Camille Paglia Pans Gaga’s Sexuality

In a recent edition of London’s Sunday Times Magazine, renowned feminist author and social commentator Camille Paglia, known for her love of Madonna’s sexual persona, claims that Lady Gaga isn’t sexy so much as sexually dysfunctional in her image of genderbending pansexuality, going on to say that her artifical eroticism marks “the exhausted end of the sexual revolution” and a death of the sexual symbol. She offers strong opinions on the matter in this extremely candid Op-ed piece.

What do you think? Is Paglia out of line, or does she have a point? Is Lady Gaga her own special creation, or simply a revival or former female performers, repackaged? Is she authentic as an artist, or just a surface-level image? And furthermore, what makes an artist real and what makes an artist fake, particularly regarding their sexuality?

To be sure, Paglia’s piece leaves the reader with larger questions regarding the modern pop star persona and female sexuality, though seemingly fewer answers as to what’s so terribly wrong with one person’s presentation of their sexual self as a performer.

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About Sarah Elspeth Patterson

Sarah Elspeth Patterson

Masters Student. Sexuality Educator. Bossy Femme.


    Could you please fix the link to Pagli’s article!? It appears to be broken :(

  • Debby Herbenick

    Fixed! Thanks for noticing.

  • Mens Sex Toys

    It’s all been done before though hasn’t it? That’s why I think it’s now seemingly distasteful or cynical to use sexuality in a celebrity persona at all.
    Of course, it could also be argued that Gaga is simply being more honest about the complexities of sexual identity.
    So many sexologists and so-called professionals of human behavior and sexuality get everything completely wrong. They still trust old and flawed data from sexologists fifty years ago who couldn’t even face the existence of masturbation!
    Look at a lot of the sexual research conducted since the “golden age” of the fifties and sixties and you’ll find that most of it is rehashed, still flawed and limited, and still based on those same misgivings.

    So, I would argue that even if Gaga is using sexual ambiguity to her celebrity advantage, she’s still doing the world a favour by highlighting the sexual diversity that has for a long time been ignored.

  • Mens Sex Toys

    Oh, and let me say, thanks for a great Blog. So many of the posts here are really very enlightening and intelligent. We need more original discussion on sexuality.

  • anonymoose

    I find it fascinating that Camille didn’t not mention the past female performer who Lady Gaga is REALLY trying to impersonate. That would be Dale Bozzio of Missing Persons. Missing Persons made it big in 1982 with the Spring Session M album but eventually ended up posing in Hustler.

    Gaga dresses remarkably the same as Dale Bozzio in many cases. I even saw a website where someone wrote, “Lady Gaga. You are not Dale Bozzio.” Obviously Gaga benefits from the high powered fashion designers such as the late Alexander McQueen. (I love videos of Alexander McQueen runway shows. Especially, Horn of Plenty and Plato’s Atlantis.)

    Gaga is not a sex object to me. She seems like a crazy person. Like, if a man had sex with her he would catch a mental illness STD. I also never thought Madonna was sexy because she cursed like a sailor. Their image to me is more of someone who has erected a shield between them and romance, love and sex by playing the sex symbol role to the extreme.

    I love dance, trance and chill music. I have liked about 4 of her songs, but mostly when they are remixed to something even better. I mostly ignore her. I never look up photos of her on the Internet. Nor do I look for her in magazines.