t seem to even have rime for a social life.
Amanda goes on to explain that today’s client ~as a_rna.~keting :xecutive for a
prominent Silicon Valley software company. ‘This chenr
a regular, someone she
has seen before, who bas often complained to her chat he ts overworked a_n
1e
priva
in
‘ die market
of sext~1liq-and
l.
1 movemcms rhe neighlar to those or earlier mo.al rcfom

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~rorjn~ion. ‘tar is.Strsikingl)Sillli
.
view
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Franc
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