Article

Gamified Eroticism: Gay Male “Social Networking” Applications and Self-Pornography

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the author.

Abstract

It is taken for granted that face-to-face contact is the ultimate goal of gay male social networking applications such as Grindr and Scruff. I, however, challenge this assumption and argue that these applications have succeeded not because they fulfill their tacit promise to connect gay men, but by doubling as do-it-yourself (DIY) amateur porn platforms. Gay male social networking applications are screening tools that facilitate self-pornification through a process of gamified surveillance. I contend that the rewards for playing the game are often not the sanitized ones promoted by application creators and their public relations departments but the erotic exchanges and byproducts produced during the screening process these applications ambivalently disavow—nude images and erotic chat.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the author.

... In contrast, MSM mostly report positive responses to receiving unsolicited DPs, describing them as arousing, flattering, and exciting (Marcotte et al., 2020;Tziallas, 2015). And unlike women who lack an equivalent to unsolicited DPs that they can use to fight back against sexual harassment (Oswald et al., 2020;Vitis & Gilmour, 2017), MSM can reply to unsolicited DPs with images of their own (Waling & Pym, 2017), thereby mitigating some of their power. ...
... Stereotypes about male sexuality (e.g., Snell et al., 1988) may also impact MSM's consent practices, as research has shown that MSM feel pressured to engage in sexual activities, even when they feel ambivalent or uninterested (McKie, 2015;Sweeney, 2014;Beres et al., 2014). However, it is important to recall that many MSM enjoy receiving unsolicited DPs (Marcotte et al., 2020;Tziallas, 2015) and that MSM engage in a variety of socio-sexual interactions that blur the lines between platonic and sexual (Byron et al., 2021;Race, 2015). In the case of unsolicited DPs, MSM's online interactions may complicate and obfuscate their consent practices, while also trivializing and perpetuating TFSV. ...
... The attractiveness of the person who sent an unsolicited DP made a difference in participants' experiences, as did the attractiveness of the DP itself. This is not surprising as research has shown that MSM prioritize a man's physical appearance (Kozak et al., 2009) and objectify other MSM on dating apps (Anderson et al., 2018;Tziallas, 2015). However, it is important to note that the attractiveness of perpetrators of sexual harassment can influence how they are perceived, such that a male perpetrator who is more stereotypically attractive is perceived as less harassing (LaRocca & Kromrey, 1999). ...
Article
Full-text available
The unsolicited “dick pic” (DP), which refers to a photo of a penis that is sent without the consent of the recipient, has been identified as a form of technology-facilitated sexual violence (Powell & Henry, 2017). While men who have sex with men (MSM) experience elevated rates of technology-facilitated sexual violence, much of the research has focused on interactions between heterosexual men and women. This study investigated the experiences that MSM have with sending and receiving unsolicited DPs on dating apps. Analysis of interviews with 25 MSM dating app users in Canada revealed three “dimensions” of unsolicited DPs—consensual, wanted, and typical—that capture users’ experiences of receiving such images relative to consent and sexual violence frameworks. Seven factors, including the attractiveness of the sender and the DP, had an impact on MSM’s experiences. Unsolicited DPs were found to be sent for a variety of reasons, including to compliment the recipient and to coerce them into replying with sexual images. It is argued that MSM have trivialized unsolicited DPs and that these images are, according to current definitions, a form of technology-facilitated sexual violence that MSM experience on dating apps. However, there were variations in participants’ experiences and some participants did not characterize unsolicited DPs as problematic or non-consensual, which challenges the notion that MSM always experience these images as sexually violent. These findings shed light on the complexities of unsolicited DPs and indicate the need to (re)examine definitions of technology-facilitated violence and explore MSM’s consent practices within the context of dating apps.
... The fluid way online profiles shift and re-organise depending on an individual's proximity to different users furthers this liminality. Grindr is a space where identities and actions are constantly viewed as erotically-charged (Bonner- Thompson, 2017) and self-pornification, or taking 'dick pics', 'nudes', and other explicit photos, is expected (Tziallas, 2015). ...
... Research into the self-presentation process of Grindr users shows how the digitalised body is frequently assembled through the adoption of hegemonic discourses around masculinity, gay eroticism, and the norms of the app (Bonner- Thompson, 2017;Jaspal, 2016;Miller, 2015a). Some have interpreted this adherence to hegemonic body ideals as the product of Grindr's digital architecture which 'gamifies' how users engage with the app (Tziallas, 2015), while others suggest it is the result of neoliberal consumption practices which promote individual elitism (Chan, 2018). What is clear is that the presentation of identity on Grindr is highly strategic and constructed in relation to dominant discourses around race, masculinity, and sexuality (Daroya, 2018;García-Gómez, 2020 Research on how trans-masculine and gender non-conforming people navigate and experience ...
... These reflect normative ideals that concern the ways particular social groups and identities should function (Conner, 2019;Gieseking, 2017 (Miles, 2019, pg. 131) for those in crisis, but may also increase feelings of loneliness for others (Miller, 2015b Alongside Trent and Ali, many researchers have noted the high number of users who describe Grindr as 'addictive' and the various issues or conflicts it raises for individuals (Miles, 2017;Pingel et al., 2012;Tziallas, 2015). Could these prevalent experiences be legitimate forms of cybersex addiction? ...
Thesis
Full-text available
Gay and queer men tend to experience higher rates of mental health issues, STIs/HIV, suicide, substance dependency, and poor well-being than other demographics. Despite sustained public health efforts internationally, many of these issues continue to disproportionately affect members of the gay community. This thesis presents a new approach to the health issues gay and queer men face. It examines how 'risky' health-related practices including condomless sex and the use of illicit drugs might be legitimate ways of performing self-care and pursuing well-being. In order to address this aim, I conducted 16 interviews over a 12-month period in New Zealand and Australia using a constructionist grounded theory approach and a theoretical framework that draws upon the work of Judith Butler, Elizabeth Grosz, Michel Foucault, Homi Bhabha, Kane Race, Nikolas Rose, and Pierre Bourdieu. My participants and I explore a wide range of topics including the performative nature of sex and the notion of 'play', how pleasure and the emotional significance of sex might be related to self-care, the ways in which space might influence sexual practices and experiences, and to what extent having sex outside the home might be a form of self-care. I also cover safer sex practices and the experience of disease, how PrEP has radically changed the way gay men approach sex, the way drugs are bound up in self-care practices, and the relationships between self-care and community. The concept of 'wild self-care' emerged from these interviews and describes how practices or behaviours which appear risky, dangerous, or unhealthy can also be seen as legitimate ways of caring for the body and the self. I demonstrate how my participants used creative, unexpected, ii and alternative methods of caring for themselves using substances or 'risky' forms of sex and describe the way self-care is communal nature rather than a solitary practice. I also present the notion of health-as-process. This concept allows researchers to approach health as an ongoing process rather than a state of being that might be achieved. This speaks to the emotional and personal way that risk is constructed and experienced. All these facets come together to articulate the deeply complicated ways that people care for themselves.
... Not only can you search by age, ethnicity, and location, but also by body type, relationship status, sexual position, HIV status, and what specific goals you may wish to accomplish. GSN profiles help users create a sortable persona that will attract members of the same gender for whatever satiates their needs at the moment, creating a game-like atmosphere of cruising and self promotion (Race 2015;Tziallas 2015;Aunspach 2019). A 2015 study on the use of online hook up devices found that the various categories within the online profile allow users to sort by identities and desires, which users construct fantasies together via sexual interchange, thus allowing a user to determine if the other person meets their sexual criteria (Race 2015). ...
... Serosorting is the term used to describe the practice of preventive identity practices among both HIV-positive and HIV-negative men to sort out partners of similar statuses and sexual desires (Race 2015). Tziallas (2015) reaffirms the argument that "No" as a matter of unacceptable characteristics is a common occurrence on user profiles to denote what a user finds acceptable. Further, Tziallas (2015) iterates that the nature of text-based communication afforded by GSN apps allows for modulated disclosures which is a form of strategic ambiguity, not unlike that of serosorting. ...
... Tziallas (2015) reaffirms the argument that "No" as a matter of unacceptable characteristics is a common occurrence on user profiles to denote what a user finds acceptable. Further, Tziallas (2015) iterates that the nature of text-based communication afforded by GSN apps allows for modulated disclosures which is a form of strategic ambiguity, not unlike that of serosorting. ...
Article
Full-text available
Dating between Deaf gay men who are American Sign Language (ASL) users and hearing gay men who use spoken language has historically been a challenge, creating a binary in Deaf-hearing relationships. The dating game has been revolutionized by the creation of geo-social networking (GSN) apps, where people communicate through the medium of written English and digital photographs. Furthermore, GSN apps have created a network for meeting other men who identify as Deaf and gay, as well as revealing the existence of a sexual fetish for Deaf partners. The main research question driving this investigation is: What are the impacts of gay GSN apps upon the dating and mating rituals of Deaf gay men in the United States? Using Grounded Theory Methodology, findings indicate that GSN apps have lifted previously-encountered communication barriers between Deaf and hearing men, creating a causeway for communication that gives rise to increased comfort, but leads to an increase in rejection based on being Deaf.
... Black non-heterosexual men are commonly placed in the lowest position on the racial hierarchy and are particularly subjected to sexual objectification on online dating sites (Teunis, 2007;Ward, 2008). Gender expectations and discussions about femininity and masculinity are also of great importance on online dating sites for non-heterosexual men, where a hypermasculine, sexualized ideal regularly is promoted (Ward, 2008;Boyd Farmer and Byrd, 2015;Tziallas, 2015). It is not unusual that these sites endorse pornographic self-presentation (Tziallas, 2015) and a quantification of bodies, with measures of height, weight and genitals, which promotes ideals of tall, fit bodies and discriminates against non-normative bodies (Robinson, 2016). ...
... Gender expectations and discussions about femininity and masculinity are also of great importance on online dating sites for non-heterosexual men, where a hypermasculine, sexualized ideal regularly is promoted (Ward, 2008;Boyd Farmer and Byrd, 2015;Tziallas, 2015). It is not unusual that these sites endorse pornographic self-presentation (Tziallas, 2015) and a quantification of bodies, with measures of height, weight and genitals, which promotes ideals of tall, fit bodies and discriminates against non-normative bodies (Robinson, 2016). In the present study, the gender scope is limited to men and women. ...
... Both the textual and visual commonly occurring focus on genitalia in men's profiles in part confirms previous research about online dating sites for non-heterosexual men being steeped in, and promoting, a highly sexualized culture (Valentine and Skelton, 2003;Tziallas, 2015). In the present study, not all the site's members appreciate the sexualized self-presentations. ...
