David Halperin: What is Sex for?
Does sex have any erotic purpose? The greatest philosophers of classical antiquity said no. Halperin examines one of their arguments, which offers a serious challenge to modern interpretations of love, including but not limited to psychoanalytic interpretations, that understand love in sexual terms and that view all erotic desire as an expression of sexuality. He also considers some contemporary gay male writing, which he reads as a singular effort to work through the confusions and the anguish that the modern sexualization of erotic desire has bequeathed to us.
David Halperin is W. H. Auden Distinguished University Professor of the History and Theory of Sexuality at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and currently a Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. He is an American theorist in the fields of sexuality studies, queer theory, and lesbian/gay history and the cofounder of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies. His publications include How to Be Gay (2012), How to Do the History of Homosexuality (2002), and Saint Foucault: Towards a Gay Hagiography (1995).