'Sexing Up' Bodily Aesthetics: Notes towards Theorizing Trans Sexuality.




Journal Title

Journal ISSN


Volume Title


Palgrave Macmillan


Book chapter

Peer reviewed



In this chapter we suggest that the organizing medical concept of ‘transsexuality’ either overtly represses and denies sexuality as a factor in trans experience, or explicitly understands transitioning as originating in a hyper-sexuality. We track this representation of trans embodiment as a form of excessive sexuality in the pornographic imagination, particularly with regard to the mythic figure of the ‘she-male’ that overshadows the ‘he-female.’ Raven Kaldera and Hanne Blank suggest that the damaging impact of medical representations of hyper-sexuality on the cultural representation of transfolk, results in them being ‘pictured as cardboard cutouts with improbable anatomy who will fuck and be fucked by anyone, anything, anytime, in any way’ (Blank & Kaldera, 2002: 7). Yet, until recently, erotic material featuring FTMs was nonexistent, suggesting apparent lack of sexual interest. At issue is the lack of adequate erotic role models in sexually explicit representations as well as the lack of theoretical responsibility towards incorporating analyses of trans sexuality that begin from the transitioning body itself. We argue that pornography provides a social space to explore and produce one’s sexual body that allows trans folk to move beyond what is commonly known as heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality and the mainstay of theorizations within both cultural and psychomedical research on trans sexualitites.



Trans sexuality, transgender, affect, erotica, pronography


Davy Z., Steinbock E. (2012) ‘Sexing Up’ Bodily Aesthetics: Notes towards Theorizing Trans Sexuality. In: Hines S., Taylor Y. (eds) Sexualities: Past Reflections, Future Directions. Genders and Sexualities in the Social Sciences. Palgrave Macmillan, London


Research Institute

Institute of Health, Health Policy and Social Care