Session 14: Sex and the everyday

Waiting, negotiating, celebrating: reflections on the everyday sexual lives of religious young adults
Michael Keenan

Examining the pleasures and pains of heterosexual casual sex
Pantea Farvid

Casual sexual encounters have become increasingly visible among heterosexuals and at times there are claims made about its now ‘routine’ status. This paper reported on an inductive thematic analysis exploring 15 heterosexual men and 15 heterosexual women’s talk of (one-off/short-lived) casual sexual encounters. Casual sex inhabited a contradictory discursive terrain, encompassing both ‘pleasures’ and ‘pains’ axes. Four main themes were identified under this central rubric: a) casual sex as thrill; b) casual sex as ego boost; c) casual sex as tricky; d) and casual sex as deficient. The paper examined how this talk constructed casual sex (and sex and sexual relationships in general) as well as masculine and feminine heterosexual identities. It argued that the notion of emotional intimacy is given primacy in sexual relationships, which ultimately constructs casual sex as inferior to sex that occurs in committed and longer-term relationships. The implications of this in relation to the institution of heterosexuality were discussed.

Dr. Panteá Farvid is Lecturer, Department of Psychology, School of Public Health and Psychosocial Studies, Faculty of Health & Environmental Sciences, Auckland University of Technology, Private Bag 92006, Auckland 1142, Aotearoa/New Zealand. She may be contacted on

Military men and displays of masochistic exhibitionism and submission in the therapeutic relationship
Alex Brew

A short video entitled “Notes from a session: Military men and displays of masochistic exhibitionism and
submission in the therapeutic relationship and beyond.” With the video Alex is confronting one horse guard trooper and by extension a whole military and asking – what pathologies in you lead you to this job where submission, obedience, silence and public displays of show are called for? Alex put him into analysis and give him a psychological profile in the way other sections of the community are pathologised – sex workers, benefits scroungers, rioters and single mums.

There was interesting feedback about horses and Freud.

Debating polyamory as research: an auto-ethnographic account of a round tableon polyamory and lesbianism
Daniel Cardoso

Cardoso gave a presentation about how a round-table on polyamory in Portugal was received in the context of a lesbians’ rights’ association, and how activism, empathy, and an ethical concern for the Other seemed to be left out of the questions and issues raised on the round-table, replaced by concerns on micro-management of a seemingly impossible polyamorous everyday life.

Daniel Cardoso may be contacted via or through his website.

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