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Hartman, S. (2013). Bondless Love. Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 14(1):35-50.

(2013). Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 14(1):35-50

Bondless Love

Stephen Hartman, Ph.D.

Given this opportunity to reflect on The Bonds of Love (Benjamin, 1988) 25 years later, I read Benjamin's text as a bridge between political theory and psychoanalytic practice. In so doing, I hope to recognize Benjamin's profound influence on my thinking about recognition and destruction in collective erotic experience. I suggest that Benjamin opens the door to the investigation of eros in a collective unconscious. Yet, perhaps because The Bonds of Love predates the rise of the Internet, aspects of recognition that connote libidinization by an erotic collective are sequestered from intrapsychic phenomena and housed in a protointersubjective realm, the ideal, sustaining a long held psychoanalytic priority on loss and narcissistic injury in subject formation. I champion opening the intrapsychic realm to the fantasmatic collective by discussing Grindr, an iPhone app that provides public space for homoerotic desire.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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