Testo Junkie

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Testo Junkie (published in English with the subtitle Sex, Drugs, and Biopolitics in The Pharmacopornographic Era) is a book, described as "auto-theory",[1] by contemporary writer and philosopher Paul B. Preciado, first published in Spanish in 2008 (Testo yonqui / Espasa Calpe), then in English in 2013 by The Feminist Press, translated by Bruce Benderson.[2] It chronicles Preciado's multifaceted and liminal experience taking a topical testosterone called Testogel as a political and performative act, while working in Paris, France, as well as intertwining perspectives on pharmaceuticals and pornography.[3] The book was the choice of McKenzie Wark in a list of the 11 best scholarly books of the 2010s by The Chronicle of Higher Education.[4]

Outline and concept[edit]

Preciado declares that Testo Junkie is a "body-essay", and writes of his use of testosterone as a way of undoing gender inscribed on the body by the capitalistic commodification and mobilization of sexuality and reproduction, a process transcendent from the social norm expected with transitioning.[5] Testo Junkie is a homage to French writer Guillaume Dustan, a close gay friend of Preciado's who contracted AIDS and died of an accidental overdose of a medication he was taking. In the book Preciado also processes the changes in his body due to testosterone through the lens of a romantic affair with his then lover, French writer Virginie Despentes, referred to as "VD."[6]

Sex and sexuality is a major theme in the book, as it is framed to pick up where Michel Foucault's The History of Sexuality, and the writings of Judith Butler leave off. Testo Junkie is a political history of reproductive technologies including oral contraceptive pills, Viagra, drugs used in doping, fluoxetine, and the history of clinical testosterone and estrogen usage, that connect to Preciado's own use of pharmaceuticals, among other things.[7]

Pharmacopornographic capitalism[edit]

Preciado coins the term pharmacopornographic era in the book, a term based on his idea that the pharmaceutical industry, pornography industry, and late capitalism are integrated in their responsibility to the cycles of reproductive and social control through the regulation of bodies: it is framed into the micro-biological scale of design, and its place within a global political, social and economic context and strategies.[8]


  1. ^ Hansen, Sarah (2016). "Testo Junkie: Sex, Drugs, and Biopolitics in the Pharmacopornographic Era by Paul B. Preciado". State University of New York Press.
  2. ^ Delatte, Marta (August 5, 2014). "Meet the 'Testo Junkie' Who Hacks Her Gender with Testosterone". Vice Magazine.
  3. ^ Bianco, Marcie (September 25, 2013). "'Testo Junkie: Sex, Drugs, and Biopolitics in the Pharmacopornographic Era' by Beatriz Preciado". Lambda Literary.
  4. ^ "The Best Scholarly Books of the Decade". The Chronicle of Higher Education. 2020-04-14. Retrieved 2020-12-26.
  5. ^ Tucker, Ricky (December 4, 2013). "At Work: Pharmacopornography: An Interview with Beatriz Preciado". The Paris Review.
  6. ^ Fateman, Johanna. "Bodies of Work: Two books of autofiction examine the sexual politics of the postporn era". Bookfroum. Bookforum. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
  7. ^ Wark, McKenzie (December 7, 2013). "Testo Junkie, by Béatriz Préciado" (1). Public Seminar.
  8. ^ "# PHILOSOPHY /// Modes of Subversions against the Pharmacopornographic Society: Testo Junkie by Beatriz Preciado - THE FUNAMBULIST MAGAZINE". THE FUNAMBULIST MAGAZINE. 2013-05-14. Retrieved 2018-07-22.

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