Under the fucking skin: a whore and her hotel room door

Brooks, V. 2018. Under the fucking skin: a whore and her hotel room door. Lo Squaderno - Explorations in Space and Society . 48, pp. 59-62.

TitleUnder the fucking skin: a whore and her hotel room door
AuthorsBrooks, V.
Abstract

Isserley, the heroine of Michel Faber’s Under the Skin tells a truly intimate story of her body: interspecies flesh, blood, cumbersome breasts, inconvenient sexual drives, stray hairs, skin, disappointment, vulnerability and humour. She tells a story of her sometimes terrifying and perfunctory capture of men, while revealing the failure of her skin to cover the truth of her body. This is an achievement that accounts of sexuality and of the city rarely manage. The figure of the ‘whore’, ‘the mistress’, the sexually ‘promiscuous’ woman is often painted as a cold, non-maternal, sexually free and capable woman, who is adept at containing her ‘affects’, otherwise known as her emotions and vulnerabilities, under her skin, thereby presenting an easily consumable and pristinely fuckable surface. The city is a space that could easily be thought of as her ‘playground’, especially hotels, where their commercial, cold and solid surface are built to conceal the painful and joyous nature of her fucking. Urban hotels are one part of the ‘tiles of the visible’, which are complicit in the production of the surface effect of sexuality, and the painful rationalisation of fucking, yet simultaneously embodying a mine of historical fucking artefacts in the form of women’s experiences. This piece tells a free-flowing story of one self-confessed whore and mistress, her encounter with hotels, and her failure in two respects: to contain her body beneath her skin, and at complicity with the city’s deception.

KeywordsSexuality; space; identity; surfaces; bodies
JournalLo Squaderno - Explorations in Space and Society
Journal citation48, pp. 59-62
ISSN1973-9141
Year2018
Publisherprofessionaldreamers
Accepted author manuscriptbrooks-sq48.pdf
Web address (URL)http://www.losquaderno.professionaldreamers.net/?cat=183
Publication dates
Published online25 May 2018

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