Sexuality, Disability, and Aging

Queer Temporalities of the Phallus

Book Pages: 152 Illustrations: Published: January 2019

Author: Jane Gallop

Disability Studies, Gender and Sexuality > Queer Theory, Theory and Philosophy > Psychoanalytic Theory

Drawing on her own experiences with late-onset disability and its impact on her sex life, along with her expertise as a cultural critic, Jane Gallop explores how disability and aging work to undermine one's sense of self. She challenges common conceptions that equate the decline of bodily potential and ability with a permanent and irretrievable loss, arguing that such a loss can be both temporary and positively transformative. With Sexuality, Disability, and Aging, Gallop explores and celebrates how sexuality transforms and becomes more queer in the lives of the no longer young and the no longer able while at the same time demonstrating how disability can generate new forms of sexual fantasy and erotic possibility.


"For Gallop, theory offers solace in the face of life’s difficulties, and the book is often quietly moving. . . . Her use of theory isn’t about blowing up previous thought; it’s about finding consolation, which literature or philosophy is often said to provide." — Jeffrey J. Williams, Chronicle of Higher Education

“Overall, Sexuality, Disability, and Aging presents an insightful yet accessible analysis that combines wide-ranging theoretical work with rich interpretive material to carefully reveal the phallic temporalities that underpin contemporary stereotypes of aging and late-onset disability as sexual decline. The book’s cross-cutting relevance means that it will find productive readership across a wide range of scholars interested in queer, crip, gerontological, literary, feminist, or psychoanalytic theory.”

— Kazuki Yamada, Journal of Bodies, Sexualities, and Masculinities

"An inventive and captivating piece of scholarship. Bolstered by its original findings and the intricate theoretical maneuvers that Gallop makes throughout this text, the book is poised to be a valuable resource for scholars in the fields of queer theory, critical gerontology, and disability studies." — Kyle Christensen, Women's Studies in Communication

"Sexuality, Disability and Aging is a vital read for those interested in disability and sexuality as it contributes to indispensable discussions whilst simultaneously offering an alternative framework with which to aid progression within the field. . . . Gallop has compiled an accomplished text which is forward-thinking, unorthodox and paves the way for further discourse within the realms of disability, and for this, she must be commended." — Bev Pollitt, Disability & Society

"Sexuality, Disability, and Aging is an effective call for re-theorizing the sexual longitudinally. Rather than simply broadening the scholarly conversation on sexuality to include older adults, Gallop is adamant that advancing age and changing bodily potential are transformative. By identifying and challenging normative perceptions of sexuality in later life and for differently abled people, Gallop shows how life continues to be lived sexually throughout the lifespan." — Leah Bush, Age, Culture, Humaniites

“Continuing to experiment brilliantly with what critical writing can be and can do, Jane Gallop brings together her career-long concerns with sexuality and gender and gives them a striking new framing in the context of aging and disability studies. At a moment when feminism itself seems to suffer the disregard to which the ‘old’ are consigned, Gallop invests it with the queerness that she locates in aging and disability as well. The result is a major intellectual event and a thoroughly compelling read.” — Lee Edelman, author of No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive

“The disabling effects of aging are most often conceptualized as decline accompanied by a loss of sexual attraction, desire, and potency. Jane Gallop spectacularly refutes this narrative by insisting on the pleasures of perverse sexuality that refuse the once-and-for-all of castration. She teaches and reminds her readers that disabled people have long since decisively queered sex. Clearly and accessibly written, Sexuality, Disability, and Aging can be taught in undergraduate and graduate classrooms in multiple interdisciplinary fields that range from feminist, queer, and crip studies to courses on first-person life narrative.” — Christina Crosby, author of A Body, Undone: Living On after Great Pain


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Price: $23.95

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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Jane Gallop is Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the author of numerous books, including The Deaths of the Author: Reading and Writing in Time; Living with His Camera; and Feminist Accused of Sexual Harassment, all also published by Duke University Press.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments  1x
Introduction: Theoretical Underpinnings  1
Crip Theory  1
Aging and Queer Temporality  5
Aging and the Phallus  13
The Queer Phallus  20
Anecdotal Theory  25
1. High Heels and Wheelchairs  31
The Story  31
The Ending  36
City Sidewalks  40
Feminism and High Heels  46
Gender and Disability  52
The Phallus in the Wheelchair  58
The Ending (Reprise)  64
2. Post-prostate Sex  67
The Story  67
Strange Temporalities  74
Pre-cum and the Coital Imperative  81
Resisting the Coital Imperative  92
Longitudinal Sexuality  95
Conclusion  103
The Phallus and Its Temporalities  103
Longitudinal Identities  107
Notes  113
Bibliography  127
Index  133
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-0161-4 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-0126-3
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