• “Does that mean I have to hump Monica?”: the sexual dynamics of a human / nonhuman dog pack.

      Bartram, Angela; Hurley, Paul; University of Derby; University of Southampton (Human-Animal Studies Conference, 2018-08)
      Jacques Derrida said that animal is a name humans “have given themselves the right and the authority to give to another creature. ” This agency of naming separates human from animal, humanity from animality, despite shared behavioural traits. Sex, and sexuality and being ‘in sex’ remind us of animal (in the human and the non-human) primal drives. The genitals reference ‘sex’ (as site, as pleasure, anatomically), and locate where dogs are ‘in heat.’ Dog or human, the heat of sexual enhancement is a force that ignites a biological drive at the expense of cognate sensibilities. It makes us animal, in spite of our species. What does is it to be ‘in heat,’ in the heat of the moment and subject to the impulses of another (species)? Be Your Dog, an interspecies collaborative project at KARST (2016), sees human and dog companions learn the others behaviours and establish empathy. Here, the dogs led the humans (astray) in performative interactions, including those of inter-gender experiences of neutered/intact and sexually receptive/non sexually interested, and a sexually ripe and ‘on heat’ female. This paper, a scripted conversation between Paul Hurley (Be Your Dog, participant) and Angela Bartram (organiser), analyses the investment of sexual tensions brought by the ‘in heat’ canine participant in the group, and her effect on the other dogs and humans.