‘Like I’m floating somewhere ten feet in the air’: Experiencing the Sexual Body



Given that sexual practice typically involves the intimate engagement of bodies, it is interesting that traditional analyses of the ‘gap’ phenomenon have ignored corporeality. This omission has meant a lack of examination of how embodied aspects of young people’s desire and pleasure may be implicated in this phenomenon. As a consequence the body has been an ‘absent presence’ in this work (Shilling, 1993), recognised implicitly as feelings and desires which propel young people into ‘dangerous’ sexual encounters. These disembodied analyses are reminiscent of the constitution of knowledge in sexuality education which attends to the body in an exclusively mechanistic and reproductive manner (see Chapter 3). One of the aims of this chapter then is to ‘enflesh’ thinking around the knowledge/practice ‘gap’ and consider how gendered bodies might be implicated in this equation.


Young Woman Body Dissatisfaction Sexual Experience Sexuality Education Sexual Encounter 
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© Louisa Allen 2005

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