This essay reflects on Bersani’s sexually explicit, homosexually specific writings about sex from the vantage of sexual positioning, which can itself be thought of as complexly gendered, corporeally and psychically. Whereas gay male sex in the missionary position is the centerpiece of Bersani’s famous essay “Is the Rectum a Grave?,” Homos, the no less polemical book that follows it, also theorizes another position: coitus a tergo, the approach to what is behind from behind. Through a reading of Genet’s wartime erotic novel Funeral Rites, which is replete with a tergo couplings, Bersani makes his case for the transportive value of nonrelational sex, while retaining an indicatively male-male erotic specificity. These theorizations also open onto a noncastrative rereading of the Wolf Man’s story, which likewise turns on coitus a tergo, offering a gay rereading that, this essay suggests, points to a possibility of relationality.

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