Researcher ORCID Identifier


Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Lara Deeb

Reader 2

Piya Chatterjee

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Rights Information

2024 Loy Prussack


This thesis explores queer sexual experiences and gender identity among college-aged queer people with vaginas, departing from the often binary categorization of participants in qualitative sex research. Participants’ discussions of virginity, penetration, and roles during sex reveal a complex interplay among heterosexual scripting, intimacy, and gender during sexual decision making. The prioritization of emotional intimacy over physical acts in participants’ definitions of virginity loss demonstrates a reconceptualization of virginity in a queer context. The emphasis on pleasure within discussions of penetration distinguishes strap-on use from heteronormative penetrative sex, and challenges the often-assumed link between penetration and masculinity. The demonstrated shaping of roles as a response to one’s sexual partner highlights the relationality inherent to queer sex, and reveals the influence of genderqueerness and sexual positioning on one another. Through these various subversions of traditionally heteronormative sexual practices, queer sexual encounters allow for a reconstruction of the frameworks in which sex and gender are analyzed.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.