The new sexual technobody

Viagra in the hyperreal world

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This essay, based on the work of Baudrillard and other critical theorists of culture and technology, describes how Viagra and related products are creating not just new standards for men and women's sexual performance, but new forms of 'hypersexual' reality/hyperreal sexuality. Considering television advertisements and framed around metaphors of landscape, Internet 'SPAM' advertisements for sexual performance enhancing products (both mechanical and chemical), and bodybuilding magazine representations of the body and sexuality, it is apparent that sexual expression in these genres is both constrained and yet exceeds its boundaries. Sexuality is represented in these media as heterosexual, penetrative, and never to be imperfect in any way. The body itself, perhaps aging or flawed, is represented as incapable of achieving these ends reliably without pharmaceutical means. I argue that Viagra and other sexual pharmaceuticals are best understood as hyperreal or hypernatural (reflecting Baudrillard's 1994 work, Simulacra and Simulation), as simulacra that bear no relation to 'reality'. Sexual pharmaceutical advertisements refer to an unmedicated imaginary that assumes a unity where there is diversity, and conflates the means and ends of sexual technique.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-344
Number of pages12
JournalSexualities
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2006

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pharmaceutical
sexuality
magazine
performance
metaphor
television
genre
Internet
simulation

Keywords

  • Commodification
  • Hyperreality
  • Sexual pharmaceuticals
  • Simulacra
  • Viagra

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies

Cite this

The new sexual technobody : Viagra in the hyperreal world. / Croissant, Jennifer L.

In: Sexualities, Vol. 9, No. 3, 07.2006, p. 333-344.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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