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Focussing on pleasure? Piloting methods and exploring the field

Ester McGeeney, 2:45 pm to 3:45 pm

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8 June 2010

The right to sexual pleasure has been central to the politicizing of sexuality for sexually marginalised groups for over half a century. More recently this discourse of politicized pleasure has been applied to young people to both critique contemporary sexual health frameworks for young people and to advocate for more effective and holistic sexual health service provision.

This paper will reflect on exploratory focus group work conducted earlier this year as a means of addressing some of the methodological challenges of researching sexual pleasure with young people. It will examine how the design of the research tools and the context in which they were implemented, both created and closed down safe spaces for young people to perform sexualities and to discuss sexual pleasure. This critical reflection will be used to consider how to best design and conduct future focus groups as part of this PhD project, as well as to contribute to discussions on the performance and silencing of sexual and gender identities in the research process.

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