Article
Full-text available
Online dating is continually on the rise and nowadays a widely used and accepted way to find different kinds of companionship. This relatively new interpersonal phenomenon has provided an especially important virtual space for non-heterosexuals. Previous research on behaviors and trends on dating communities online for sexual minorities has focused primarily on sites for gay men in Anglo-Saxon countries. The purpose of the present study is to examine self-presentations on the Nordic LGBTQ online dating scene and possible gender-dependent differences in self-presentation. The Nordic countries are commonly perceived as progressive in issues regarding gender equality and LGBTQ rights. The countries on average also have low population density with large rural areas and consequently limited scenes for non-heterosexuals. A testimony of this is the study’s selected dating site, which is based in Sweden but encompasses the neighboring countries and markets itself as a Nordic meeting venue. The present study embarks on new territory within psychology-, gender-, and queer research by examining self-presentations on a mixed-gender LGBTQ dating site, situated in the supposedly liberal Nordic countries. Based on qualitative and quantitative data from a stratified sample of 716 cis-gendered, predominantly Swedish online dating profiles, on a well-established Nordic online dating site for non-heterosexual men and women, statistical calculations and a thematic analysis (TA) were executed. The findings show that central self-presentations concern mind versus body, lust and longings, and boundaries, where gender frequently functions as the dividing line. Women self-present more through personality and romantic longings compared to men, who to a higher degree emphasizes body, and lust. Self-presentation is also expressed through resistance against boundary-breaking contact on the site. The boundaries that are guarded regard age, anti-racism and most pronounced – boundaries against male harassment of non-heterosexual women. The implications of self-presentation, possible discrimination and misrepresentation on the Nordic LGBTQ online dating scene are discussed.
... Other times, exchange of intimate or 'fun' could happen much earlier even before any other conversation. Whilst scholars such as Jones (2005) and Tziallas (2015) argue that in online interactions information emerges incrementally sometimes with a form of strategic ambiguity, this has not always been the case with my research informants. Neel, for example, described how he often began a conversation by sending a couple of pictures including erotic ones and asking for reciprocity even before any other conversation: ...
... It was interesting that Andy and SweetLuv both referred to the 'real thing' or 'more real'. Tziallas (2015) argues that platforms such as Grindr and Scruff double down as DIY (do it yourself) amateur porn platforms where meeting up is not always the main goal for users. This is a very similar position several of my respondents take. ...
... It is common for both fat and feminine men to be othered online through sexual economies that encourage individuals to conceal visible signifiers of fatness and femininity in profile images (Robinson 2016;Whitesel 2010). Users invest in marketizing their embodied selves for personal gain and individual pleasure through an emphasis on normative masculinity (Tziallas 2015) constituted through femmephobia (García-Gómez 2020; Miller and Behm-Morawitz 2016). By being ignored and/or othered, users who are unable to embody the demands of normative hierarchies within Grindr can experience feelings of shame and personal failure (Conte 2018;Robinson 2016). ...
... Fat studies scholars, such as Guthman (2009), critically interrogate how neoliberal governmentalities become influential on the level of the body's commodification, monitoring, and the consumption of dieting/exercise trends. The body is an important component of self-advertisement within gay socio-sexual apps (and online widely) for men in terms of selfstylization and working on the body continually to compete in the online neoliberal marketplace (Davies, Souleymanov, and Brennan 2019;Hakim 2018;Tziallas 2015). Through the failure of men to approximate heteromasculine standards for embodiment through feminization and fatness (for fat and femme failure, see Hoskin and Taylor 2019), fatness and femininity become marked as significations of failure, with men who do not perform heteromasculinity appropriately cast outside the bounds of homonormative inclusion and respectability (Conte 2018;de Oliveira, Costa, and Nogueira 2013). ...
Article
Fatphobia and femmephobia are highly interconnected structures of oppression that heavily impact the romantic and sexual lives of gay fat and femme men. Researchers have yet to place critical femininities studies-specifically femme theory-and fat studies together to analyze the regulation of fatness and femininity in gay socio-sexual applications (GSSAs). As such, this article is a call for future empirical research to use these two analytics-femme theory and fat studies-in tandem to deconstruct systems of homonormativity within GSSAs. Specifically, this article draws explicitly from femme theory and fat studies work on shame and failure, placing both in conversation with current work on gay men and GSSAs, to illuminate how these feelings can be motivating forces for political activism. Such feelings of gay fat femme shame and failure can disrupt hierarchies that exist within GSSAs by challenging the boundaries of identity that marginalize gay fat femme men while also focusing on fat and femme agency.
... Mnoštvo aplikacija je uključivalo gejmifikacijske elemente, pa čak i aplikacije za produktivnost (Murray, 2018), te aplikacije za zdravlje i fitness (Maturo & Setiffi, 2016). Popularne aplikacije za upoznavanje, poput Tinder-a, a koje služe potrazi za romantičnim i intimnim vezama ili kratkotrajnim spajanjima, takođe pokreću neke strategije gejmifikacije, poput takmičenja na osnovu fizičke privlačnosti (Hobbs, Owen, & Gerber, 2017;Tziallas, 2015). S druge strane, ludifikacija je dosta ekstremnija strategija, koja pokušava transformisati ne-takmičarske aktivnosti u igru (Frissen, Lammes, de Lange, de Mul, & Raessens, 2015). ...
... Aplikacije za druženje mogu biti rasisti-čke (Carlson, 2018;Mason, 2016) i mizogine (Hess & Flores, 2018;Shaw, 2016). Međutim, ljudi različitog pola i seksualnih identiteta su izvijestili da uživaju u osjećaju ohrabrivanja i slobode da upoznaju istomišljenike, istraže njihovu seksualnost i olakšaju intimnost i intimne susrete koje im mogu ponuditi aplikacije za upoznavanje (Ferris & Duguay, 2019;Hobbs i saradnici, 2017;Jaspal, 2016;Tziallas, 2015). ...
Article
Full-text available
Od njihovog pojavljivanja, 2008. godine, softverske aplikacije za mobilne uređaje („aps“) postale su veoma popularni oblici digitalnih medija. Mobilne aplikacije dizajnirane su kao mali bitovi softvera za uređaje poput pametnih telefona, tablet računara, pametnih satova i drugih prenosivih uređaja. Ovo poglavlje predstavlja sociološku analizu aplikacija, kroz prizmu tri glavne teorijske perspektive: 1) pespektiva političke ekonomije; 2) fukoovska perspektiva i 3) socio-materijalizam. Svaka perspektiva ima drugačiji fokus, ali sve rasvjetljavaju važne aspekte socio-kulturne i političke dimenzije aplikacija. Relevantno empirijsko istraživanje je uključeno u raspravu radi ilustracije kako su aplikacije dizajnirane, razvijane i promovisane od strane niza aktera i agencija, te kako bi se pružio primjer načina na koje ljudi uključuju aplikacije u rutine svakodnevnog života. Poglavlje završava identifikovanjem smjerova za daljnja sociološka istraživanja i teoretisanje o aplikacijama. Ključne riječi: mobilne aplikacije; mobilni uređaji; digitalni mediji; digitalna sociologija; politička ekonomija; fenomenologija, Fuko; transhumanistička teorija
... A multitude of apps have included gamification elements, including productivity apps (Murray 2018) and health and fitness apps (Maturo and Setiffi 2016). Popular dating apps such as Tinder also mobilize some gamification strategies, presenting the quest for romantic and sexual relationships or short-term hookups as a competition based on physi cal attractiveness (Hobbs, Owen, and Gerber 2017;Tziallas 2015). Ludification, on the other hand, is a broader strategy that goes beyond the specific endeavor of including game-like elements in apps. ...
... Dating apps can be racist (Carlson 2020;Mason 2016) and misogynist (Hess and Flores 2018;Shaw 2016). However, people of di verse gender and sexual identities have reported enjoying the feelings of empowerment and freedom to meet like-minded people, explore their sexuality, and facilitate intimacy and sexual encounters that dating apps can offer them (Hobbs, Owen, and Gerber 2017;Ferris and Duguay 2019;Jaspal 2016;Tziallas 2015). ...
Chapter
Since their introduction in 2008, software applications for mobile devices ("apps") have become extremely popular forms of digital media. Mobile apps are designed as small bits of software for devices such as smartphones, tablet computers, smartwatches, and other wearable devices. This chapter presents a sociological analysis of apps through the lens of three major theoretical perspectives: (1) the political economy approach, (2) Fou cauldian perspectives, and (3) sociomaterialism. Each perspective adopts a different fo cus, but all elucidate important aspects of the sociocultural and political dimensions of apps. Relevant empirical research is incorporated into the discussion to illustrate how apps are designed, developed, and promoted by a range of actors and agencies and to provide examples of the ways in which people incorporate apps into the routines of their everyday lives. The chapter ends with identifying directions for further sociological re search and theorizing related to apps.
... Mnoštvo aplikacija je uključivalo gejmifikacijske elemente, pa čak i aplikacije za produktivnost (Murray, 2018), te aplikacije za zdravlje i fitness (Maturo & Setiffi, 2016). Popularne aplikacije za upoznavanje, poput Tinder-a, a koje služe potrazi za romantičnim i intimnim vezama ili kratkotrajnim spajanjima, takođe pokreću neke strategije gejmifikacije, poput takmičenja na osnovu fizičke privlačnosti (Hobbs, Owen, & Gerber, 2017;Tziallas, 2015). S druge strane, ludifikacija je dosta ekstremnija strategija, koja pokušava transformisati ne-takmičarske aktivnosti u igru (Frissen, Lammes, de Lange, de Mul, & Raessens, 2015). ...
