2018 NASSS Annual Conference
Sport Soundtrack: Sport, Music, & Culture

Amanda De Lisio

Bournemouth University
Designer Bodies and the Global Sport Spectacle

Although the performance of certain sexualized and/or racialized subjectivities are often the focal of analysis in physical cultural studies, the actual act of sex is seldom included as an important physical pursuit. Due to this observation, we wanted to explore the infusion of national mythologies into the performance of sex at work. Based on ethnographic data collected with local women in 2014 FIFA and 2016 Olympic Rio de Janeiro, we illustrate the manner in which national fantasies are made visible in strategies of beautification, amplified sonically, and commodified through touch. In the discussion, we emphasize the similarities between the (adult, consensual) sex worker and professional athlete—both marked as a site of eroticized excess—resourced, consumed, and inculcated into the “global” spectacle. We assert that the performance of hegemonic (pseudo-mythical) feminine and masculine subjectivities is rooted in the duo-personalities of the State as militarized-masculinized machine, capable of enormous violence, yet also humanitarian-caretaker of (supposed) national interest.