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Dr Ciara Cremin



The Disruptive Force of Transvestic Fetishism

Dr Ciara CreminDr Ciara Cremin

On the 27th July 2015, I came to work, the University of Auckland, where I lecture in sociology, fully dressed in a westernised-style of feminine clothing and makeup.
A male fetish for women’s clothes, once sequestered in the home, was now on the streets and in the workplace where it belonged. Through psychoanalytic theory, this presentation examines my own desire to cross-dress, and the personal and sociological implications when, without trying to pass, openly presenting as a woman in
 daily life.  
In a certain reading of psychoanalytic theory, fetishes are considered to be socially conserving because the fetishist, for whom the object they desire really is ‘it’, has no reason to pursue another. What in this presentation I argue is that fetishism in my case was the necessary precursor to the stepping out of the home wherein the effect has elicited responses that reverberate upon my own sensibilities and relationship to the original fetish. Deploying the concept identity irrigation from my book Man-Made Woman, I describe how, through these affective encounters, psychic content that blocked the free-flow of desire is loosened, making the relationship to the phallic function supple. I explain how, in certain contexts and conditions, my particular fetish politicises the problem of gendered relations under patriarchal-capitalism and, through exposure, encourages others to do the same. 
Ciara Cremin lectures in sociology at the University of Auckland. She is author of a number of books, including, under Colin, Totalled: Salvaging the Future from the Wreckage of Capitalism in 2015, Exploring Videogames with Deleuze and Guattari: Towards an Affective Theory of Form in 2016 and, this year under Ciara, Man-Made Woman: The Dialectics of Cross-Dressing. 


Ciara Cremin Man-Made Woman: The Dialectics of Cross-Dressing. London: Pluto Press.