... Aplikacije za druženje mogu biti rasističke (Carlson, 2018;Mason, 2016) i mizogine (Hess & Flores, 2018;Shaw, 2016). Međutim, ljudi različitog pola i seksualnih identiteta su izvijestili da uživaju u osjećaju ohrabrivanja i slobode da upoznaju istomišljenike, istraže njihovu seksualnost i olakšaju intimnost i intimne susrete koje im mogu ponuditi aplikacije za upoznavanje (Ferris & Duguay, 2019;Hobbs i saradnici, 2017;Jaspal, 2016;Tziallas, 2015). ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Apstrakt: Od njihovog pojavljivanja, 2008. godine, softverske aplikacije za mobilne uređaje („aps“) postale su veoma popularni oblici digitalnih medija. Mobilne aplikacije dizajnirane su kao mali bitovi softvera za uređaje poput pametnih telefona, tablet računara, pametnih satova i drugih prenosivih uređaja. Ovo poglavlje predstavlja sociološku analizu aplikacija, kroz prizmu tri glavne teorijske perspektive: 1) pespektiva političke ekonomije; 2) fukoovska perspektiva i 3) socio-materijalizam. Svaka perspektiva ima drugačiji fokus, ali sve rasvjetljavaju važne aspekte socio-kulturne i političke dimenzije aplikacija. Relevantno empirijsko istraživanje je uključeno u raspravu radi ilustracije kako su aplikacije dizajnirane, razvijane i promovisane od strane niza aktera i agencija, te kako bi se pružio primjer načina na koje ljudi uključuju aplikacije u rutine svakodnevnog života. Poglavlje završava identifikovanjem smjerova za daljnja sociološka istraživanja i teoretisanje o aplikacijama. Ključne riječi: mobilne aplikacije; mobilni uređaji; digitalni mediji; digitalna sociologija; politička ekonomija; fenomenologija, Fuko; transhumanistička teorija
... A multitude of apps have included gamification elements, including productivity apps (Murray, 2018) and health and fitness apps (Maturo & Setiffi, 2016). Popular dating apps such as Tinder also mobilise some gamification strategies, presenting the quest for romantic and sexual relationships or short-term hook-ups as a competition based on physical attractiveness (Hobbs, Owen, & Gerber, 2017;Tziallas, 2015). Ludification, on the other hand, is a more extreme strategy that attempts to transform nongame activities into play (Frissen, Lammes, de Lange, de Mul, & Raessens, 2015). ...
... Dating apps can be racist (Carlson, 2018;Mason, 2016) and misogynist (Hess & Flores, 2018;Shaw, 2016). However, people of diverse gender and sexual identities have reported enjoying the feelings of empowerment over and freedom to meet like-minded people, explore their sexuality, and facilitate intimacy and sexual encounters that dating apps can offer them (Ferris & Duguay, 2019;Hobbs et al., 2017;Jaspal, 2016;Tziallas, 2015). ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Since their introduction in 2008, software applications for mobile devices ('apps') have become extremely popular forms of digital media. Mobile apps are designed as small bits of software for devices such as smartphones, tablet computers, smartwatches, and other wearable devices. This chapter presents a sociological analysis of apps through the lens of three major theoretical perspectives: i) the political economy approach; ii) Foucauldian perspectives; and iii) sociomaterialism. Each perspective adopts a different focus, but all elucidate important aspects of the sociocultural and political dimensions of apps. Relevant empirical research is incorporated into the discussion to illustrate how apps are designed, developed, and promoted by a range of actors and agencies, and to provide examples of the ways in which people incorporate apps into the routines of their everyday lives. The chapter ends with identifying directions for further sociological research and theorising related to apps.
... From the perspective of HCI design, the authors of [26] studied how to optimize SMM dating apps' functionality to meet the requirements of users with different usage motivations. Although people always think that the ultimate goal of SMMSA is to enable face-to-face contact, the authors of [48] challenged this assumption and argued that these apps have succeeded not because they extended social relationships, but because they established amateur porn platforms. There is also a group of literatures that analysed the relationship between the usage of SMMSA and risk behaviors for HIV infection. ...
... Then, as SMM-NSD tend to be more willing to make friends with those also not in steady relationships, we make a deeper hypothesis that they are more likely to be exposed to harassment [27]. For this reason, some of them will turn to the anti-harassment mechanism (i.e., blocking someone) provided by the SMMSA more frequently [48]. Thus, we choose the number of blocked users (from the blacklist information in the dataset) as a measure for the degree of harassment they encountered, because more harassment might lead to a longer blacklist. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
With the increasing social acceptance and openness, more and more sexual-minority men (SMM) have succeeded in creating and sustaining steady relationships in recent years. Maintaining steady relationships is beneficial to the wellbeing of SMM both mentally and physically. However, the relationship maintaining for them is also challenging due to the much less supports compared to the heterosexual couples, so that it is important to identify those SMM in steady relationship and provide corresponding personalized assistance. Furthermore, knowing SMM’s relationship and the correlations with other visible features is also beneficial for optimizing the social applications’ functionalities in terms of privacy preserving and friends recommendation. With the prevalence of SMM-oriented social apps (called SMMSA for short), this paper investigates the relationship status of SMM from a new perspective, that is, by introducing the SMM’s online digital footprints left on SMMSA (e.g., presented profile, social interactions, expressions, sentiment, and mobility trajectories). Specifically, using a filtered dataset containing 2,359 active SMMSA users with their self-reported relationship status and publicly available app usage data, we explore the correlations between SMM’s relationship status and their online digital footprints on SMMSA and present a set of interesting findings. Moreover, we demonstrate that by utilizing such correlations, it has the potential to construct machine-learning-based models for relationship status inference. Finally, we elaborate on the implications of our findings from the perspective of better understanding the SMM community and improving their social welfare.
... The global technological revolution has not only promoted interpersonal communication, but it has also brought about a revolution in the production and distribution of pornographic content (Tziallas, 2015). As such, the use of social media in gratifying romantic relationship desires has become easier. ...
... However, this may negatively affect their psychological well-being as consumers may become addicted due to high consumption of pornographic contents. Social media has created a platform worldwide where users can easily upload and publicly share nude or semi-nude pictures, 3 with different motivations, gratifications, and intentions (Tziallas, 2015). It has also provided a platform where users can be involved in sexting (exchanging sexually explicit messages/pictures/videos through a mobile phone) with the opposite sex or a sexual partner (Weitzer, 2011). ...
Article
The advent of social media platforms has revolutionized the process of information creation, dissemination and consumption. Although highly debated, pornography consumption on social media is a reality. Building on an acquisition, activation, and application model, this study investigates student’s (n = 379) gratification in romantic relationships as an outcome of their pornography consumption on social media, through the mediating effect of sexual confidence and sexual compulsivity. PROCESS macro was used to analyze the data. Results indicate that the effect of pornography consumption on a viewer’s gratification in a romantic relationship is partially mediated by sexual confidence (β = .0461, p < .001) and sexual compulsivity (β = .420, p < .001). These findings hold important contributions to current literature. Findings also indicate that pornography consumption positively and significantly aids a viewer’s sexual gratification in romantic relationships.
... Therefore, some forms of IBSA may be viewed as more commonplace among younger generations (see McGlynn & Johnson, 2021 for a brief discussion on cyberflashing), which may encourage others to engage in these practices. Others may not view behaviours like cyberflashing as problematic at all and may use dating platforms such as Grindr to send and receive unsolicited images (Tziallas, 2015). ...
... El pull to refesh, las notificaciones continuas y la obtención de recompensas forman parte de las estrategias con las que las aplicaciones para ligar captan la atención de sus usuarios y usuarias. Estos pueden sentir que ganan cuando reciben mensajes, imágenes eróticas o son agregados a la lista de favoritos de alguien, pero también pueden "perder" cuando son bloqueados o ignorados por otros usuarios (Tziallas, 2015). Como en todo juego, la competencia desempeña un rol central, la mayoría de los participantes mantienen chats simultáneos e incluso varias relaciones al mismo tiempo mientras la oferta de nuevos candidatos y candidatas se renueva de forma constante (Linne, 2020). ...
Article
Full-text available
Las aplicaciones para ligar se han convertido en uno de los métodos más utilizado para buscar pareja. Gran parte de su éxito se debe a que han introducido elementos lúdicos en su configuración para transformar esta búsqueda en un juego. Sin embargo, al amparo de estas tecnologías también han surgido prácticas de acoso y rechazo como el sexting o el ghosting. En este artículo se ha llevado a cabo una investigación cualitativa basada en entrevistas semiestructuradas a usuarios y usuarias de aplicaciones para analizar su experiencia dentro de estas plataformas y los efectos de la gamificación. El resultado evidencia que en ellas se reproducen y perpetúan desigualdades de género que pueden desembocar en nuevas formas de violencia machista.
... 4 Further, sexual content creators use social media platforms to invite audiences to sexual content published elsewhere. Most social platforms offer private spaces for chat and media sharing, where sexual content is less likely removed, and dating/hook-up apps also host sexual self-representations (Phillips 2015;Tziallas 2015) and may be experienced as 'interactive porn' sites (Dasgupta 2022). ...
Article
To date, porn literacy research has mostly focused on school-based porn literacy education. This education commonly seeks to warn young people about pornography, and to inoculate them against its perceived harms. This approach fails to consider porn literacies in the context of a current media literacy framework, and rarely explores young people's digital cultures that are central to their porn engagements. This article proposes a need to centre young people's digital cultures, and in doing so, considering their porn literacy practices that fall outside school-based education. For example, social media offer much evidence of porn literacy education and practice, as found on TikTok and other platforms.
... These multiple internet-based activities often co-exist and may independently predict the presence of PUI [15]. Other research has highlighted the increasingly overlapping nature of those activities, for example with the 'gamblification of gaming' [18], the 'gamification of cybersex' [19] or cyberbullying on social media [20]. At the same time, human engagement with the online medium has changed dramatically over the last three decades, and will continue to do so, rendering the characterization of PUI and its determinants an extremely difficult task [21]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Problematic usage of the internet (PUI) is an umbrella term, referring to a variety of maladaptive online behaviors linked to functional impairment. There is ongoing need for the development of instruments capturing not only PUI severity, but also the online activity types. The Internet Severity and Activities Questionnaire (ISAAQ), previously developed to address this need, required further refinement and validation. Methods: Cross-sectional data was gathered in two separate samples (South Africa n = 3275, USA-UK n = 943) using the Internet Severity and Activities Addiction Questionnaire (ISAAQ). Item Response Theory (IRT) was used to examine the properties of the scale (Part A of the ISAAQ) and differential item functioning against demographic parameters. The severity scale of the ISAAQ was optimized by eliminating the poorest performing items using an iterative approach and examining validity metrics. Cluster analyses was used to examine internet activities and commonalities across samples (Part B of the ISAAQ). Results: Optimization of ISAAQ using IRT yielded a refined 10-item version (ISAAQ-10), with less differential item functioning and a robust unidimensional factor structure. The ISAAQ-10 severity score correlated strongly with established measures of internet addiction (Compulsive Internet Use Scale [Person's r = 0.86] and the Internet Addiction Test-10 [r = 0.75]). Combined with gaming activity score it correlated moderately strongly with the established Internet Gaming Disorder Test (r = 0.65). Exploratory cluster analyses in both samples identified two groups, one of "low-PUI" [98.1-98.5%], and one of "high-PUI" [1.5-1.9%]. Multiple facets of internet activity appeared elevated in the high-PUI cluster. Discussion: The ISAAQ-10 supersedes the earlier longer version of the ISAAQ, and provides a useful, psychometrically robust measure of PUI severity (Part A), and captures the extent of engagement in a wide gamut of online specific internet activities (Part B). ISAAQ-10 constitutes a valuable objective measurement tool for future studies.
