We discuss “love” as a rhetorical strategy in the Swedish gay press, 1969–86, in relation to shifting meanings of sex and love. During this period, meanings of homosexual subjectivity were rapidly changing at several societal levels. New ideals of openness and monogamous love became more dominant and tended to exclude expressions of sexual practices based primarily on pleasure. Using the analytical terms unconditioned versus conditioned, we discern a shifting relative strength between discursive constructions of unconditioned sex/sex conditioned on love, and love for love's sake/love conditioned on coupledom.

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