Eliza Steinbock
'Sexing Up’ Bodily Aesthetics: Notes towards Theorizing Trans Sexuality
– Sexualities: Past Reflections and Future Directions (With Z. Davy)
book chapter 2012


We attempt to adhere to Sandy Stone’s (2006 [1991]) call for rendering a wider ‘spectra of desire’ through theorization that seeks to illuminate trans desire. Inspired by Stone’s manifesto, our method is to foreground transsexual and transgendering practices as invocations of sexual dissonance from the disciplines of psychiatry and sexology (psychosexology from now on). In analyzing the dissonances emerging from the sexual practices within the genre of trans pornography, we wish to undermine monological accounts and contribute to transgender studies’ heteroglossic accounts of desire, eroticism and sexuality. Our aim is to access the affects of aesthetic experiences of transpeople and their intimate partners. We privilege affects of transitioning over feeling because, as Bonta and Protevi note, affect involves ‘the capacity to become’ (2004: 50), whereas feeling consists in the coding and stabilizing of being (Crawford, 2008). Hence, following Crawford we argue that trans bodily aesthetics may operate in such a way that the affects of transitioning do not have to add up to a ‘fully formed and settled subject’ (Crawford, 2008: 141).