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date: 29 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Music and sound can signify sexual desire and arouse sexual desire. Auditory stimulation can become a fetish, and “auralism” can be understood as a form of queerness. This chapter, based on participant-observer research in online kink communities, sketches an account of auralism or auditory fetishism, rarely studied in comparison to other fetishes. The example of auralism shows the limitations of Freud’s vision-based account of fetishism as disavowal of castration. While Freud believed that only men could be fetishists, attention to auralism shows that female fetishists are abundant (as do many other examples that contradict Freud’s claim). Recent musicological discussions of violence, pleasure, mastery, and control in music listening point toward further BDSM-linked aspects of auralism.

Keywords: kink, queerness, auralism, fetishism, online communities, BDSM

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