Queer Barriers: Safer Sex Technologies and the Politics of Risk
Featuring Chris Barcelos (University of Wisconsin Madison)
This talk combines archival and interview-based research with the lens of feminist science studies to interrogate the politics of queer safer sex technologies. Focusing on the use of gloves and dental dams, Barcelos argues that rather than merely preventing the transmission of microbes, these technologies mobilize a particular set of politics surrounding risk and identity. In addition to claiming a space for the legitimacy of queer sex and non-normative bodies, gloves and dams constitute a queer community ethics of care. Nevertheless, their use reifies the containment of queer bodies and the governmentality of safer sex promotion.
Chris Barcelos is assistant professor of gender and women’s studies at the University of Wisconsin Madison who teaches and researches about the politics of race and sexuality in community health.