Orgasmic slavery? : a study of black female sexuality
What is 'orgasmic slavery". This study interrogates the meaning of the term by analysing the racialised sexual exploitation of Black women. I examine the historical changes, differences, under-currents and complexities of the social construction of Black sexuality from the inferior position of African female slaves to the conditions of Black women in contemporary Britain. Refuting the premise that Black women are primarily sexual beings, this thesis examines the origins and consequences of this assumption. Through a literature review, the dominant British portrayal of both Black women and Black men in terms of pathological and rampant sexualities is evident. My work assesses how the British and American film industries contribute to such misconceptions. Utilising the research method of participant observation, the perceptions of men and women from different racial backgrounds about images of Black sexuality are addressed. A questionnaire survey queried opinions about the sexual proclivity and relationships of Blacks, whites, 'mixed race' and gays. Building upon this data, a pilot study that was based on images of Black sexuality and their influence upon identity and experiences, provided more information. Central to this debate were semi-structured interviews on the issues of images, identity and relationships as perceived to be related to Black female sexuality.