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Pathology Museum

Death and Eroticism with Romany Reagan

13 March 2015

Time: 6:30 - 9:00pm

Death and Eroticism

From Medieval Death and the Maiden imagery to the modern cemetery as an after-hours sex den, the link between sexual arousal and death has been a long-noted aspect of the human sex drive. Far from being relegated to the outer fringes of necrosadism, the sexual thrill of flirting with death and danger has been explored and analysed from political, psychological and medical angles. The very act of confronting death sends up a primal drive to reassert life in the form of virile sexual expression. This impulse is commonly thought to manifest exclusively in the psychopathy of deviants, but sexual arousal in response to death imagery and near death experiences is actually an impulse based on affirmation of life, rather than a desire for death. This talk will explore this darker side of desire through the works of Foucault, Berscheid & Walster, Bataille, the Victorian post-execution autopsies of Dr Croker King and personal research in Abney Park Cemetery.

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