Dirty dancing: The (non)fluid embodied geographies of a queer nightclub in Tel Aviv

Chen Misgav, Lynda Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


This paper examines the (non)fluid embodied geographies of a queer nightclub in Tel Aviv, Israel. The nightclub is considered to be a space of sexual liberation and hosted the Friendly Freedom Friday party. Yet, the space of the nightclub is also divided by gender and sexuality. We draw on individual in-depth interviews and participant observations to examine the tensions that arise from, and between, gay men, transwomen and club spaces. A number of paradoxes are present in the club. We argue that the fluidity of subjectivity-espoused by queer theorists-evaporates when confronted with the materiality of actual sweating bodies. We are interested in the visceral geographies of how and where sweat, and other body fluids, becomes matter out of place or 'dirty.' Three points structure our discussion. First, we outline the theoretical debates about body fluids and fluid subjectivities. Second, we examine gay men's and transwomen's bodily preparations that occur prior to attending the nightclub. The spatial, gendered and sexed dimensions of participants' subjectivities are embedded in desires to attend the club. Finally, we argue that the spaces gay, partially clothed and sweating male bodies occupy are distinct from, and in opposition to, transwomen's clothed and non-sweating bodies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)730-746
Number of pages17
JournalSocial and Cultural Geography
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • bodies
  • fluid geographies
  • gay men
  • subjectivities
  • sweat
  • transwomen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Cultural Studies


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