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Document Details :
Title: Verteerd door seks
Subtitle: Georg Simmel over de geneugten en gruwelen van moderne stedelijke seksualiteit
Author(s): CLAES, Tom
Journal: Tijdschrift voor Filosofie
Volume: 78 Issue: 3 Date: 2016
Georg Simmel (1858-1918) is one of the most intriguing theorists of modernity and the metropolis. In this paper I critically reconstruct and reflect on Simmel’s analysis relating the metropolis, money, and modern sex. Simmel had a deeply ambiguous attitude towards the new positive sexual possibilities metropolitan city-life offered to its denizens. I argue that, although he is definitely one of the most stimulating analysts of modernity, he himself, however, might never even have been ‘modern’ — as concerns sex. Simmel makes a stern distinction between sex that is firmly located within personal relationships (‘love-sex’), and sex located outside this loving relationship. He presents prostitution-sex (‘money-sex’) as an example of this second type of sex. Prostitution-sex does not exhaust the ‘loveless-sex’ category, but Simmel condemns it by default, because of his normative views on proper sex. Conspicuously absent from his discussion is what we nowadays would label ‘casual sex’ — ‘citysex’ par example.