... The participants' testimonies are in line with previous findings on ethnic minorities' struggles with the whiteness ideal racism in predominantly white non-heterosexual arenas (e.g., Cyrus, 2017;Ghabrial, 2017;Lim and Hewitt, 2018;Kehl, 2019;Patel, 2019), and their experiences of racism and exotification online echoes previous findings on Nordic LGBTQ+ online dating sites and apps (Shield, 2016;Svensson, 2016;Miller, 2019). Internationally, many dating apps for non-heterosexual men are known for being sexualizing in their nature (Gudelunas, 2012;Hall et al., 2012;Miller, 2015;Tziallas, 2015;Parisi and Comunello, 2016), an experience shared by the male participants in the present study. The scarcity of online dating opportunities, experienced by the female participants also corresponds with previous research (e.g., Duguay, 2019). ...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction In research on sexuality, marginalized sub-groups within sexual minorities have often been overlooked. From the vantage point of Sweden, internationally ranked as an exemplary progressive nation in equality issues and LGBTQ+ rights, and with an increasingly diversified population, the lived experiences of ethnic minority non-heterosexual people are still very much lacking in voice and visibility. The present study aimed to examine experiences within Swedish non-heterosexual spaces, held by ethnic minority non-heterosexual individuals. Method A thematic analysis of in-depth interviews with 22 Swedish non-heterosexual individuals, 13 cis-men and nine cis-women, with diverse first- and second-generation immigration backgrounds, was conducted. Results Two main themes were identified. The first theme, “ Constantly contested identities ,” is composed of the sub-themes “ Ingrained, intersecting ideals ” and “ Prejudiced spaces ,” and the second theme, “ Effects and counteractions ,” of the sub-themes “ Never fully human ” and “ Representation and separatism .” The results, presented starting from a more theoretical level, moving to situated knowledge, and finally to psychological and practical implications, demonstrate that ethnic minority non-heterosexual people experience problematic and intersecting ideals, with related discrimination, in various Swedish non-heterosexual settings. Experiences of alienation, exotification, and tokenism were common among the participants and had negative psychological effects, including multiple-minority stress and a constant outsider feeling. Representation and participation in separatist forums were utilized as primary strategies to counteract the negative effects. Discussion The findings shed light on previously under-researched ideals and actions within Swedish LGBTQ+ spaces, and raises questions about how positive belonging can be achieved for multiple-minorities. Further research and continued critical discussions about ethnic minority non-heterosexual people's plight within non-heterosexual settings in Sweden, and beyond, is advocated.
... 21 A primary aim of this chapter has been to pull back the Bumble cloak to expose the constituent processes through which the platform is impacting dating practices, sexuality, and digital dependency; what sexuality scholar Evangelos Tziallas calls the 'logistical and emotional circuitry' of dating apps. 22 My analysis reveals that Bumble is a paradoxical place that is marketed as empowering but fails in this regard for three key reasons. The first of which is the simplistic messaging about feminism and dating equity that excludes consideration of male experiences as well as our post-#MeToo era, where sexual dynamics and gender relations are deeply contested. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Branded as the world’s first feminist dating app, Bumble is the only heterosexual platform where women make the first move and male users must wait to be chosen. Does Bumble deliver on its promise to empower women and help them take charge of their romantic lives? I explore these compelling questions using auto-ethnographic insights from my experiences on the app alongside my insights as an ethnographer with expertise in the fields of sexuality and digital subjectivity. My findings reveal that using Bumble rarely garners successful dating experiences and it creates additional dating labours for women while emasculating men. Far from a recipe for female empowerment, the app exacerbates pre-existing dating inequities and fails as a feminist platform. Detailed excerpts of my dating encounters and observational data about the socio-material and technological factors that inform the marketing of the app are used to illuminate what I call the “Bumble paradox.” The ways in which these timely findings enrich current research into dating apps, sexuality, and gender in the 21st century is also discussed.
... In many studies on gay men's dating app use, researchers have highlighted the sexual affordances of dating apps. For instance, Gudelunas (2012) maintains that dating apps have enhanced gay men's ability to seek casual sexual encounters; Tziallas (2015) attributes the success of gay dating apps partly to their functioning as amateur pornography platforms; Licoppe et al. (2016) demonstrate how Grindr users deliberately circumvent emotional involvement through strategic interaction. Meanwhile, dating apps are constantly referred to as 'hook-up apps' (e.g. ...
Article
Full-text available
Dating apps have become one of the most prominent and contentious topics in the realm of intimacy among the wider public and academia. Media and communication researchers have examined their uptake across cultural contexts, seeking to address the dynamics between dating apps and social processes. With the knowledge accumulated in this research field, we assemble a comprehensive account of interactions through dating apps. We categorize existing findings about dating apps into three sections: dating apps and their reconfiguration, dating practices and their remediation, and lastly social arrangements and their reformation. These sections together present dating apps as a technological consequence of various social forces that mediate users’ daily practices and social relationships.
... LGB+ (n = 93) p-value UOR AOR stigma. Furthermore, acceptability of sharing nude photos may also reflect differences in the culture of popular LGB+ dating applications, such as Grindr, to share nude photos and other aspects of LGB+ "hook-up" culture prioritizing sexual over romantic interactions [25]. The prevalence of sexual image sharing may also highlight why LGB+ internet users are more likely to have experienced threats of (or actual) non-consensual image-sharing [26], thus study findings call for additional research to better understand this phenomena and potentially for promotional efforts towards LGB+ South Asians aimed at reducing risky or non-consensual practices of sexual image sharing. ...
Article
Full-text available
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and other sexual minority (LGB+) South Asian Americans represent a disproportionately underserved and often invisible community in the United States. While issues of sexual violence have been documented in the South Asian American community, little is known on its impact among LGB+ individuals. This study explores the experience of sexual violence, related attitudes, and mental health outcomes among LGB+ South Asian Americans. A community-informed online survey of 18–34-year-old South Asian Americans living near the New York State region, recruited from online social media platforms, was conducted. Study design, implementation, and evaluation occurred in partnership with an advisory board of South Asian young adult representatives; data was analyzed both descriptively and through multivariable logistic regression models. Of the 385 participants who reported their sexuality, LGB+ participants comprised 24.1% (n = 93) of the sample. LGB+ participants were more likely to have experienced rape multiple times (17.2% vs. 9.6%) in bivariate analyses, and higher odds of depression (AOR:3.47, 95%CI:1.61–8.17) in adjusted analyses. Overall, LGB+ South Asian Americans displayed a disproportionate burden of sexual violence and depression. Findings identify policy and research pathways to address sexual violence among LGB+ South Asians.
... Consequently, the material or "real" bodies of the others are not of immediate concern in this particular sexual practice. In terms of hook-up several works have highlighted that many interactions and exchanges are as much to be understood as pornographic producers of erotic charge as social and communicative (Mowlabocus, 2010;Tziallas, 2015). ...
Article
This article maps key tensions in contemporary, mediatized gay male sexual culture by focusing on hook-up app use. Based on data generated through a situated and visual interview technique, the paper gather experiences from hook-up app users in the U.K. Concerned with how understandings and usage of hook-up apps are bound up with normative evaluations of their ability to produce “good” intimacy, I suggest integrating analysis of practice and infrastructural capacities with critical intimacy theory. This is captured in the concept intimacy collapse of which I examine three types: one between immediacy and foresight, another between organic and representational pleasure objects, and a third between personal and social acts of looking. The analysis demonstrates that intimacy collapses in hook-up apps produce new (in)visibilities, anxieties and opportunities that are distributed unevenly across the disparate online cultures and identities that make up gay culture.
... However, unsolicited nude or sexual images may not always be unwanted. For example, men who are attracted to men, have been shown to have mostly positive reactions to being cyberflashed (Marcotte et al., 2020;Tziallas, 2015). ...
Article
Most of the research on cyberflashing (i.e., using technology to send someone a nude or sexual image without their consent) has focused on cisgender men sharing pictures of their genitals (i.e., “dick pics”). Within this, what is known about the expectations and reactions to cyberflashing is also limited. Here, we examine the cyberflashing practices, expectations, and reactions of both men and women. Participants in our study (n = 810, 41.8% cyberflashers; 68.0% had been cyberflashed) reported how they expected those receiving their unsolicited sexual images would feel and how they feel when they receive such an image. Women cyberflashers were more likely to endorse expecting a flirty or positive reaction from the receiver and were more likely to report having an ambivalent or negative reaction when cyberflashed. Conversely, men cyberflashers were more likely to expect a negative reaction from the receiver but reported having a flirty or positive reaction when cyberflashed. Finally, we found that expecting a flirty or positive reaction and not expecting a negative reaction were predictive of cyberflashing. Findings highlight the mismatch between the expectations and actual reactions of cyberflashing and underscore the importance of consent education for online sexual interactions.
... Whereas, reification poses challenges toward individuality and the resistant and critical ethos of queer cultural production, it also paradoxically affords opportunities for the formation of an antiheteronormative subjectivity. As Burger (1995) and Tziallas (2015) both argue, gay porn has played a key role in Western gay male culture as popular memory, social organizer, and collective heritage. Maddison (2017) further points out that neoliberal digital cultures have given rise to a structure of uneven empowerment among gay men in porn consumption, whose patterns are riven with divisions of wealth, race, class, and gender (156). ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines a nascent network of commercial DIY gay porn production by microcelebrities in China against the background of platformization, commodification, and illiberal cultural landscapes. Informed by queer Marxist theories, the paper looks at how the career trajectories of live-streamer-turned DIY gay porn actors/producers are shaped by the intertwining forces of platform capitalism, technological affordances, and state internet governance. Reflecting on the critical potential of these DIY porn production practices, it suggests that they paradoxically showcase both a willing submission to the ever-expanding logics of capitalism and means of creative negotiation with commodification and state censorship.
