The Circulation of the Libidinal

In much the same way that the stock exchange is a node in the network of circulating capital, then, the fitness club may be considered a node in the network of the libidinal, for it is at the fitness club that we find the both the hyper-production and hyper-consumption of sexualized bodies. Foucault does an admirable job of detailing the nature of this production, though it is Baudrillard (extending Lyotard) who outlines the nature of the consumption of these bodies.

In essence, the fitness club member leases the use of the production apparatus in order to produce ideal, sexualized bodies, and then consumes these bodies as signs of produced sexuality in the context of a circulating libidinal economy. The production of these bodies is to render sex visible, to standardize or normalize it, but also to rob it of seduction. The produced body intercourses with other image-signs, but it is in fact a self-pleasure masquerading as intercourse.


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