PrEP, Pedagogy, and the Politics of Barebacking

Edited by Ricky Varghese and afterword by Tim Dean


Raw shows the urgent need to consider condomless sex, as it is illegal for HIV-positive people in many jurisdictions.

RAW addresses the question of sex without condoms, or barebacking, in the age of PrEP, a drug that virtually eliminates the transmission of HIV.

Writing out of the history of the AIDS crisis, the authors in RAW expand the study of barebacking into new areas, such as its appearance within lesbian, heterosexual, and BDSM communities and its implications for teaching critical sexology.

Author Bio

Ricky Varghese has a PhD in sociology of education from the University of Toronto and runs a private practice as a psychotherapist. He lives in Toronto.

Tim Dean is a British philosopher and author, scholar of queer theory, and Professor of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: The Mourning After: Barebacking and Belatedness - Ricky Varghese
  • Part I: Biopolitical Limits
    • 1.            Is the Foreskin a Grave? - Jonathan A. Allan
    • 2.            Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), the “Truvada Whore,” and the New Gay Sexual Revolution - Octavio R. González
    • 3.            Heterosexuality, Men, and Narratives of Virility and Virality - Frank G. Karioris
  • Part II: Bodily Limits
    • 4.            Black Cumjoy: Pleasure and a Racist Virus - Rinaldo Walcott
    • 5.            your blood dazzles m/e: Reading Blood, Sex, and Intimacy in Monique Wittig and Patrick Califia - Elliot Evans
  • Part III: Pornographic Limits
    • 6.            The Return of the Repressed: Visualizing Sex Without Condoms - Evangelos Tziallas
    • 7.            Strange Optimism: Queer Rage as Visceral Ethics - Paul Morris and Susanna Paasonen
    • 8.            “Bodies that Splutter”: Theorizing Jouissance in Bareback and Chemsex Porn - Gareth Longstaff
  • Part IV: Psychoanalytical and Pedagogical Limits
    • 9.            Cross-Dressing Violence: Barebacking as Symbolic Drag - Diego Semerene
    • 10.        Raw Education: PrEP and the Ethics of Updating Sexual Education - Adam J. Greteman
    • 11.        Merely Barebacking - Christien Garcia
  • Afterword, The Raw and the Fucked - Tim Dean


'Queer theory is only valuable if it is unsettling, decentering, even outrageous. Any discussion of the highly controversial issues of barebacking satisfy such demands of queer theory remarkably. These essays challenge unsettled matters of barebacking and challenge us to rethink complex, multilayered questions of contemporary sexual politics.'
David William Foster, Arizona State University

'Finally, queer theory returns to a topic it has had surprisingly little to say about: sex! Varghese’s collection goes where others fear to tread, treating barebacking variously as a subcultural practice, an allegory, and a limit case for thinking, in the wake of the new sexual revolution unleashed by the advent of PrEP. Underpinning these essays is a thrilling wager: that desire demands discourse but resists rationalization.'
Damon R. Young, author of Making Sex Public and Other Cinematic Fantasies

'Opens up the discourse on barebacking to a variety of perspectives and theoretical arguments, and makes clear that the topic remains relevant, unsettled, and shifting in response to a series of changing circumstances that require thinkers to address the latter’s effects on the subject.'
John Paul Ricco, author of The Decision Between Us

'RAW provides an account of the state of queer-theoretical scholarship on barebacking today. It makes a pluralising and distinctive contribution to that body of work, significantly broadening this field of scholarship.'
Oliver Davis, editor of Bareback Sex and Queer Theory Across Three National Contexts

'An important contribution to the debate over barebacking, its meanings and it representations. It combines a range of voices and frameworks ranging from the biopolitical to the pornographic, the embodied to the psychoanalytical. Essential for anyone interested in the politics of sex, sexuality and sexual representation today.'
John Mercer, author of Gay Pornography: Representations of Sexuality and Masculinity


Publication Date: 15 November 2019
300 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781786998538
Hardback: 9781786998521
eBook ePub: 9781786998491
eBook PDF: 9781786998514
eBook Kindle: 9781786998507

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