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Scientia Sexualis and Ars Erotica: Indonesian Young People Resisting the Discourse of Sexual Desire

24 April 2020

Publication date
14 April 2020

Original abstract

Based on a qualitative study conducted with Indonesian young people, this article explores the ways in which the discourse of sexual desire – that constitutes sexual self as categorisable into LGBT+ identities – may be contested in the participants’ sexual becoming. Employing Michel Foucault’s comparison of scientia sexualis (science of sex) and ars erotica (erotic art), participants’ narratives are analysed to explore new possibilities of sexual subjectivity without both categorising into or rejecting LGBT+ subject positions. The findings show that participants have taken up a subject position offered by the discourse of sexual desire, but they simultaneously resisted its scientia sexualis mechanisms by positioning the art of sexual pleasure, rather than specification of desires, at the centre of their becoming sexual subjects.


Wijaya Mulya, T. (2020). Scientia sexualis and ars erotica: Indonesian young people resisting the discourse of sexual desire. Psychology & Sexuality. DOI: 10.1080/19419899.2020.1751250

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sexual desire, sexual subjectivity, young people, Indonesia


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