... Sexting has been found to be common on gay dating applications (Albury & Byron, 2014). Several studies have found that gay men frequently engage in sexualized self-presentation through online dating applications (Tziallas, 2015;Wongsomboon, Sietins, & Webster, 2021;Wu & Trottier, 2021). This includes the exchange of sexually explicit images with potential romantic or sexual partners, and the posting of sexualized images on online dating profiles to present oneself to other users (Wu & Trottier, 2021). ...
Article
Sexting, herein defined as the sending of self-made sexually explicit images has mostly been studied within the context of heterosexual relationships and among adolescent and young adult populations. This exploratory mixed-method study aims to investigate the prevalence, context and perceptions of sexting among non-heterosexual men of various generations in Belgium. The study used two datasets. A quantitative survey that was conducted among 684 non-heterosexual men between 18 and 77 years old (M = 34.29 years old; SD = 13.41), and qualitative interviews were conducted with 80 non-heterosexual men (M = 37.41 years old; SD = 15.93). Overall, 66.4% of the non-heterosexual men had sent a sexting image, and 84.7% of those who sexted indicated that they were unrecognizable in their images. The qualitative interviews showed that sexting is perceived as a risky but unproblematic practice by non-heterosexual men of all generations. Few generational differences were observed. Sexting takes place within the context of online dating and is perceived as a normative behavior within dating apps. The participants were aware of the potential risks associated with sexting and they protected themselves by sending images in which they were unrecognizable, thereby ensuring their safety and anonymity in online spaces.
... It is not surprising to see that queer communities have been pioneers in utilizing digital technologies to connect with each other and create alternative "virtual intimacies" (McGlotten, 2014). For instance, the launch of geolocation dating apps such as Grindr and Scruff for gay men have completely transformed the world's dating scene into a gamified erotic terrain (Tziallas, 2015) wherein "bodies, places, and identities are discursively constructed through the interplay of virtual and physical experience" (Roth, 2014(Roth, , p. 2113. In recent years, this has also led to a reconfiguration of embodiment in such digital spaces since geolocation dating apps actively foreground embodiment and physical encounter and adopt a hybrid approach which also focuses on material spaces and physical encounters. ...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this conceptual paper is to discuss the transformation of socialisation processes due to the digitalisation of entertainment and community formation during COVID‐19. More specifically, we focus on alternative modes of touch and contact within the context of queer digital entertainment spaces and question how the world is shaped and sensed in a (post‐) COVID‐19 era. Inspired by the work of Karen Barad on a quantum theory of queer intimacies, we highlight that the rise of hybridised experiences in‐between physical and digital spaces captures a series of spatio‐temporal, material and symbolic dimensions of touch and contact. We conclude by drawing implications for the future of organisations and work. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
... This tension in the presentation of the online self has been identified in Thompson-Bonner's (2017: 1661-1669 work, who has categorised Grindr profile photos as either hypersexualised-emphasising a muscular and toned body and-lifestyle, communicating to other users an interest in travel or culture, for example. An exception to this more nuanced understanding of gay dating app usage is Tziallas (2015) who believes the sexual motivation, rather than being downplayed, is in fact the key driver of Grindr's success. Tziallas (2015: 761) rightly believes the success of Grindr as an amateur porn platform is predicated upon the desire of users to share naked photos and to receive others in return in a process decidedly different from accessing thousands of such anonymous photos online. ...
... Zhao (2005) argues that 'anonymity' makes it 'easier for people to develop online intimacy and trust' (401). Other scholars have established the role of the Internet in facilitating negotiation and experimentation (Mowlabocus 2010a(Mowlabocus , 2010bRace 2010Race , 2015Tziallas 2015). The role of online sites in bugchasing has also been well established by previous researchers such as Grov (2006) and Garc ıa-Iglesias (2020b). ...
Article
Full-text available
PrEP, pre-exposure prophylaxis, is a novel HIV prevention strategy. Highly efficacious, its development and delivery has caused significant debate. This paper explores the ways in which PrEP is signified and some of the new identities it gives rise to through the analysis of PrEP discourses among 'bugchasers'. Bugchasers comprise a niche group of gay men who eroticise HIV and fantasise with or seek to get infected. The research explores how bugchasers negatively conceptualise PrEP as a barrier to thrill and masculinity and discusses PrEP as a positive intervention that allows them to understand their own desires for risk-taking. Finally, it addresses a new identity position, the 'poz pleaser' who identifies as a bugchaser yet uses PrEP. Findings link to current debates about PrEP meanings and signification by using bugchasing as a niche yet illustrative example of how men make sense of this intervention based on their existing frameworks. Discussion highlights how this helps us understand how people make sense of biomedical interventions, the importance of emotional 'side effects', and the development of new identity positions. In so doing, it advances existing work on PrEP signification and contributes to ongoing debates about bugchasing.
... The online dating platform opens up the analytical possibility of a range of erotic and sexualised behaviours including 'hooking up' (Tziallas 2015). In this process, the body Ageing Int turns into a commodified object (referred to as 'meat' or 'fresh meat') (Bonner- Thompson. ...
Article
Full-text available
This study utilizes queer gerontology as a framework to raise questions and rethink theoretical tools by weaving personal biographies and intimate histories of queer men in Mumbai, India. In particular, drawing on narratives and self-presentation aesthetics of 30 middle-aged to older men in the online dating app, Grindr, as well as face-to-face interviews, this study harnesses the somatic turn in gerontology to show how the (neoliberal) triad of self-care, stylistic consumption and an invocation of “metrosexual” masculinity become critical signifiers of the never-aging cultural enterprise of the Third Age (Laslett 1989). In the process it shows how the putative marginality of the homosexual aged body both destabilizes and strengthens the rationality of normative heterosexuality through its enduring emphasis on (sexual) functionality and moral duty. The men’s narratives allow us to question the limits of “western” cultural anxieties of “coming out” in a context where homosociality offers reticent acceptance without threatening the heteronormative matrix. All in all, this study with its focus on men’s bodies as erotic capital allows us to reimagine aging where desire remains socially and culturally meaningful for most men across their lives, thereby de-centering the heteronormative and asexual gaze of mainstream gerontology in India.
... These apps also provide a form of entertainment (e.g., Batiste 2013). Tziallas (2015) posits the proliferation of DIY pornography on such apps is a mode of communication and sharing information. Further, Castañeda (2015) finds that using Grindr allows young Filipinos to explore their sexuality, share sexual experiences and, in essence, learn how to be gay. ...
Article
Full-text available
Sexual minorities are still stigmatized in many countries. Coming out is not always a choice for many sexual minorities. Mobile dating apps and websites have allowed sexual minorities to selectively disclose their sexual orientation and preferences. They have facilitated and changed how sexual minorities connect and communicate with one another. Research has demonstrated that these apps and websites have allowed users to reach an audience with faster access and farther reach. Contributing to the current literature, I examine how Hornet users are also using other apps concurrently and how this has facilitated contacts between tourists and local Turkish men in an under-studied country. The results indicate that using multiple apps allows some users to overcome language barriers, especially between tourists and Turkish locals.
Chapter
Drawing on history, anthropology, literature, law, art, film, and performance studies, the contributors to Pakistan Desires invite reflection on what meanings adhere to queerness in Pakistan. They illustrate how amid conditions of straightness, desire can serve as a mode of queer future-making. Among other topics, the contributors analyze gender transgressive performances in Pakistani film, piety in the transgender rights movement, the use of Grindr among men, the exploration of homoerotic subject matter in contemporary Pakistani artist Anwar Saeed's work, and the story of a sixteenth-century Sufi saint who fell in love with a Brahmin boy. From Kashmir to the 1947 Partition to the resonances of South Asian gay subjectivity in the diaspora, the contributors attend to narrative and epistemological possibilities for queer lives and loves. By embracing forms of desire elsewhere, ones that cannot correlate to or often fall outside dominant Western theorizations of queerness, this volume gathers other ways of being queer in the world.
Article
Full-text available
Το άρθρο επιχειρεί μια θεωρητική προσέγγιση στην εφαρμογή γνωριμιών «Grindr» ενσωματώνοντας την προσωπική εμπειρία του συγγραφέα μέσα στο επιχείρημα. Σκοπός του άρθρου δεν είναι να ασκήσει αρνητική κριτική στην εφαρμογή και να την απορρίψει, αλλά ούτε και να την επιδοκιμάσει και να την εξυμνήσει. Αυτό που επιχειρείται είναι ένας αναστοχασμός πάνω στις προεκτάσεις της τεράστιας επίδρασης της εφαρμογής και μια αξιολόγηση της πολιτισμικής και πολιτικής της σημασίας. Η έρευνα του άρθρου γίνεται μέσα σε πλαίσια που λαμβάνουν υπόψιν ένα ιστορικό πλαίσιο αγώνων της κοινότητας ατόμων με διαφορετική σεξουαλικότητα (ΛΟΑΤΚΙ), και ένα πολιτισμικό πλαίσιο όπου η ψηφιακή επικοινωνία είναι δεδομένη. Ακριβώς επειδή είναι δεδομένη και αναπόφευκτη, όπως είναι και για πολλά άτομα η επιτακτική ανάγκη που επιφέρει η ερωτική επιθυμία, το άρθρο προτείνει μια αναθεώρηση των ερωτημάτων που τίθενται για το «Grindr». Τα πολιτικά ζητήματα που προξενεί η ψηφιακή επικοινωνία σε θέματα ταυτότητας και σχέσεων, αλλά και αναζήτησης ερωτικών συντρόφων, χρήζουν προσοχής και αφύπνισης. Η εφαρμογή προσφέρει δυνατότητες αλλά ενέχει και σοβαρούς περιορισμούς που συνδέονται με συστημικά πλαίσια όπως η πατριαρχία. Είναι λοιπόν απαραίτητη η κριτική αξιολόγηση της εφαρμογής «Grindr» ως ψηφιακού μέσου αλλά και ως σημαντικής εξέλιξης στη σεξουαλική ιστορία της εποχής μας.
Article
Blued is the most popular gay dating app among Chinese sexual minority men. This study explored the textual self-presentation of the profiles on Blued in terms of motivation, appearance focus, and exclusion. A total of 10,000 profiles were randomly selected from a dataset of 197,516 profiles using an interval sampling method. A total of 230 features were developed, and six themes were extracted from 4,881 profiles based on content analysis. The themes were motivation, personal information, partner preference, partner non-preference, sexual preference, and communication preference. Body and age were the most commonly mentioned self-presentations, followed by attractiveness and masculinity. Self-presentations largely focused on the users' photos are prominent on Blued. Exclusion against those who were "overweight," "elderly," "unattractive," and "effeminate" was common. Network analysis was used to analyze and visualize the co-occurrence of these features. Appearance focus and exclusion features were linked with both "hookup" and "no hookup" motivations. Photo-focused communication was linked to the exclusion of others. "No hookup" motivation was associated with more social motivation (e.g., making friends and chatting) and trait-focused communication (e.g., being polite and permanent). "Hookup" motivation was associated with genital presentations (i.e., "big penis" and "like big penis"). Most self-presentation features of sexual preference were sexual role-specific. The results indicate a widespread focus on appearance and exclusion on Blued, which may negatively affect the mental health of Chinese sexual minority men.
