Sexual desire is political

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Sexual desire is an incredibly personal and seemingly unchangeable part of who we are. But what about those who are systematically undesired: the ugly, racial minorities and the disabled? This problem isn’t one of individuals and personal tastes. Instead, we need to reshape the environment and culture to find ways to address the real political dimensions of desire, writes Tom O’Shea. When I started writing about sexual desire, people I met at parties were suddenly a lot more interested in my academic work. Among those who’d been single in the last few years, the conversation would inevitably turn to dating apps. One woman told me that she didn’t know how to stop herself sleeping with every match who she met up with. A man added that this hadn’t been a problem for him: he’d had little luck getting matches in the first place. He suspected that being short had something to do with it. Bad luck, perhaps. But people can’t help who they find …

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