Shantel Gabrieal Buggs, Trevor Hoppe

Unsafe Words: Queering Consent in the #MeToo Era

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Queer people may not have invented sex, but queers have long been pioneers in imagining new ways to have it. Yet their voices have been largely absent from the #MeToo conversation.

What can queer people learn from the #MeToo conversation? And what can queer communities teach the rest of the world about ethical sex? This provocative book brings together academics, activists, artists, and sex workers to tackle challenging questions about sex, power, consent, and harm. While responding to the need for sex to be consensual and mutually pleasurable, these chapter authors resist the heteronormative assumptions, class norms, and racial privilege underlying much #MeToo discourse. The essays reveal the tools that queer communities themselves have developed to practice ethical sex—from the sex worker negotiating with her client to the gay man having anonymous sex in the back room. At the same time, they explore how queer communities might better prevent and respond to sexual violence without recourse to a police force that is frequently racist, homophobic, and transphobic. 
Telling a queerer side of the #MeToo story, Unsafe Words dares to challenge dogmatic assumptions about sex and consent while developing tools and language to promote more ethical and more pleasurable sex for everyone.

Contributions by Angela JonesAlexander ChevesTrevor HoppeJane WardGloria González-LópezAnahi Russo GarridoMistress VelvetD.S. TrumbullBlu BuchananShantel Gabrieal BuggsJames McMasterMark S. KingV. Jo HsuDominique Morgan

Editors: Shantel Gabrieal Buggs and Trevor Hoppe

Paperback Published 10 February 2023 216 pages

"We need Unsafe Words: Queering Consent in the #MeToo Era now more than ever. A vital cultural reckoning with sexual assault and harassment brought issues of consent to the forefront – but often oversimplified them. We now need a more nuanced discussion of how consent may be understood and enacted. This groundbreaking collection brings together voices that explore and expand how concepts as such as power, assent, identity, autonomy, and community function in many people’s lives. It is imperative reading for everyone – policymakers, scholars, sexual liberationists – who grapples with these questions."--Michael Bronski, author of A Queer History of the United States

"With this dazzling collection of meditations and provocations from leading scholars in the field of sexuality studies, Unsafe Words offers something we desperately need: a place to ask the queer questions about consent that dare not speak their names. Can consent be queered? What happens when queer and feminist sexual politics clash over questions of consent? How does the prevailing consent paradigm perpetuate the harms of the criminal legal system and thwart more just possibilities for redress? This is a must-read for both activists and scholars of sexual ethics alike." --Cati Connell, author of A Few Good Gays: The Gendered Compromises behind Military Inclusion

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