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postgraduate thesis: Experiencing risky pleasure : the exploration of 'Chem-fun' in the Hong Kong gay community

TitleExperiencing risky pleasure : the exploration of 'Chem-fun' in the Hong Kong gay community
Authors
Advisors
Advisor(s):Kong, TSK
Issue Date2014
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Lau, H. [劉凱亮]. (2014). Experiencing risky pleasure : the exploration of 'Chem-fun' in the Hong Kong gay community. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5312350
AbstractThis qualitative study purports to explore the prevailing phenomenon of ‘Chem-Fun’, i.e. the combination of drug use and gay sex in the Hong Kong gay community, with the use of in-depth interviews (March 2012 to August 2013 [n=30]), participant observation (February 2012 to July 2013 [18 months]), and textual analysis of two gay websites (March to April 2012 [2 months]). By pinpointing the two loopholes of epidemiological dominance and missing drug in the local drug and local gay literature respectively, this study adopts a cultural approach to fill the gap in which the crucial elements of agency, pleasure, and context are examined. Drawing on the three theoretical strands of postmodern intimacies, geographies of sexuality, and Foucauldian notion of power/resistance, a four-dimensional analytical model has been derived from the data to explore the four major aspects of ‘Chem-Fun’: contexts, spaces, intimacies, and subjectivities. Instead of viewing ‘Chem-Fun’ as a ‘trinity of double’, i.e. double sin (moral/ legal sin), double epidemic (drug addiction and HIV/STDs infection), and double marginalization (from straight/gay world) but rather a ‘way of life’, this study argues that ‘Chem-Fun’ should be understood as a specific form of gay choices, gay project, gay connection, and gay mastery. For contexts, the emergence, prevalence, and transformation of ‘Chem-Fun’ represent a mixture of glocalized and personalized product revolving around the community culture and individual choices, i.e. gay choices. For spaces, the ‘Chem-space’ constitutes a ‘do-it-yourself project’ for the gay men to undermine the dominations of heteronormativity, health imperialism, and homonormativity and hence reclaim their selves and uses of pleasure, i.e. gay project. For intimacies, the intimate ethics of pure eroticism or the ‘RCTF’ culture (respect, collectivity, trust, and flexibility) demonstrates the three principles of emotional democracy (egalitarianism, autonomy, and solidarity) and cultivates an alternative political agenda of gay hedonism, i.e. gay connection. For subjectivities, the refashioning of ‘Chem-Fun’ as an edgework suggests the complicated subjectivities of playmates, i.e. gay mastery. Informed by the cultural approach, these four aspects have painted an alternative picture about ‘Chem-Fun’ in contrast with the epidemiological way of understanding. They are not necessarily a passive, fixed, and pathological retreatist but an arch-inventor, sensation-seeker, and edgeworker to build their own life. Without ignoring the relevant risks, this study gives pleasure an adequate space to understand ‘Chem-Fun’. As a form of queer life, ‘Chem-Fun’ is not just about personal experiences but also collectivities that implies the possible way out of local tongzhi movement from gay pride to gay shame. In this sense, there should be ‘Chem-Fun’ stories but not story. Apart from filling the missing gay and missing drug in local drug and gay study respectively, this research contributes to the sociology of sexuality by connecting the individual intoxicated eroticism to the runaway world of social flows, engaging with the existing concepts to explore the postmodern lives and geographies in the non-Western context, enriching the telling sexual stories tradition, and serving as a methodological remedy for the inadequacy of ethnography or insider perspective in examining drug-related practices in Hong Kong.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectGay communities - China - Hong Kong
Gays - Drug use - China - Hong Kong
Gays - Sexual behavior - China - Hong Kong
Dept/ProgramSociology
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/206339

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorKong, TSK-
dc.contributor.authorLau, Hoi-leung-
dc.contributor.author劉凱亮-
dc.date.accessioned2014-10-23T23:14:27Z-
dc.date.available2014-10-23T23:14:27Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationLau, H. [劉凱亮]. (2014). Experiencing risky pleasure : the exploration of 'Chem-fun' in the Hong Kong gay community. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5312350-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/206339-
dc.description.abstractThis qualitative study purports to explore the prevailing phenomenon of ‘Chem-Fun’, i.e. the combination of drug use and gay sex in the Hong Kong gay community, with the use of in-depth interviews (March 2012 to August 2013 [n=30]), participant observation (February 2012 to July 2013 [18 months]), and textual analysis of two gay websites (March to April 2012 [2 months]). By pinpointing the two loopholes of epidemiological dominance and missing drug in the local drug and local gay literature respectively, this study adopts a cultural approach to fill the gap in which the crucial elements of agency, pleasure, and context are examined. Drawing on the three theoretical strands of postmodern intimacies, geographies of sexuality, and Foucauldian notion of power/resistance, a four-dimensional analytical model has been derived from the data to explore the four major aspects of ‘Chem-Fun’: contexts, spaces, intimacies, and subjectivities. Instead of viewing ‘Chem-Fun’ as a ‘trinity of double’, i.e. double sin (moral/ legal sin), double epidemic (drug addiction and HIV/STDs infection), and double marginalization (from straight/gay world) but rather a ‘way of life’, this study argues that ‘Chem-Fun’ should be understood as a specific form of gay choices, gay project, gay connection, and gay mastery. For contexts, the emergence, prevalence, and transformation of ‘Chem-Fun’ represent a mixture of glocalized and personalized product revolving around the community culture and individual choices, i.e. gay choices. For spaces, the ‘Chem-space’ constitutes a ‘do-it-yourself project’ for the gay men to undermine the dominations of heteronormativity, health imperialism, and homonormativity and hence reclaim their selves and uses of pleasure, i.e. gay project. For intimacies, the intimate ethics of pure eroticism or the ‘RCTF’ culture (respect, collectivity, trust, and flexibility) demonstrates the three principles of emotional democracy (egalitarianism, autonomy, and solidarity) and cultivates an alternative political agenda of gay hedonism, i.e. gay connection. For subjectivities, the refashioning of ‘Chem-Fun’ as an edgework suggests the complicated subjectivities of playmates, i.e. gay mastery. Informed by the cultural approach, these four aspects have painted an alternative picture about ‘Chem-Fun’ in contrast with the epidemiological way of understanding. They are not necessarily a passive, fixed, and pathological retreatist but an arch-inventor, sensation-seeker, and edgeworker to build their own life. Without ignoring the relevant risks, this study gives pleasure an adequate space to understand ‘Chem-Fun’. As a form of queer life, ‘Chem-Fun’ is not just about personal experiences but also collectivities that implies the possible way out of local tongzhi movement from gay pride to gay shame. In this sense, there should be ‘Chem-Fun’ stories but not story. Apart from filling the missing gay and missing drug in local drug and gay study respectively, this research contributes to the sociology of sexuality by connecting the individual intoxicated eroticism to the runaway world of social flows, engaging with the existing concepts to explore the postmodern lives and geographies in the non-Western context, enriching the telling sexual stories tradition, and serving as a methodological remedy for the inadequacy of ethnography or insider perspective in examining drug-related practices in Hong Kong.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.lcshGay communities - China - Hong Kong-
dc.subject.lcshGays - Drug use - China - Hong Kong-
dc.subject.lcshGays - Sexual behavior - China - Hong Kong-
dc.titleExperiencing risky pleasure : the exploration of 'Chem-fun' in the Hong Kong gay community-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5312350-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineSociology-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5312350-

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