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“Secret Places, Sexual Spaces: Examining Black Gay Sexual Spatialities”

Authors: Marlon Murtha Bailey*, Arizona State University
Topics: Sexuality, Gender, Social Geography
Keywords: sexual health, Black gay, spatialities, HIV, risk, pleasure
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper examines sexual practices, spaces, and situations in which black gay men engage as a means through which they claim and enact sexual autonomy during this HIV crisis that disproportionately impacts them. Drawing from ethnographic data, this paper discusses how space can be a structural limitation that undermines sexual health for black gay men. Hence, if black gay men have limited access to spaces in which to have sex, let alone engage in stigmatized sexual behavior, particularly in cities in which they live, “secret places and sexual spaces" (or Black gay sexual spatialities) are important sites that enable black gay men to experience heightened sexual pleasure. I argue that heightened sexual pleasure is central to black gay men’s sexual health.

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