Article
Full-text available
This article reflects upon and provides updates to appnography as a methodology for the study of dating digital app culture. Based on empirical fieldwork and in-depth nterviews with members of the research team, we re-assess and re-map appnography’s original five methodological considerations—digital versus “real,” profiles, space, place, and community, contextualization, and temporality—along two axes: design considerations and user considerations. We also add a third methodological axis, researcher considerations, to the methodological features of appnography and expound on its related concerns of participant recruitment and technological familiarity. With this reformulation, we believe appnography offers an even more robust means of bridging the ethnographic and the technological in qualitative research on apps and their use.
Article
Full-text available
Bereits seit Jahrzehnten beschweren sich queere Aachener_innen darüber, dass ihnen die lebendigere Subkultur der 1980er und 1990er Jahre fehle. Die wenigen queeren Räume in der Innenstadt sind heute institutionalisiert und konzentrieren sich meist auf soziale Arbeit oder ehrenamtliches Engagement – distanziert von Elementen der Lust und sexueller Begegnung. In den vergangenen 50 Jahren lassen sich jedoch zahlreiche Beispiele für Raumproduktionen finden, die auf eine belebte Klappenkultur und eine Sexualisierung von Räumen hinweisen. In Parkanlagen, öffentlichen Toiletten auf Bahnhöfen oder in Hochschulgebäuden sowie über Dating-Apps haben Männer, die Sex mit anderen Männern suchten, trotz – oder gerade wegen des erzkatholischen Glaubens in der Stadt Aachen – immer wieder neue Cruising-Orte für sich kreieren können. Die Schaffung dieser Räume, die Verbreitung des Wissens über sie, ihre Nutzung – der gesamte Prozess um das cruising herum war in Aachen, ebenso wie in vielen anderen (Groß-)Städten, aufgrund gesetzlicher Regelungen und sozialer Normen jahrzehntelang versteckt, tabuisiert, schambehaftet und geächtet. Dieser Beitrag deckt diese (zumindest für die Mehrheitsgesellschaft) verborgene und unbekannte Welt der Aachener Klappen-Kultur auf. Der Artikel stützt sich auf Archivrecherchen und Interviews mit queeren Zeitzeugen verschiedener Generationen. Diese kombinierte Methodik bietet Einblicke in die Vergangenheit, Gegenwart und erwartete Zukunft von Aachens intimen Raumproduktionen. Ziel dieser Untersuchung ist es, queere sexuelle Lust in einer Stadt außerhalb des deutschen LSBTIQ+-Mainstreams zu kartieren, sichtbar zu machen und über seine Entwicklung innerhalb des vergangenen halben Jahrhunderts zu reflektieren.
Article
The internet has facilitated and exacerbated men’s intrusions through the ability to send unsolicited ‘dick pics’ (DPs) to women. To understand how young women negotiate the gendered context in which they live their digital sexual lives, the research reported here sought to explore how school-aged young women in Aotearoa New Zealand made sense of unsolicited DPs. Unsolicited DPs were strongly differentiated from wanted images, in terms of consent to receive, when/how they were received and the content of unsolicited images versus wanted images. These young women often used humour as a distancing tool, a conscious and sub-conscious form of safety work to protect themselves from men’s normalised intrusions into their lives. While unsolicited DPs were often portrayed and accepted as a joke, the impact on women was minimised yet their safety work increased. The ubiquitous, ‘always on’ nature of the internet alongside the blurring of on/offline boundaries ensured this safety work became all-encompassing as young women endured additional emotional labour to avoid being targeted or violated. It is only through conceptualising unsolicited DPs as an image-based sexual abuse that we can challenge it.
Chapter
Paraphilias refer to sexual inclinations that deviate significantly from the norm. According to the DSM-5, there are the voyeuristic, exhibitionistic, frotteuristic, sexually masochistic, sexually sadistic, paedophilic, transvestic, and fetishistic disorders.
Chapter
Full-text available
Zusammenfassung Bereits die Vermutung mediatisierter sexualisierter Gewalt führt zu Belastungen im Bezugssystem von Kindern und Jugendlichen. Dies zieht oft Konflikte innerhalb der Familie nach sich, die Interventionen erschweren und junge Menschen zusätzlich belasten. Das Kapitel diskutiert Gründe und Dynamiken von Eltern-Kind-Konflikten infolge des Verdachts auf mediatisierte sexualisierte Gewalt. Es bespricht, wie mit diesen belastungsbedingten Konflikten umgegangen werden kann. Es stellt sozialpädagogische und juristische Möglichkeiten des Schutzes junger Menschen dar, auch für den Fall, dass die Frage nach möglicher Gewalt nicht abschließend geklärt werden kann.
Article
This paper argues that gay dating platform-facilitated crimes and abuses in India are produced and perpetuated by structural queerphobia and sex-negativity in Indian society. We illustrate how sex-negativity and queerphobia are embedded in Indian families, neighborhoods, criminal law, and the criminal justice system, which help produce/exacerbate these crimes. We offer some recommendations as to how these can be changed and posit that future empirical studies should focus on reforming societal structures producing/exacerbating these crimes. We also suggest that framing safe dating advice in a more sex-positive light will reduce self-blame and better address these issues. Overall, we contend that a sex-positive queer-criminological theoretical lens will offer more effective approaches on which to base preventative measures and assist in supporting those experiencing such crimes.
Article
This article analyzes how a neoliberal understanding of identity shapes gay subjectivity, body, affect, and intimacy in digital environments, particularly Instagram. This social media has become one of the most relevant elements of gay subculture in Western countries, including Spain. Neoliberalism usually reduces gayness to a sort of global marketable brand which is understood as an individual attribute rather than a collective identity that provides common ground to fight for LGBT rights and against homophobia. Drawing on previous research on online self-representation and gay subjectivity, we specifically explore this global pattern in Spanish gay users of Instagram. To this end, we examine posts containing the tag #gaySpain uploaded between April and May 2020. In general, our research shows that the profiles tend to provide narratives of successful personal self-engineering and self-promotion, rather than activism and collective empowerment. These narratives present the gay body as a commercial product or something to be admired and consumed, whilst affect is part of an online highly ritualized performance and communication, and by no means a force for social change. As part of self-representation in social media, intimacy is constructed on Instagram for a large audience as an attractive example of a thriving gay life; in simple terms, Instagram has become gay show business like other manifestations of this subculture such as the Pride march.
Article
Bisexual men operate within a paradox of social stereotypes and public invisibility. Despite the prevalence of bi-erasure and the difficulties surrounding bisexual visualization, men’s bisexuality (at least as a term) has a strong digital presence on Instagram. Using visual content analysis of Instagram photos tagged with #biguy(s) and/or #biboy(s), this study investigates the discursive production of bisexual men on the platform and describes its entanglements with homonormative visual culture. Contrary to previous ethnographic research, the results of this study indicate that men’s bisexual display on Instagram do not use traditional bi symbols. Additionally, acts of bi visibility often conflate themselves with homonormative visual culture through the use of gay-affiliated hashtags and a visual focus on men’s bodies. However, these findings also suggest that homonormative visual culture on Instagram does not closely align with past literature on the topic. Implications for the study of bisexual visual identities in the era of image-based social media are also discussed.
Chapter
Paraphilien bezeichnen sexuelle Neigungen, die deutlich von der Norm abweichen. Nach DSM-5 gibt es die voyeuristische, exhibitionistische, frotteuristische, sexuell masochistische, sexuell sadistische, pädophile, transvestitische und fetischistische Störung.
Article
This article explores the haptic geographies of embodied, material and spatial anticipations of offline erotic encounters that Grindr users have in their homes. I bring haptic geographies in conversation with geographical work on sexuality to explore how a desire to touch is reconfigured when people meet in ‘the flesh’. Grindr is a location‐based dating/hook‐up app that is used mainly by men looking for encounters – sexual, romantic, friendships, dates, online and offline – with other men. I draw on 30 semi‐structured interviews and four participant research diaries from Grindr users in Newcastle‐upon‐Tyne in North East England. By using haptic geographies, I examine gender and sexuality at the bodily and domestic scale. I explore how touch and place are co‐constituted, arguing that men who use Grindr are learning how to negotiate their erotic Grindr practices through anticipations, identities and places that encounters are situated. Focusing on the embodied and spatial anticipations enables an understanding of the ways corporeal and digital practices are co‐constituted.
Article
Full-text available
Millions of people around the world use Geo-Social Networking Applications (GSNAs) to connect with new people and potential sexual partners. Using data from a broad study of GSNA users, this paper explores GSNA use by straight men and the implications on their positionality, masculinity, and for their leisure. Straight men showed that although they speak out against traditional masculine norms in their offline lives, on GSNAs they enact and embrace hegemonic norms of dating. This dualistic (re)presentation demonstrates some of the complexities of how contemporary leisure spaces (like dating) become digitally mediated, but maintain deep human-to-human involvement and traditionalist social expectations.
Article
Full-text available
Hook-up apps are an increasingly popular way for women to meet other people for sex, dating, relationships, and more. As a mundane and habitual form of media, the multiple uses of hook-up apps allow for the production of intimacy in surprising and complex ways. This paper draws on narrative interviews with 15 self-identifying women to explore how dating and hook-up apps help produce ‘intimate publics’ for women. The field of intimate publics available to women users of hook-up apps is broader than those afforded by in-app interactions; there is an entire network of intimacy, sociality, and publicity that forms around hook-up apps. Our findings show that while both queer and straight women use hook-up apps to find sex, hook-ups, dates, and relationships, they are also central to building community, friendship, and sociality between women.
