chapter  1
32 Pages

Introducing cities and sexualities

Traditionally, sexuality has been of relatively little interest to urban researchers, who have appeared remarkably reluctant to explore the way that people’s sexuality shapes, or is shaped by, their urban experiences. There are a number of possible explanations for this, aside from the general prudishness that is often evident about sex. One possible explanation is that sexuality, if conceived in its narrowest biological sense, can be seen to concern our sexual behaviour and the physiological and psychological basis of our sexuality. Viewed in this way, sex might be understood as a solely biological imperative, worthy of investigation by the clinician, the medical professional or the sex therapist, but something that seems to be little influenced by a person’s surroundings. Whether one is born, or lives, in a sprawling metropolis or tiny rural hamlet seems to have little bearing on the materiality of the body, or the sexual desires that we possess, given we are born into bodies that determine our subsequent sexual development.