Tekniska erektioner och känsliga relationer : Sexualtekniska hjälpmedel, funktionshinder och kampen om det kroppsliga i svensk sexualpolitisk expertdiskurs 1978–1996.
Sammanfattning: Material artefacts to be used during sex is today commonly known as “sex toys”. This thesis has aimed to understand the discursive practices preceding this late-modern conceptualization, and what the previous historical conceptualizations testified to in terms of sexual morality and constructions of sexuality. The focus has been on a Swedish expert-led discursive context, spanning from the late seventies to the mid-nineties. Despite a general idea of Swedish sexual progressiveness, the results show that the discourse around these objects were all but welcoming. The Swedish Association for Sexuality Education (RFSU) considered the selling of “sexual technical aids” as a difficult topic. Good sexuality was to share an emotional loving connection. Thus, it should not overemphasize sex and the body, which sex aids did by being used for sexual functioning or corporeal sensations. I have shown how a discussion of sex aid-use by men with certain physical disabilities dealt with this problem, by providing a context of enabling sexual activity within a romantic union between the men and their partners. Thus, erective aids were especially in focus. I argue that this shows a somatification of male sexuality, which has previously been discussed as taking place in Sweden after the introduction of pharmaceutical erective pills in the late 1990s. Parallel to this, I show a development of heralding female use of “sex toys” in the early 1990s media. Whereas male masturbation with sexual objects were still ridden with an idea of social inadequacy, women were increasingly championed to consume to masturbate. I argue that the developments of how to conceptualize sex aids in Sweden indicate a larger discursive change regarding sexuality. Not only were men and women increasingly considered as beings with separate sexualities, and thus given separate sex aid-markets to court this – but acceptable sexual expression overall broadened. Good sexuality in the Swedish 1990s had begun to embrace the bodily sensations felt during sex, as well as accept sex itself as an independent aim, and in consequence sex aids – or “sex toys” – as a more acceptable means to this end.
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