Article
With the increasing social acceptance and openness, more and more sexual-minority men (SMM) have succeeded in creating and sustaining steady relationships in recent years. Maintaining steady relationships is beneficial to the wellbeing of SMM both mentally and physically. However, the relationship maintaining for them is also challenging due to the much less supports compared to the heterosexual couples, so that it is important to identify those SMM in steady relationship and provide corresponding personalized assistance. Furthermore, knowing SMM's relationship and the correlations with other visible features is also beneficial for optimizing the social applications' functionalities in terms of privacy preserving and friends recommendation. With the prevalence of SMM-oriented social apps (called SMMSA for short), this paper investigates the relationship status of SMM from a new perspective, that is, by introducing the SMM's online digital footprints left on SMMSA (e.g., presented profile, social interactions, expressions, sentiment, and mobility trajectories). Specifically, using a filtered dataset containing 2,359 active SMMSA users with their self-reported relationship status and publicly available app usage data, we explore the correlations between SMM's relationship status and their online digital footprints on SMMSA and present a set of interesting findings. Moreover, we demonstrate that by utilizing such correlations, it has the potential to construct machine-learning-based models for relationship status inference. Finally, we elaborate on the implications of our findings from the perspective of better understanding the SMM community and improving their social welfare.
Thesis
Full-text available
As sexual migrants who emigrate to liberal countries such as New Zealand that are more accepting of their sexuality, gay Asian migrants often rely on gay mobile dating applications to find sexual belonging by connecting to the wider gay community in a new environment. These dating apps not only allow them to seek sexual gratification, but are also crucial for new gay migrants to establish local connections quickly. Although these apps are convenient for users, they are also spaces in which problematic issues become manifest. Among these are forms of online racism, the one-size-fits-all design of these apps that universalises experience and sexual representation, and the reflection of values and standards that are deeply rooted in a Westernised gay community. This thesis addresses the many forms of racism that are found in three apps that are popular in New Zealand, namely Grindr, Jack’d, and Blued, through the experience of gay Asian migrants. It also seeks to understand how these apps and the issues they have created affect gay Asian migrants’ representation online, their sense of sexual belonging, and their overall social position in the local gay community. This thesis utilises a mixture of methodological approaches, consisting of examination of the apps’ interface designs, discourse and content analysis of gay Asian migrants’ profiles in these apps, and in-depth interviews with gay Asian migrants. The findings from the various methods employed suggest that these three apps mirror the standards and practices of the local gay community in marginalising gay Asian migrants, and that they are vessels in which racism manifests in tangible and visible forms. However, these apps are also being transformed from sex-focused media to a broader social media format similar to that of Facebook and Instagram that encourages authenticity and consistent on/offline identity. These changes signify the possibilities of gay Asian migrants’ escape from the highly racialised carnality and corporeality that were previously demanded by these apps. This thesis not only locates and examines the elusive gay community through these apps, but it also marks changes that could signify a positive future for gay Asian migrants in and outside of these apps.
Book
Full-text available
A theoretical examination of the surprising emergence of software as a guiding metaphor for our neoliberal world. New media thrives on cycles of obsolescence and renewal: from celebrations of cyber-everything to Y2K, from the dot-com bust to the next big things—mobile mobs, Web 3.0, cloud computing. In Programmed Visions, Wendy Hui Kyong Chun argues that these cycles result in part from the ways in which new media encapsulates a logic of programmability. New media proliferates “programmed visions,” which seek to shape and predict—even embody—a future based on past data. These programmed visions have also made computers, based on metaphor, metaphors for metaphor itself, for a general logic of substitutability. Chun argues that the clarity offered by software as metaphor should make us pause, because software also engenders a profound sense of ignorance: who knows what lurks behind our smiling interfaces, behind the objects we click and manipulate? The combination of what can be seen and not seen, known (knowable) and not known—its separation of interface from algorithm and software from hardware—makes it a powerful metaphor for everything we believe is invisible yet generates visible, logical effects, from genetics to the invisible hand of the market, from ideology to culture.
Article
Full-text available
This article is an affective reading of how networked porn texts work to compose what I call an active pornographic space. What differentiates this from the theatrical porn experience of the 1970s and 1980s is the way in which contemporary porn texts may be created and exchanged immediately through networked devices. This phenomenon allows any seemingly non-sexual locale to be incorporated as part of an active pornographic space. While I use Pierre Fitch as an example of how professional porn performers project a pornographic aesthetic onto neighbourhoods like Montreal's Gay Village, I also account for the role that amateur porn performers play within this circulation of sexual affects. I use Brian Massumi's formation of affect theory and Susanna Paasonen's work on pornographic assemblage to argue that the public manifestations of networked porn texts work to visualize typically invisible sexual affects.
Article
Full-text available
Gamification combines the playful design and feedback mechanisms from games with users' social profiles (e.g. Facebook, twitter, and LinkedIn) in non-game applications. Successful gamification practices are reliant on encouraging playful subjectivities so that users voluntarily expose their personal information, which is then used to drive behavioural change (e.g. weight loss, workplace productivity, educational advancement, consumer loyalty, etc.). The pleasures of play, the promise of a 'game', and the desire to level up and win are used to inculcate desirable skill sets and behaviours. Gamification is rooted in surveillance; providing real-time feedback about users' actions by amassing large quantities of data and then simplifying this data into modes that easily understandable, such as progress bars, graphs and charts. This article provides an introduction to gamification for surveillance scholars. I first provide brief definitions of gamification, games and play, linking the effectiveness of gamification to the quantification of everyday life. I then explain how the quantification in gamification is different from the quantification in both analog spaces and digital non-game spaces. Next, I draw from governmentality studies to show how quantification is leveraged in terms of surveillance. I employ three examples to demonstrate the social effects and impacts of gamified behaviour. These examples range from using self-surveillance to gamify everyday life, to the participatory surveillance evoked by social networking services, to the hierarchical surveillance of the gamified call-centre. Importantly, the call-centre example becomes a limit case, emphasizing the inability to gamify all spaces, especially those framed by work and not play. This leads to my conclusion, arguing that without knowing first what games and play are, we cannot accurately respond to and critique the playful surveillant technologies leveraged by gamification.
Article
Full-text available
While online spaces and communities were once seen to transcend geography, the ubiquity of location-aware mobile devices means that today's online interactions are deeply intertwined with offline places and relationships. Systems such as online dating applications for meeting nearby others provide novel social opportunities, but can also complicate interaction by aggregating or " co-situating " diverse sets of individuals. Often this aggregation occurs across traditional spatial or community boundaries that serve as cues for self-presentation and impression formation. This paper explores these issues through an interview study of Grindr users. Grindr is a location-aware real-time dating application for men who have sex with men. We argue that co-situation affects how and whether Grindr users and their behavior are visible to others, collapses or erases contextual cues about normative behavior, and introduces tensions in users' self-presentation in terms of their identifiability and the cues their profile contains relative to their behavior.
Article
Full-text available
People-nearby applications" (PNAs) are a form of ubiquitous computing that connect users based on their physical location data. One example is Grindr, a popular PNA that facilitates connections among gay and bisexual men. Adopting a uses and gratifications approach, we conducted two studies. In study one, 63 users reported motivations for Grindr use through open-ended descriptions. In study two, those descriptions were coded into 26 items that were completed by 525 Grindr users. Factor analysis revealed six uses and gratifications: social inclusion, sex, friendship, entertainment, romantic relationships, and location-based search. Two additional analyses examine (1) the effects of geographic location (e.g., urban vs. suburban/rural) on men's use of Grindr and (2) how Grindr use is related to self-disclosure of information. Results highlight how the mixed-mode nature of PNA technology may change the boundaries of online and offline space, and how gay and bisexual men navigate physical environments.
Article
Full-text available
Grindr, a geosocial smartphone application, is a networking medium for men who have sex with men. Although three quarters of young men who have sex with men (YMSM) Grindr users report having sex with a Grindr-met partner, the correlates of risky sexual behavior with Grindr-met partners are unknown. A randomly selected sample of 18- to 24-year-old, Grindr-using YMSM completed an anonymous online questionnaire assessing patterns of Grindr use and sexual behavior with their last Grindr-met partners. Of the 146 YMSM who reported having sex with Grindr-met partners, 20% had unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) at last sex with their Grindr-met partner. In the multivariable model, YMSM who used Grindr for at least one year showed naked chest/abs in their profile photo, and reported more past month Grindr-met partners were more likely to report UAI. These findings suggest that familiarity with the app was associated with YMSM's UAI with Grindr-met partners. Moreover, sexualized profile photos (i.e., naked chest/abs) may be associated with sexual risk-taking behaviors. HIV prevention interventions delivered or linked through such apps should target individuals who are longer/frequent users and who present sexualized profiles.
Article
Full-text available
The blurred boundaries between producers and consumers and the increased centrality of user-generated content have been seen as characteristic of Web 2.0 and contemporary media culture at large. In the context of online pornography, this has been manifested in the popularity of amateur pornography and alt porn sites that encourage user interaction. Netporn criticism has recently formed an arena for thinking through such transformations. Aiming to depart from the binary logic characterizing porn debates to date, netporn criticism nevertheless revokes a set of divisions marking the amateur apart from the professional, the alternative from the mainstream and the independent from the commercial. At the same time, such categories are very much in motion on Web 2.0 platforms. Addressing amateur pornography in terms of immaterial and affective labor, this article argues for the need to find less dualistic frameworks for conceptualizing pornography as an element of media culture.
Article
Full-text available
This article explores the way users of an online gay chat room negotiate the exchange of photographs and the conduct of video conferencing sessions and how this negotiation changes the way participants manage their interactions and claim and impute social identities. Different modes of communication provide users with different resources for the control of information, affecting not just what users are able to reveal, but also what they are able to conceal. Thus, the shift from a purely textual mode for interacting to one involving visual images fundamentally changes the kinds of identities and relationships available to users. At the same time, the strategies users employ to negotiate these shifts of mode can alter the resources available in different modes. The kinds of social actions made possible through different modes, it is argued, are not just a matter of the modes themselves but also of how modes are introduced into the ongoing flow of interaction.
Article
Full-text available
This paper suggests a direction in the development of Surveillance Studies that goes beyond current attention for the caring, productive and enabling aspects of surveillance practices. That is, surveillance could be considered not just as positively protective, but even as a comical, playful, amusing, enjoyable practice. A number of recent trends suggest that there is a potential for unmistakable entertainment in the operation of a number of contemporary surveillance practices that merit further empirical and theoretical study. The paper discusses several examples that are illustrative of these trends, such as computer games and artistic presentations. Although this analysis does not downplay the problematic and negative features of current surveillance practices, it aims to accentuate some of the ways in which surveillance-enabling technologies are able to perform entertainment functions.
Book
Lauren Berlant explores individual and collective affective responses to the unraveling of the U.S. and European economies by analzying mass media, literature, television, film, and video.
