Thinking sex notes for a radical theory of the politics of sexuality gayle s. Guerin affirmed that, after all other treatments had failed, he had succeeded in curing young girls affected by the vice of onanism by burning the clitoris with a hot iron. thinking sex is gayle rubins classic 1984 essay about erotic hierarchies and sexual oppression, particularly in the united states. It theorizes the role sex plays in moral panics and political anxieties, and it contributed to important debates about the relation of sex and feminism. Rubin (born 1949) is a cultural anthropologist best known as an activist and influential theorist of sex and gender politics. She has written on a range of subjects including feminism, sadomasochism, prostitution, pedophilia, pornography and lesbian literature, as well as anthropological studies and histories of sexual subcultures, especially focused in urban contexts. Thinking sex notes for a radical theory of the politics of sexuality. To some, sexuality may seem to be an unimportant topic, a frivolous diversion from the more critical problems of poverty, war, disease,. rubin has said that one of aspects she is most proud of in thinking sex is its protoqueerness. That means the essay provided a prototype or model for much of the thinking that would come a few years later under the umbrella of queer theory.