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Periodical article Periodical article
Title:Invisible Desires in Ghana and Kenya: Same-Sex Erotic Experiences in Cross-Sex Oriented Lives
Author:Spronk, RachelISNI
Periodical:Sexualities (ISSN 1363-4607)
Geographic terms:Ghana
External link:https://doi.org/10.1177/1363460716677284
Abstract:This article explores the tension between same-sex sexual practices and eroticism, on the one hand, and theoretical investigations on sexual diversity, on the other. The author's analysis is based on research in Ghana and Kenya over the last two decades. A significant proportion of the people she met have (had) experience with same-sex sexual practices at some point in their life. Their choice to start and continue with it and in what form differed considerably per person and over their life course. These diverse possibilities throw an interesting light on the question of sexual diversity, which tends to be locked in a Western paradigm based on binary oppositions of female vs male, homosexual vs heterosexual and non-Western vs Western. While this paradigm has been criticized, theory on sexual diversity nevertheless inclines towards focusing on difference from the norm as its standpoint and therefore always implies non-heterosexuality. The author argues that African contemporary realities suggest innovative analytical directions of global heuristic value. Rather than focusing on self-realization based on notions of individualization, she explores the notion of well-being as put forward by Michael Jackson in Life within Limits: Well-Being in a World of Want (2011). She explores how realizing gendered and sexual well-being is a constant struggle rather than a linear path, and how diversity comes into being as erotic practices that are generated through phases in life course.