This article aims to lift the veil on white sexuality by studying how young people ‘perform’ this within the Rotterdam techno scene. It relies on previous work that has highlighted that white sexuality is, like whiteness itself, rarely recognized, let alone referred to as white. This is also true of the sexuality practised by young people in the techno world. Our extensive observations and in-depth interviews conducted for this study identified that both ravers and cultural studies scholars construct an image of techno as a sexual ‘counter-space’ in which erotic agency can be experienced away from the confines of traditional hook-up sex. This space, they argue, is produced by the affective powers of ecstasy and electronics, which help young ravers to have a heightened sense of control over their sexual impulses, muting sexual desires that lead to hooking-up and, simultaneously, enabling them to feel ‘loved-up’ on themselves on the dance floor. We contend that, with discourses like these, ravers unintentionally reproduce white superiority in the ways they claim transcendence over their own sexual culture and corporeality.

Ecstasy, sexuality, superiority, techno, transcendence, whiteness,
VSNU Open Access deal
Cultural Sociology
Erasmus University Rotterdam

van Bohemen, S.R.J.M, & Roeling, A. (2020). Techno’s Sexual Counter-Space: Ecstasy and Electronics as Technologies of White Sex. Cultural Sociology, 14(1), 42–60. doi:10.1177/1749975519892771