Photo of João Florêncio

João Florêncio


A queer cultural scholar of embodiment and sexuality researching the interfacing between the body, media technologies, and sex in contemporary culture. 

Sex media and sex cultures informing the body, shaping the self

My research draws from queer studies, media studies, visual culture and cultural studies to investigate the ways in which the body has been produced, policed, and contested as a political site of creative and affective world-making in modern and contemporary sex cultures. 

Sex and sexualities are ubiquitous presences in contemporary media cultures and public discourse, from health panics surrounding the effects of easily-accessible online pornography, to ongoing (and age-old) moral panics about "good" sex and "bad" sex, fears of "sexualisation", or the growing market for all kinds of sex technologies: porn, sex toys, sexual performance drugs (Viagra, Cialis, etc.), recreational drugs (GHB, crystal methamphetamine, cathinones, etc.), online sex work (OnlyFans, JustForFans), dating and hook-up apps (Grindr, Tinder, Recon, Hinge, Scruff, etc.).

In my research, I approach sex cultures as pillars of modern and contemporary forms of subjectivation, centring the role and affordances of different media in producing, disseminating, and sustaining different sex cultures and sexual subjects. Importantly, here, "media" does not only include artefacts more commonly associated with modern and contemporary mediascapes (e.g. film, print media, television, internet, etc.) but it also extends to the material body itself as an enfleshed interface of sensations and affects, desires, and identities. That is, the body as the medium that embodies, mediates and modulates relationships between the self and the world, that bleeds the self into the world and the world into the self. Similarly, by "media" I also mean the various technological prosthesis that have played and continue to play important roles in cultures of sex and processes of sexual subjectivation: prescription and recreational drugs, sex toys, visual media, and so on. 

My work therefore navigates the complex political and ethical nature of our sex cultures: Sex cultures can and often do reproduce wider systems of knowledge, whether hegemonic or minoritised. Yet, they also can function as laboratories for experiments with new ways of relating to oneself and others, to interrogate the boundaries between the one and the many, and to embody ourselves differently, sometimes in more capacious ways with the potential to shape wider aspects of our lives and our being-in-the-world.



  • Bareback Porn, Porous Masculinities, Queer Futures: The Ethics of Becoming-Pig. London: Routledge, 2020.

Journal Articles

  • “Drugs, Techno and the Ecstasy of Queer Bodies,” The Sociological Review 71, no. 4 (2023): 861–880. DOI: 10.1177/00380261231174970.
  • “Introduction to a special Cultural Commons section on It’s a Sin,” co-written with Gary Needham. European Journal of Cultural Studies 26, no. 1 (2023): 80–84. DOI:
  • “The Care of the Flesh.” Journal of Bodies, Sexualities and Masculinities 3, no. 2 (2022): 133–139.
  • “Sexing the Archive: Gay Porn and Subcultural Histories,” co-written with Ben Miller. Radical History Review 142 (2022):133–141.
  • “Chemsex Cultures: Subcultural Reproduction and Queer Survival.” Sexualities, 2021. DOI: 10.1177/1363460720986922.
  • “Writing Theory during a Pandemic.” Identities: Journal for Politics, Gender and Culture 17, no. 1 (2020): 32–34.
  • “Antiretroviral Time: Gay Sex, Pornography, and Temporality ‘post-Crisis’.” Somatechnics 10, no.2 (2020): 195–214.
  • “Breeding futures: masculinity and the ethics of CUMmunion in Treasure Island Media’s Viral Loads.” Porn Studies 5, no. 3 (2018): 271–285.
  • Thicker States.” GPS: Global Performance Studies, Vol. 1, No. 1 (2017). Co-written with Felipe Cervera, Shawn Chua, Eero Laine, and Evelyn Wan.
  • “Enmeshed Bodies, Impossible Touch: the Object-Oriented World of Pina Bausch’s Café Müller.” Performance Research, Vol. 20, No. 2 (2015): 53–59.
  • Encountering Worlds: Performance in/as Philosophy in the Ecological Age.” Performance Philosophy, No. 1 (2015): 195–213.
  • “Dancing to the Rhythm of a Geiger Counter: Modern(ist) Narcissism and the Anthropocenic Shock.” Identities: Journal of Politics, Gender, and Culture, Vol. 10, No. 1–2 (2013): 111–122.

    Essays in Anthologies or Collections

  • ‘C’est Votre Choix’: Pleasure, Safety and Risk in Projet X.” In Revisiting HIV/AIDS in French Culture: Raw Matters, edited by Loïc Bourdeau and V. Hunter Capps, 93–114. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2022.
  • “The Theatre of Posthuman Immunity.” In The Routledge Companion to Theatre and Politics, edited by Peter Eckersall and Helen Grehan, 42–45. London: Routledge, 2019.
  • “Porosity/The Body.” In Venice Performance Art Week III: Fragile Body—Material Body, edited by Andrea Pagnes and Verena Stenke, 53–59. Venice: VestAndPage Press, 2017.
  • “Evoking the Strange Within: Performativity, Metaphor, and Translocal Knowledge in Derek Jarman’s Blue.” In Queer Dramaturgies: International Perspectives on Where Performance Leads Queer, edited by Alyson Campbell and Stephen Farrier, 178–191. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.
  • “Fucked by Strangers/Baisé par des Étrangers.” In Ghost Nature, edited by Caroline Picard, 145–164. Chicago: Green Lantern Press for La Box/École Nationale Supérieure d’Art de Bourges, 2014.
  • “Staging the World: A Theatrics of Objects.” In Field Static, edited by Devin King and Caroline Picard, 7–14. Chicago: Holon Press, 2012.
  • “Of Lights, Flesh, Glitter, and Soil: Notes Towards a Complex Ecology of Live Art.” In Space (Re)Solutions: Interventions and Research in Visual Culture, edited by Peter Mörtenbock and Helge Mooshammer, 73-85. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag, 2011.



2014 - PhD, Visual Cultures (Goldsmiths, University of London)

2012 - Postgraduate Certificate, Management of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (Goldsmiths, University of London)

2008 - MA (Distinction), Media Arts Philosophy and Practice (University of Greenwich)

2006 - "Licenciatura", Musicology (Universidade Nova de Lisboa)

2004 - 30 ECTS, Tecniche Artistiche e dello Spettacolo (Università Ca' Foscari di Venezia)

Academic Citizenship

Editorial Board, Sexualities
UKRI Future Talent Peer-Review College
AHRC Peer-Review College
Critical Friends of the Schwules Museum (Berlin)

Social Media

Twitter/X: NoisyBits