The feminist pornography debates are centered around the opposition between pro-censorship factions and the pro-sex radicals or sex positives. But what exactly is the relationship between these debates and postmodern theories of reading and performativity? What happens to these debates when they are placed in the context of colonial or U.S. racial histories? What is the history behind today's sexual radicalism? How radical is it?
In the first section of Sex Positives?, Nicola Pitchford, Naomi Morgenstern, Victoria L. Smith, and Gabrielle N. Dean focus on the recent sex wars in U.S. feminism, especially within lesbian culture. Elissa J. Rashkin, Gaurav Desai, and James Smalls broaden the terms of the sex wars debates in the second section to include sexualized racial and colonial representations, from Chicana, African, and African-American perspectives. Finally, Sander L. Gilman, Laura Ciolkowski, and Laura Frost explore a variety of historical contexts for understanding contemporary forms of sexual representation and the repression of such representations.