We have already seen that for Deleuze and Guattari the notion of a personal and private sexuality that is defined within the Oedipal triangle of mother-father-child is a historical and political phenomenon. Michel Foucault’s History of Sexuality also explores the way in which the discourse of sexuality from the nineteenth century onwards provides new ways for power to operate upon bodies. Like Deleuze and Guattari, Foucault reverses the Freudian concept of repression. Whereas conventional readings of Freud stress that sexuality is repressed because it disrupts social order and constraint, Foucault argues that the idea of repression produces a sexuality that allows the social order to operate. It is by talking about, and studying, a sexuality that is there to be revealed that discourses, such as psychoanalysis, produce a whole range of perversions and norms (Foucault 1981, 36–37). The idea that there is a radically disruptive sexual energy that would threaten sociality is precisely what allows the practices of psychiatry, sociology, sexology and criminology to take hold on bodies. The concept of repression produces a particular mode of subjectivity and interiority. Whereas sexual relations were at one time explicitly political — say, in epochs dominated by kinship and models of restriction on alliance — sexuality is now defined as other than political, and thereby creates a border between the inner, sexual and pre-social subject on the one hand, and a law that must regulate that anti-social sexuality on the other (Foucault 1981, 109).
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