The Cum Shot (Re)Interpreted in Terms of Contamination and Control

in Journal of Bodies, Sexualities, and Masculinities
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  • 1 University of Louisville, USA james.beggan@louisville.edu
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Abstract

External ejaculation (the cum shot) is considered a central component of heterosexual pornography and is often used to visually mark the end of an action of sexual intercourse. Critical analyses of pornography have asserted that external ejaculation can be conceptualized in terms of the maintenance of heteronormative expectations of male dominance as expressed through hegemonic masculinity. The present analysis adopts a broader view of external ejaculation by considering the phenomenon in terms of contamination, performance, and discipline. The polysemic analysis presented suggests that in some cases the conventions of pornography as represented in the external cum shot can represent a threat to masculinity and male spectators by creating unrealistic expectations for male sexual performance.

Contributor Notes

James K. Beggan is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Louisville. He earned a BA in psychology from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a PhD in psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research interests include evolutionary-based utility models of sexual decision-making, the stigma associated with positive deviance based on youth and physical attractiveness, and the representation of masculinity and femininity in pornography. He has recently published an edited volume that addresses the intersection between leadership and sexuality. Email: james.beggan@louisville.edu

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