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The body, physicality, display and the ‘sporting gaze’ are at the centre of the experience of sport for both athlete and spectator. Despite this, and despite our evolved understanding of the significance of gender and sexualities within sport, very little attention has previously been paid to the concept of the erotic in sport. In this groundbreaking study, Jayne Caudwell and Ian Wellard argue that the physical in sport is not just about faster, higher, and further, but that sporting physicality is in numerous ways linked to pleasure, sexuality and sensuality.
Drawing on established theories of gender and sexuality, and employing innovative qualitative methodologies, the book examines sport as a form of sexual practice. At the centre of the study lie athlete’s testimonies of physical pleasure and an exploration of the concept of the erotic gaze applied to sport. The book develops a critical understanding of how and why certain practices are viewed as acceptable, while other experiences of pleasure, desire and sensuality remain stigmatized and taboo. It is essential reading for all serious students of sport, gender and sexuality.
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