chapter  2
21 Pages

Mediated intimacies

Raw sex, Truvada, and the politics of chemoprophylaxis
WithTim Dean

This chapter starts from the proposition that raw sex does not exist. Especially today, when erotic imagery and discourses of sexuality saturate contemporary cultures, there can be no sexual experience that remains unmediated by social conceptions of what sex is or should be. Unlimited Intimacy was researched and written between 2000 and 2005 (it took four years to get the manuscript published), and much has changed in the decade since then. The chapter considers methodology as one among several forms of sexual mediation. Focusing on cultural, pharmacological, and methodological mediations of 'raw sex', it shows how expert and vernacular discourses rub together in a transnational context to reconfigure what some happily still call barebacking. On 16 July 2012, the US Food and Drug Administration approved Truvada, a fixed-dose combination antiretroviral medication that had been prescribed to HIV-positive people since 2004, for use by HIV-negative individuals.