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“The cruising machine has established an impenetrable border between what turns us on and what makes us think. This border is perhaps a defense mechanism against the intrusion of relations of power…

“Constructed like capitalism against death, the cruising machine… instead of being madly in love with what is present, it desires what is absent, it always desires the next object, it constructs itself on the establishment and sacred assumption of lack, according to the absolute criteria of consumption…

“If I leave my house to enjoy the weather, to buy bread or go see a friend, and if I come upon a boy that I like, gay or not, I am blissfully enjoying the present. But if I leave my house every night to find another queer by cruising the places where other queers hang around, I am nothing but a proletarian of my desire who no longer enjoys the air or the earth, and whose masochism is reduced to an assembly line.

“In my entire life, I have only ever really met what I was not trying to seduce.” — Guy Hocquenghem


Guy Hocquenghem, The Screwball Asses, translated by Noura Wedell (South Pasadena, CA: Semiotext(e), 2010), 75–76.

Originally published in Félix Guattari’s journal Recherches 12 (March 1973).

Above: Khaled Mahmoud (foreground) and Myriam Mézières (left) in Tino (1985), directed by Guy Hocquenghem and Lionel Soukaz.

Below: Hocquenghem (left) and Mahmoud in Tino.

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