Erotic Journeys is a fascinating, revealing, and respectful examination of the romantic relationships and sex lives of the fastest-growing minority group in the nation. In a series of in-depth interviews, Gloria González-López investigates the ways in which sixty heterosexual Mexican women and men living in Los Angeles reinvent their sex lives as part of their immigration and settlement experiences. Defying a broad spectrum of preconceived notions, these immigrants confirm in their vivid narratives that sexuality—far from being culturally determined—is fluid and complex.
González-López explains that these Mexicans enter the United States with particular sexual ideologies and practices that, while diverse, are regulated by family ethics and regional patriarchies. After migration, a range of factors—including employment, the risks and dangers of resettlement, social networking with other immigrants, and the new demands of a fast-paced industrialized metropolis—begin to transform the immigrants' intimate lives in deep and unexpected ways. The remarkably candid interviews show that these men and women are skillful negotiating agents of their own sexuality. The author's incisive analysis of their narratives sets the stage for a nuanced and compelling understanding of this complex topic and its many social implications.
1. Twice Forgotten: The Sex Lives of Heterosexual Mexicans in the United States
2. Beyond the Hymen: Women, Virginity, and Sex
3. Pleasurable Dangers, Dangerous Pleasures: Men and Their First Sexual Experience
4. Sex Is a Family Affair: Nurturing and Regulating Sexuality
5. Sex and the Immigrant Communities: Risky Opportunities, Opportune Risks
6. Sexual Discourses and Cultures in the Barrio: Networking
7. Sexual Bargains: Work, Money, and Power
8. Gendered Tapestries: Sexuality Threads of Migrant Sexualities
Appendix A. Study Participants
Appendix B. Methodological Considerations
Gloria González-López is an Assistant Professor of Sociology, and a Faculty Associate at the Center for Mexican American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.
"In this innovative look at the sex lives of Mexican immigrants, Gloria Gonzalez-Lopez reveals that what goes on between the sheets is not private and isolated, but rather intimately articulated to inequalities of gender, generation and economy. Gonzalez-Lopez gives us a candid view of the dangerous and the pleasurable, showing how mind-numbing employment regimes lead to the taylorization of sex, but also to possibilities for women's enhanced sexual power and pleasure. She also shows how the existence of internalized sexism, valorization of female virginity, homo-erotic desire, male prostitution, and children's sex education respond to changes in the social organization of pre-migration and post-migration life. This is work of tremendous originality, sensitivity and courage. Read this book and shatter your stereotypes."—Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo, author of Domestica: Immigrant Workers Cleaning and Caring in the Shadows of Affluence
"Erotic Journeys will be a revelation to anyone who wants to understand the way sexuality is constructed, constrained, and evolving in an increasingly diverse and conflicted country. Gonzalez-Lopez unveils an important culture that has heretofore been known only to those who have lived within it. It may well be a model for further studies about diversity and sexuality."—Pepper Schwartz, Professor of Sociology, University of Washington, author of Gender and Sexuality
"What a splendid book! Erotic Journeys demolishes every binary opposition, ethnic stereotype, and assumption about the sexual experiences of Mexican immigrants. Analytically thoughtful and ethnographically sensitive, Gloria Gonzalez-Lopez reveals the processes of sexualities as they are created—and recreated. "—Michael Kimmel, author of The Gendered Society
Simon and Gagnon Distinguished Book Award, Sexualities Section of the American Sociological Association