Homosexual Desire

Book Pages: 160 Illustrations: Published: September 1993

Author: Guy Hocquenghem

Translator: Daniella Dangoor

Contributor(s): Michael Moon, Jeffrey Weeks

Gender and Sexuality > LGBTQ Studies, Politics > Political Theory, Theory and Philosophy

Originally published in 1972 in France, Guy Hocquenghem's Homosexual Desire has become a classic in gay theory. Translated into English for the first time in 1978 and out of print since the early 1980s, this new edition, with an introduction by Michael Moon, will make available this vital and still relevant work to contemporary audiences. Integrating psychoanalytic and Marxist theory, this book describes the social and psychic dynamics of what has come to be called homophobia and on how the "homosexual" as social being has come to be constituted in capitalist society.
Significant as one of the earliest products of the international gay liberation movement, Hocquenghem's work was influenced by the extraordinary energies unleashed by the political upheavals of both the Paris "May Days" of 1968 and the gay and lesbian political rebellions that occurred in cities around the world in the wake of New York's Stonewall riots of June 1969.
Drawing on the theoretical work of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari and on the shattering effects of innumerable gay "comings-out," Hocquenghem critiqued the influential models of the psyche and sexual desire derived from Lacan and Freud. The author also addressed the relation of capitalism to sexualities, the dynamics of anal desire, and the political effects of gay group-identities.
Homosexual Desire remains an exhilarating analysis of capitalist societies' pervasive fascination with, and violent fear of, same-sex desire and addresses issues that continue to be highly charged and productive ones for queer politics.


“This remarkable essay was one of the first efforts to describe the psychological structure of homophobia into which we all were born and which still confine us. It examines, principally from the male perspective, the powerful and insideous ways the dominant heterosexual culture defines and marginalizes gay experience.” — Michael Roberts , Bay Windows

"Homosexual Desire represents the best of left social theory of sexual politics, a tradition that has never had an adequate reception in the United States. Reprinting this book now is a step toward recovering that tradition, and could therefore open debates about the significance of sexuality." — Michael Warner

"Written over two decades ago, in the aftermath of May '68 and Stonewall, Hocquenghem's Homosexual Desire may well be the first example of what we now call queer theory. But its significance is more than historical: it remains an indispensable analysis of, and polemic against, institutionalized homophobia.” — Douglas Crimp


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Guy Hocquenghem (1944-1988) taught philosophy at the University of Vincennes, Paris. He was the author of numerous novels, works of theory, and was a staff writer for the French publication Libération. He was a founding member of le Front Homosexuel d'Action Révolutionnaire (F.H.A.R.). Hocquenghem died of an AIDS-related illness in 1988.

Table of Contents Back to Top
New Introduction / Michael Moon 9

Preface to the 1978 Edition / Jeffrey Weeks 23

1. Introduction 49

2. Anti-Homosexual Paranoia 55

"Unnatural acts": nature and the law 61

A myth: the progress of public morals 62

The strengthening of anti-homosexual paranoia 66

Homosexuality and crime 67

Homosexuality and disease 69

"Latent" and "patent" homosexuality 72

3. "Disgusting perverts" 73

The polymorphously perverse, bisexuality, and non-human sex 74

Hatred of woman 77

The Oedipalisation of homosexuality 79

Castration and narcissism 79

Oedipus or the chromosomes? 82

The homosexual judge 83

Cure: the infernal cycle 86

Homosexuality and shame 88

4. Capitalism, the Family, and the Anus 93

The phallic signifier and the sublimated anus 95

Homosexuality and the anus 97

Homosexuality and the loss of identity 100

The competitive society and the rule of the phallus 103

Oedipal reproduction and homosexuality 106

Homosexual grouping 110

5. Homosexual "object-choice" and Homosexual "Behaviour" 113

The "object-choice" 114

The "third sex" and "masculine-feminine" 121

Masochism and homosexuality 127

The pick-up machine 130

6. The Homosexual Struggle 133

The revolution of desire 133

Why homosexuality? 138

The perverse trap 142

Against the pyramid 145

7. Conclusion 148

Notes 151

Index 155
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Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-1384-7 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-1425-7
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