Cinesexuality is a concept in film philosophy by feminist film theorist Patricia MacCormack which attempts to explain why people sometimes feel an intense attraction towards film. MacCormack coined the term and used it as the title of her 2008 essay to describe her philosophical speculation about film, which is similar in some respects to the poststructuralist philosophy of desire by contemporary philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. While the term is somewhat vague, she uses it to describe why there is a "desire which flows through all who want cinema as a lover," why film can feel erotic, whether such intense feelings may be explained by a psychic model of "tension and release," and why there is this "physical pleasure of cinema" which sometimes manifests itself in an "erotic and subversive" way. Catherine Grant suggested that MacCormack has essentially reformulated the term cinephilia, a term in film criticism which denotes passionate interest in film. Two reviewers suggest that MacCormack explores the "inherent queerness of film," in the sense that the relation between spectators and a film is "inherently queer." According to reviewer Jill Crammond Wickham in Poets Quarterly, cinesexuality can explain not only why film audiences feel such a strong desire for what they see on screen, but why "our culture is so obsessed with movie stars."
- Jill Crammond Wickham, April 2010, Poets Quarterly, An interview with Kate Durbin: Part I, Retrieved Aug. 18, 2014, "...Critic Patricia McCormick, who coined the term cinesexuality, ... cinema has the ability to produce intense pleasure in a viewer... why they have this strong desire [need] for cinema... why our culture is so obsessed with movie stars...."
- Joanna McIntyre, June 25, 2014, Culture and the Media, Cinema Studies: Cinesexuality by Patricia McCormack, Retrieved Aug. 18, 2014, "...Cinesexuality is the desire which flows through all who want cinema as a lover. It knows no gender, no sexuality, no form, and no function. It describes a position of supplication before an unresponsive element. ... we are all already cinesexual’ "
- Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, Volume 26, Issue 4, 2012, DOI:10.1080/10304312.2012.698032, Adrian Martina, pages 519-528, A theory of agitation, or: Getting off in the cinema, Retrieved Aug. 18, 2014, "... this essay proceeds to ask: is there a model of tension and release,... structure of psychic agitation,...."
- Tim Huntley, THE IRISH JOURNAL OF GOTHIC AND HORROR STUDIES, Abstraction is ethical: The ecstatic and erotic in Patricia MacCormack’s Cinesexuality, Retrieved Aug. 18, 2014, "the erotic and subversive haptics of spectatorship. ... cinephile viewer’s love ...Cinesexuality offers a brilliantly argued thesis on affectivity and the physical pleasure of cinema ...
- Catherine Grant (book reviewer), (review of: Patricia MacCormack's Cinesexuality, published 23 July 2008), 18 DECEMBER 2008, Times Higher Education, Cinesexuality: Encounters with a big screen lover -- Catherine Grant explores spectators' desire for the cinema and the new universes that it opens up, Retrieved Aug. 18, 2014, "...Cinesexuality, Patricia MacCormack's ambitious and avowedly experimental work on film spectatorship, explores the "inherent queerness" of spectatorship....Cinesexuality is, in part, a reformulation of "cinephilia", the excessive love of or for cinema.... "
- December 20th, 2013, Hili Perlson, Sleek Magazine, The Iron Lady No More, Retrieved Aug. 18, 2014, "... Patricia McCormack’s idea of “Cinesexuality”, which argues that spectatorship in itself is inherently queer. ..."
- Patricia MacCormack, "A Cinema of Desire: Cinesexuality and Guattari’s Asignifying Cinema" in Women: A Cultural Review, 16 (3), Winter 2005/6