Testo Junkie (2013)

Book Review

Preciado, Paul B. (2013). Testo Junkie: Sex, Drugs, and Biopolitics in the Pharmacopornographic Era. New York: The Feminist Press. 427pp.

Part auto-ethnography, part techo-punk psycho-philosophy, Testo Junkie is a testament to the rise and entanglement of pharmaceutical power with state bodies, individuals (i.e. the transformation and hybridization of Foucault’s biopower) and the technological apparatuses that infuse bodies both with increasing surveillance as well as the potentiality for transformation. As a provocation, Preciado deftly interweaves personal testimony (a necrotic, drug-enhancing love story) with a complex scholarly reflection on the historical development of biotechnological products (e.g. the Pill, viagra, testosterone) in order to conceive of the spatiotemporal and material “pharmapornographic” era.

The book is lengthy – at a whopping 427 pages. However, the formatting (footnotes) and clarifying language (lots of sign-posting) help to bridge the book from an academic rumination on the transformations of individual and state power to a more diffuse and accessible text which motivates a cyborgian (Haraway 1985), post-human embodiment and rethinks feminist politics in the early 21st century. Scholars and general readers interested in feminist politics, cyborg relations, sexuality studies, contraception and reproduction, queer and trans studies, and identity politics will find this book particularly compelling. Overall, Testo Junkie is a captivating read.