chapter  8
6 Pages

Conclusion

This book began by stressing the relative neglect of sexuality in urban studies. Given that sexuality appears so central to our lives, and is endlessly debated, it was argued that it is impossible to make sense of the city without considering its sexual dimensions. To demonstrate this, the book has spiralled off in numerous different directions, considering the way that urban space is experienced and felt differently depending on one’s sexual orientation, as well as noting the importance of the city in structuring, directing and giving meaning to people’s sexual lives. As has been demonstrated, whether we identify as lesbian, straight, gay or bisexual (or perhaps none of those categories), sexuality has a profound impact on our experience of the city given urban space can open up, or close down, different spaces for sexual expression. Through both the regulation enacted by the state and law, and the self-regulation associated with the desire to be desired, the city is hence divided into spaces that are sexualized in different ways. The boundedness of these spaces is often clear, marked out through borders that are legally defined and defended: as examples throughout this book have demonstrated, the isolation and enclosure of ‘deviant’ and ‘dangerous’ sexualities through different techniques of state-sponsored governmentality has been an important tactic used in the ordering of the city. Concurrently, the state promotes other forms of sexuality that are thought to be beneficial to the social and economic functioning of the city (whether through the promotion of ‘gay villages’ as

consumer spaces, the licensing of lap-dancing clubs or the sponsorship of family housing).