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Unlimited Intimacy: Reflections on the Subculture of Barebacking

3.9 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0226139395
ISBN-10: 0226139395
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  • Unlimited Intimacy: Reflections on the Subculture of Barebacking
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Total price: $61.26
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"An academic but insightful look at the evolution and meaning of barebacking in gay culture. Dean . . . does not make any social arguments about barebacking but rather looks at the surrounding subculture from an anthropological standpoint, attempting to unravel the point of view, motivations, and interests of its inhabitants. A smart unbiased read for anyone seeking greater understanding of the phenomenon."
(Advocate.com)

 “Unlimited Intimacy is novel, fascinating, insightful, and courageous. Tim Dean convincingly argues that confronting head-on a sexual subculture that is alien to most readers, and understanding the fantasies that propel it, is a very good way of stimulating thought—not only about that subculture, but about one’s own choices and behavior and about the general social process of demonizing and pathologizing certain sexual practices.”--Martha C. Nussbaum, University of Chicago
(Martha Nussbaum)

“This is a serious and intelligent study that aims to provoke, challenge, anger and stimulate debate. . . . There is much to fascinate and learn from this insider’s account of an outsider’s culture.”

(Times Higher Education)

"Dean eschews a soft-touch approach in favor of diving right into his subject matter without reservations. He rarely shies away from the controversial or the incendiary. . . . Definitely not for the squeamish, Dean's non-judgmental analysis remains an important report on a risky yet seductive sex practice."
(Jim Piechota Bay Area Reporter)

"Dean provides fascinating insights about barebacking and its relation to kinship, marriage, cultural visibility, and fetishism. This academically courageous book offers an intellectual challenge to those interested in psychology, sociology, human sexuality, and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Studies."
(Choice)

About the Author

Tim Dean is professor of English and director of the Humanities Institute at the University at Buffalo. He is the author or editor of several books, including Beyond Sexuality, also published by the University of Chicago Press.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press (June 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226139395
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226139395
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #589,531 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is a (beautifully written) exploration of some of the meanings that characterize barebacking culture. I especially enjoyed the analysis of barebacking porn, where Dean manages to interpret and probe some of the more obscure representation and desires that animate this genre. Dean is largely non-judgemental of this subculture, which is so refreshing, and he manages to explore some things that empirical HIV social science generally won't go near or touch, just because people aren't quite as articulate in qualitative interviews as their unconscious is imaginative. At the same time, I feel like Dean is occasionally at risk of collapsing the meanings surrounding unprotected sex into a coherent, unitary set of meanings, when surely there are a whole range of reasons for the practice in different contexts, not all of them about building some sort of non-normative gay brotherhood! The latter interpretation sure is imaginative, but as much a fantasy sustained by the author's readings as anything actually 'there' in the subculture. I really enjoyed the read anyhow.
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By ski bum on September 25, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tim Dean's "Unlimited Intimacy" is a fascinating and provocative piece of work. It is disturbing but asks the reader to reflect on one's disturbance with a Foucaldian sensibility, i.e. to reflect on how regulatory systems create what disturbs us. Maintaining a balancing act between trying to look at barebacking from inside the subculture, without passing judgement either for or against, he challenges the reader to traverse both the unconscious and subversive thrusts of barebacking culture to create a sexual kinship system that takes back male homosexuality from the effects of AIDS, and the cultural imperative to avoid risk, especially health risks, despite the cost of sacrificing one's relationship to pleasure. It also is an encyclopedic reference book on multiple aspects of contemporary gay culture.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've a problem with the way the content is presented, as if it was the last word when it's basically an opinion, which makes it difficult to enjoy reading. Still as the subject gains mainstream popularity, it is highly recommended.
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By Dan B. on February 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
Unlimited Intimacy (UI) is entirely unprecedented in its courage and candor. Though provocative in so many ways, starting with its cover and title, UI is most provocative as a sharply and carefully reasoned discussion of many current topics that are clinically, theoretically, and politically charged, including issues of cruising, pornography, gay marriage, and community most broadly. Briskly written and stunningly smart and wide-ranging, UI embodies a resolutely analytic stance in its efforts to frankly say what people actually do, not just rush to interpret them, and to think out loud about difficult issues that cannot continue to be avoided. UI has immediately joined Dean's other 2 key texts, Beyond Sexuality, and, Homosexuality & Psychoanalysis, in the essential canon of queer theory. It is inconceivable that anyone could write again about psychoanalysis, gender, and sexuality without taking UI and Dean's other groundbreaking work into account.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It remains controversial, but a highly stimulating read about the nature and attraction of bareback sex and the fetish of HIV.
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