Countersexual Manifesto is an outrageous yet rigorous work of trans theory, a performative literary text, and an insistent call to action. Seeking to overthrow all constraints on what can be done with and to the body, Paul B. Preciado offers a provocative challenge to even the most radical claims about gender, sexuality, and desire.
Preciado lays out mock constitutional principles for a countersexual revolution that will recognize genitalia as technological objects and offers step-by-step illustrated instructions for dismantling the heterocentric social contract. He calls theorists such as Derrida, Foucault, Butler, and Haraway to task for not going nearly far enough in their attempts to deconstruct the naturalization of normative identities and behaviors. Preciado’s claim that the dildo precedes the penis—that artifice, not nature, comes first in the history of sexuality—forms the basis of his demand for new practices of sexual emancipation. He calls for a world of sexual plasticity and fabrication, of bio-printers and “dildonics,” and he invokes countersexuality’s roots in the history of sex toys, pornography, and drag in order to rupture the supposedly biological foundations of the heterocentric regime. His claims are extreme, but supported through meticulous readings of philosophy and theory, as well as popular culture.
The Manifesto is now available in English translation for its twentieth anniversary, with a new introduction by Preciado. Countersexual Manifesto will disrupt feminism and queer theory and scandalize us all with its hyperbolic but deadly serious defiance of everything we’ve been told about sex.
Paul Preciado’s work has been immensely important to me, as well as to countless others. It’s so fantastic, then, that we finally have his first book on offer. Like so much that he has offered since, Countersexual Manifesto is freewheeling and learned, rabble-rousing and meticulous, spirited and essential. Whether you want to argue with it, mine it, or become a convert to its call, you should definitively read it, keep it by your side.
Maggie Nelson, author of The Argonauts
Countersexual Manifesto is a well-lubricated double dong: phantasmagorical poetry on one end, penetrating theory on the other, and a thorough examination of body politics being the shaft. Each sentence delivers a thrust, deep inside, that elicits a yes, yes, yes! Bend over, insert this book, and enjoy the ride.
Annie Sprinkle & Beth Stephens, ecosexual artists and educators
Preciado’s is a noble pursuit, and his points are well-argued...
Foreword, by Jack Halberstam
1. Countersexual Society
2. Countersexual Reversal Practices
4. Countersexual Reading Exercise
About the Author
Paul B. Preciado is a philosopher, curator, and transgender activist. He is curator of public programs for the largest international European art and culture exhibition, documenta 14 (Athens and Kassel). Preciado’s books in English include Testo Junkie: Sex, Drugs, and Biopolitics in the Pharmacopornographic Era (2013) and Pornotopia: An Essay on Playboy’s Architecture and Biopolitics (2014). He lives between Paris, Barcelona, and Athens.
Kevin Gerry Dunn is a translator of Spanish-language fiction and academic writing on gender, art, and immigration. His recent translations include works by Josefina Fernández, Ramón Arturo Gutiérrez, and Cristian Perfumo.
Jack Halberstam is visiting professor of gender studies and English at Columbia University and is the author of a number of books, including most recently, Trans*: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variability (2018).