This article brings together world-systems analysis, which explores how the world's capitalist markets became globally integrated, and sexuality studies for the first time in order to examine how the homo/hetero binary came to integrate and govern sexual organization throughout much of the world. Zooming out from the metropolitan and national frames that have dominated sexual historiography, this article operates at a different scale and order of magnification to explore forms of sexuality shared in whole and in part across the world. My theorization of the sexual world-system aims to understand the encounter between object choice as the organizing dimension of sexuality and its collision with other sexual knowledges and organizations: intimacy, bodily practice, positionality, sexual acts, behaviors, desires, and so forth. Reading across literary, sexological, legal, and religious archives, I examine the relationship between these varieties of sexual knowledge in order to contribute to a comparative study of sexuality and to write sexuality into what Immanuel Wallerstein calls “geoculture.”

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