Zombie Sex

In Steve Jones & Shaka McGlotten (eds.), Zombies and Sexuality: Essays on Desire and the Living Dead. McFarland. pp. 1-18 (2014)

Steve Jones
University of Northumbria at Newcastle
Since the early 2000s, zombies have become an increasingly significant presence in popular culture. Zombies are social monsters, epitomizing aspects of social horror. What is at once central and yet strangely absent from current debates about zombies is any detailed consideration of sex and sexuality. This oversight is startling, not least since sex is arguably the most intimate form of social engagement, and is a profound aspect of human social identity. What makes the omission even more remarkable is how appositely the zombie reflects socio-sexual desires and fears. Sex and love play crucial roles in numerous zombie narratives. Moreover, the undead have sex with each other and with humans in many contemporary zombie narratives. The unpalatable combination of zombies and sex is provocative, triggering a multitude of questions about the nature of desire, sex, sexuality, and the politics of our sexual behaviors. This chapter outlines the zombie’s historical development towards sex/uality, setting the context for the various approaches to sex/uality – queer and straight, romantic and pornographic – explored in contemporary zombie media.
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