Intoxication and Toxicity in a ‘Pharmacopornographic Era’: Beatriz Preciado’s Testo Junkie
The term ‘hormone’, which pioneering endocrinologist Ernest Starling defined as ‘the chemical messengers which, speeding from cell to cell along the blood stream, may coordinate the activities and growth of different parts of the body’, derives from the Greek for ‘to arouse or excite’ (Starling, 1905). In Testo Junkie: Sexe, drogue et biopolitique, philosopher and queer activist Beatriz Preciado relates her experiences and observations over a period of 236 days during which she self-administered doses of black market Testogel, a synthetic pharmaceutical androgen primarily indicated for the treatment of (cisgender) men with low testosterone, but also prescribed to female-to-male transgender hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) patients as part of a medical sex reassignment process. Testo Junkie is composed of two alternating strands, the first an explicitly autobiographical chronicle of Preciado’s illicit experiences under the effects of her experimental ‘protocole d’intoxication volontaire’ (Preciado, 2008, p. 11). The diaristic narrative elaborated in the work is punctuated by theorisation in a more overtly philosophical mode on the state of gender, sexuality, subjectivity and the body in a cultural context wherein hormonal contraceptive pills and devices, performance-enhancing drugs of various sorts, cosmetic surgeries, and countless other medical and pharmaceutical somatechnical interventions have become veritable norms.
KeywordsCosmetic Surgery Gender Dysphoria Hard Drug Gender Identity Disorder Philosophical Mode
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