Cover image for Same sex intimacies : families of choice and other life experiments
Same sex intimacies : families of choice and other life experiments
Weeks, Jeffrey, 1945-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London ; New York : Routledge, 2001.
Physical Description:
x, 245 pages ; 24 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HQ76.34 .W44 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Our families are increasingly a matter of choice, and the choices are widening all the time. This is particularly true of the non-heterosexual world, where the last ten years have seen a popular acceptance of same sex partnerships and, to a lesser extent, of same sex parenting.

Based on extensive interviews with people in a variety of non-traditional relationships, this fascinating new book argues that these developments in the non-heterosexual world are closely linked to wider changes in the meaning of family in society at large, and that each can cast light on the other.

Same Sex Intimaciesgives vivid accounts of the different ways non-heterosexual people have been able to create meaningful intimate relationships for themselves, and highlights the role of individual agency and collective endeavour in forging these roles: as friends, partners, parents and as members of communities. This topical book will provide compelling reading for students of the family, sexuality and lesbian and gay studies.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vii
Acknowledgementsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
Happy families?p. 1
'Pick and mix' relationshipsp. 3
Stories we tell each otherp. 5
About the bookp. 7
1 Families of choice: the changing context of non-heterosexual relationshipsp. 9
The emergence of families of choicep. 9
From identity to relational rightsp. 13
The politics of intimate lifep. 19
Living 'connected lives'p. 25
2 Life experiments: the meanings of non-heterosexual relationshipsp. 28
Life storiesp. 28
A 'queer construct family'p. 37
The heterosexual assumptionp. 39
Self-inventionp. 43
Everyday experimentsp. 47
3 The friendship ethicp. 51
The power of friendshipp. 51
Patterns of friendshipp. 53
Facing fateful momentsp. 58
The complexities of friendshipp. 61
Differencesp. 67
The value of commitmentp. 69
The significance of the friendship ethicp. 76
4 In search of homep. 77
The different meaning of 'home'p. 77
First homep. 77
Tales of the cityp. 82
Reflexive communityp. 86
Multiple belongingsp. 90
Ways of livingp. 93
Everyday practicesp. 98
Home, community and carep. 101
5 Partnership ritesp. 104
Couplesp. 104
The egalitarian idealp. 109
Living with powerp. 114
Intimacy and lovep. 119
Affirming commitmentp. 127
6 Sexual pleasuresp. 132
The value of sexp. 132
Doing gender?p. 138
Undoing gender?p. 145
Ethics of relatingp. 148
Erotics and ethical practicep. 153
7 Parentingp. 157
The 'gayby' boomp. 157
Parenting storiesp. 160
Parenting practicesp. 168
Caring practicesp. 174
Hazardsp. 176
The needs of childrenp. 178
8 Towards intimate citizenshipp. 180
The unfinished revolutionp. 180
The possibilitiesp. 181
The risksp. 184
Practices of freedomp. 186
Assimilation or difference?p. 191
Intimate citizenshipp. 196
Appendix 1 Researching Same Sex Intimaciesp. 200
Appendix 2 Biographies of intervieweesp. 207
Bibliographyp. 219
Indexp. 235