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"Police free gay slaves": consent, sexuality, and the law

This essay is an attempt to understand the discursive apparatus surrounding sexual consent in the broader context of the history of the Anglo-American juridico-legal repression of sexuality. The goal of this essay is to make a few observations about the production of erotic subjectivities through juridico-legal discursive machinery. I have chosen a rather circuitous route to this goal. Rather than approaching the problem systematically in order to arrive at final conclusions, I have chosen to analyze a cluster of events in Anglo-American juridico-legal history in order to tease out some of the implications of the way in which certain assumptions about "consent" circumscribe erotic identities.

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