Sex, Drugs, and 'Wild' Self-Care: Re-evaluating 'Risky' Health-related Practices within the Queer Community

Can 'risky' sex add to a healthy lifestyle? Can drugs be a legitimate form of self-care? Can anonymous sex in public during a lunchbreak be part of a work-life balance? This seminar explores these questions and investigates the relationship between 'dangerous' health-related practices and the pursuit for well-being using my concept of 'wild self-care'. This 'wild' approach to self-care describes how 'risky', transgressive, or counter-intuitive practices can be legitimate ways of caring for the body and pursuing agency. Drawing from 16 open-ended interviews with gay- and queer-identifying men from Australia and New Zealand, I describe how sex work, drug use, sex in public, kink, and alternative forms of political activism can be used as legitimate (albeit complicated) forms of self-care.

Simon Clay is an early-career researcher who is interested in transgressive health-related practices, alternative embodiments of well-being, radical reconfigurations of the body, drug use as a technique of transformation, and emerging queer studies. His current work on wild self-care emerged from his PhD thesis.

 

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