Ecstasy Unlimited: The Interpenetrations of Sex and Capital

Laura Kipnis

1985, 60:00 minutes, colour, English


This tape is a video essay on the social construction of sexuality: it is an attempt to historicize pleasure and politicize desire.
The body becomes a tablet on which political narratives are inscribed and from which a political unconscious can be read. The tape focuses on three primary intersections of sex and capital: three sites where the flow of desire meets the flow of capital, prostitution and its most current permutations: massage parlors and telephone sex; advertising as the social engineering of desire; and sex therapy, which constitutes "disorders of desire" as its object of knowledge and treatment. The tape further explores the relation between discourses of liberation, a thriving sex industry and a thriving therapy industry.

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