Erotic Journeys: Mexican Immigrants and Their Sex Lives

Erotic Journeys: Mexican Immigrants and Their Sex Lives

Erotic Journeys: Mexican Immigrants and Their Sex Lives

Erotic Journeys: Mexican Immigrants and Their Sex Lives

Synopsis

Erotic Journeys is a fascinating, revealing, and respectful examination of the romantic relationships and sex lives of the fastest-growing minority group in the nation. In a series of in-depth interviews, Gloria Gonzalez-Lopez investigates the ways in which sixty heterosexual Mexican women and men living in Los Angeles reinvent their sex lives as part of their immigration and settlement experiences. Defying a broad spectrum of preconceived notions, these immigrants confirm in their vivid narratives that sexuality--far from being culturally determined--is fluid and complex.

Gonzalez-Lopez explains that these Mexicans enter the United States with particular sexual ideologies and practices that, while diverse, are regulated by family ethics and regional patriarchies. After migration, a range of factors--including employment, the risks and dangers of resettlement, social networking with other immigrants, and the new demands of a fast-paced industrialized metropolis--begin to transform the immigrants' intimate lives in deep and unexpected ways. The remarkably candid interviews show that these men and women are skillful negotiating agents of their own sexuality. The author's incisive analysis of their narratives sets the stage for a nuanced and compelling understanding of this complex topic and its many social implications.

Excerpt

Me enseñaron a ser discreta, correcta y callada. Así que con toda
corrección discreta me he metido contigo en la cama y como parte de
lo bien educada, nada voy a decir. Así todos quedamos conformes
.

I was taught to be discreet, proper, and silent. So with all
appropriate discretion, I have jumped into bed with you, and
since I am well brought up, I won’t tell anyone about it. That
way, everybody is happy.

María Elena Olivera, Revista Fem, 1995

In the fall of 1995, I started a Latina women’s support group at a Los Angeles inner-city elementary school, consisting of eight adult women, mostly from Mexico. They were all mothers, and all said they were heterosexual. They all were or had been in a relationship with a man. I led the women in discussions about many of their personal concerns, including issues such as self-esteem, domestic violence, drug abuse, family life, and parenting skills. Group members met every week for a total of ten months, but during the first weeks, they didn’t talk about their sex lives. After I questioned them about their silence on that topic, the women asked whether it was permissible to discuss sex-related themes. As they developed relationships with each other, the women finally began to explore their sexual concerns, fantasies, and fears. Participating in this collective experience drew me to what would become the topic of my doctoral dissertation as a sociologist: Mexican immigrant women and their sex lives.

Women undergo erotic transformations as part of their immigrant . . .

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