Article
This article offers a critical examination of the smartphone application Scruff, a gay geosocial networking service targeted primarily at bears that boasts a user base of more than five million individuals in more than 180 countries. Using a case study of gay geosocial networking, the article argues for a theoretical reworking of the relationships among embodiment, space, and digital media. Geosocial services such as Scruff, by virtue of their emphasis on bodies and locations that can be accessed offline, complicate notions that online interactions are displaced, disembodied, and ethereal. By layering a virtual, but still spatialized network of users atop existing physical locations, Scruff straddles the online-offline divide and indicates how bodies, places, and identities are discursively constructed through the interplay of virtual and physical experience.
Article
This exploratory study examines young people's expectations of privacy when they share suggestive photos via mobile phones, also known as sexting. To investigate the social norms regarding privacy in sexting, we used a combination of online surveys and in-person focus groups. By asking participants about various sexting scenarios, we found that a large majority thought that sharing private images was never or rarely OK. Any tolerance our respondents had for privacy violations was dependent on the type of relationship between the sender and the recipient and the method of image sharing (off-line or online). These results suggest that particular technological design strategies and educational interventions could help young people better protect their private images.
Book
This cutting-edge text offers an introduction to the emerging field of media archaeology and analyses the innovative theoretical and artistic methodology used to excavate current media through its past. Written with a steampunk attitude, What is Media Archaeology? examines the theoretical challenges of studying digital culture and memory and opens up the sedimented layers of contemporary media culture. The author contextualizes media archaeology in relation to other key media studies debates including software studies, German media theory, imaginary media research, new materialism and digital humanities. What is Media Archaeology? advances an innovative theoretical position while also presenting an engaging and accessible overview for students of media, film and cultural studies. It will be essential reading for anyone interested in the interdisciplinary ties between art, technology and media. Reviews 'Jussi Parikka offers a lucid, concise, and highly readable account of a new and exciting field - media archaeology. He demonstrates that contemporary media forms are rooted to the past by multiple threads - untangling them helps us understand the media frenzy that currently surrounds us.' Erkki Huhtamo, University of California Los Angeles 'A fabulous map of media archaeology that, as its subject compels, produces its territory anew.' Matthew Fuller, Goldsmiths 'The most comprehensive coverage to date of this fascinating area of study. Parikka's book offers an excellent overview of connections between the material and social aspects of media technology. He provides a thorough review of the diverse and sometimes contrasting theoretical foundations and provides a host of concrete examples of media-archaeological practice that serve to bridge the gap between heady theoretical trajectories and the concerns of practicing artists, users and other readers who take their technology seriously.' Paul DeMarinis, Stanford University
Book
In Loving Big Brother the author tackles head on the overstated claims of the crime-prevention and anti-terrorism lobbies. But he also argues that we desire and enjoy surveillance, and that, if we can understand why this is, we may transform the effect it has on our lives. This book looks at a wide range of performance and visual artists, at popular TV shows and movies, and at our day-to-day encounters with surveillance, rooting its arguments in an accessible reading of cultural theory. Constant scrutiny by surveillance cameras is usually seen as - at best - an invasion of privacy, and at worst an infringement of human rights. But in this radical new account of the uses of surveillance in art, performance and popular culture, John E McGrath sets out a surprizing alternative: a world where we have much to gain from the experience of being watched. This iconoclastic book develops a notion of surveillance space - somewhere beyond the public and the private, somewhere we will all soon live. It's a place we're just beginning to understand.
Article
This book develops a surveillance studies approach to social media by presenting first hand ethnographic research with a variety of personal and professional social media users. Using Facebook as a case-study, it describes growing monitoring practices that involve social media. What makes this study unique is that it not only considers social media surveillance as multi-purpose, but also shows how these different purposes augment one another, leading to a rapid spread of surveillance and visibility.
Article
Popular culture has recognized urban gay mens use of the Web over the last ten years, with gay Internet dating and Net-cruising featuring as narrative devices in hit television shows. Yet to date, the relationship between urban gay male culture and digital media technologies has received only limited critical attention, Gaydar Culture explores the integration of specific techno-cultural practices within contemporary gay male sub-culture. Taking British gay culture as its primary interest, the book locates its critical discussion within the wider global context of a proliferating model of Western metropolitan gay male culture, Making use of a series of case studies in the development of a theoretical framework through which past, present and future practices of digital immersion can be understood and critiqued; this book constitutes a timely intervention into the fields of digital media studies, cultural studies and the study of gender and sexuality.
Book
Digital production tools and online networks have dramatically increased the general visibility, accessibility, and diversity of pornography. Porn can be accessed for free, anonymously, and in a seemingly endless range of niches, styles, and formats. In Carnal Resonance, Susanna Paasonen moves beyond the usual debates over the legal, political, and moral aspects of pornography to address online porn in a media historical framework, investigating its modalities, its affect, and its visceral and disturbing qualities. Countering theorizations of pornography as emotionless, affectless, detached, and cold, Paasonen addresses experiences of porn largely through the notion of affect as gut reactions, intensities of experience, bodily sensations, resonances, and ambiguous feelings. She links these investigations to considerations of methodology (ways of theorizing and analyzing online porn and affect), questions of materiality (bodies, technologies, and inscriptions), and the evolution of online pornography. Paasonen dicusses the development of online porn, focusing on the figure of the porn consumer, and considers user-generated content and amateur porn. She maps out the modality of online porn as hyperbolic, excessive, stylized, and repetitive, arguing that literal readings of the genre misunderstand its dynamics and appeal. And she analyzes viral videos and extreme and shock pornography, arguing for the centrality of disgust and shame in the affective dynamics of porn. Paasonen’s analysis makes clear the crucial role of media technologies—digital production tools and networked communications in particular—n the forms that porn takes, the resonances it stirs, and the experiences it makes possible.
Article
This paper uses autoethnography to examine locative media - specifically, the location-based social network app Grindr - in the context of spatial practices. Because of the way it integrates the physical location of a user in the construction of a digital space, its curious political and logistical challenge to previously defined spatial arrangements such as gay villages, and the negotiation over interpersonal relations its use entails, Grindr poses a unique case to examine questions around space and locative media. I argue that Grindr harkens back to Pre-Stonewall modes of cruising and socializing through the manipulation of cues, codes, and symbols and disturbs the link between spatial arrangements based on co-presence and gay identity politics.
Article
The following conversation is an edited excerpt from a broader roundtable discussion, organized and moderated by Cinema Journal between June and July 2013. In this section, the conversation focuses on popular culture, fans, and niche cultures. The contributors responded to a series of prompts that asked them to consider the relationship between Spreadable Media and past and current work in fan studies (including Henry Jenkins’s Textual Poachers and Convergence Culture).1 Participants also explore Spreadable Media’s relationship to fan studies scholarship and ask whether Spreadable Media represents a shift in the way we think of fans in relationship to popular culture. The full conversation addresses Spreadable Media’s engagement with questions of transmedia, digital culture, and online social activism more broadly, and it will be published online in an upcoming edition of Transformative Works and Cultures. [End Page 152] Although Spreadable Media is ultimately not a fan studies book, nor does it try to be, it purposefully engages the concept of the fan and thus gets read in conjunction with fan scholarship, including Jenkins’s previous works, Textual Poachers and Convergence Culture. Given that trajectory and the way the book repeatedly deploys specific examples of fan activities within its larger project, it raises the question as to how Spreadable Media uses the fan and how it engages with fan scholarship. Looking at the way Spreadable Media stretches the concept of being a fan to a point of seeming unrecognizability, I would suggest that the book is ultimately not interested in fans, except what they tell us about larger audiences. There are obviously strategic reasons to expand the term fan from the narrow confines that Henry Jenkins’s earlier Textual Poachers set out. In the intervening years, many aspects of fandom have mainstreamed, a move that Henry has both described extensively and partly helped bring about. There are many benefits to conceptualizing active audiences as fans, but I’d like to look at some of the drawbacks. In particular, I’d like to look at what happens when the definition of fan changes from one based on identity to one based on action. I’d like to look at what gets left out when the definition of fan is as broadly conceived as it is in Spreadable Media, when any “like” click on Facebook, any forwarding of a YouTube link, constitutes a fan activity. I am concerned that such a broadening of the concept facilitates a shift from the fans studied in Textual Poachers to general audiences. Such a shift moves the focus away from the marginal media fan, who was mostly commercially nonviable, often resistant, and uncooperative, and whose dedication to a gift economy was often in spite of capitalist alternatives and not because they didn’t exist. In its stead, the fans who take center stage in Spreadable Media are the commercializable audiences, who happily seem to collaborate in their own exploitation, free laborers creating value of which they cannot even assume ownership. What gets excluded and marginalized in Spreadable Media, then, are the very founders of the concept of fan, the unruly and aggressively anticommercial, the queered and sexually explicit, the anticapitalist and anticopyright. What gets excluded are the audiences whose practices may have been adapted and adopted and celebrated but whose presence is ultimately not desired in this brand-new, commercially viable fan universe. Spreadable Media acknowledges this danger: “We all should be vigilant over what gets sacrificed, compromised, or co-opted by media audiences as part of this process of mainstreaming the activities and interests of cult audiences.”2 But when reading through the chapters, I am distressed by observing that very compromise the authors warn against. I fear the actual driving force of...
Article
Grindr is a popular location-based social networking application for smartphones, predominantly used by gay men. This study investigates why users leave Grindr. Drawing on interviews with 16 men who stopped using Grindr, this article reports on the varied definitions of leaving, focusing on what people report leaving, how they leave and what they say leaving means to them. We argue that leaving is not a singular moment, but a process involving layered social and technical acts – that understandings of and departures from location-based media are bound up with an individual’s location. Accounts of leaving Grindr destabilize normative definitions of both ‘Grindr’ and ‘leaving’, exposing a set of relational possibilities and spatial arrangements within and around which people move. We conclude with implications for the study of non-use and technological departure.
Article
This article argues that Michael Lucas’ Men of Israel was made in response to the rising popularity of Arab themes, performers and locations in recent gay male pornography, particularly American studio-based productions. The article explores how recent representations of Arab society, culture and men in gay male pornography employ varying degrees of performativity and authenticity in an attempt to break down differences, and bridge connections, between East and West, while Lucas and his film attempt to maintain that rigid imaginary border. I argue that the texts are a microcosm of the contentious and ongoing debates about homosexuality in the East and West and crystallise how gay identities are used as currency to push various cultural political agendas generally and through pornography subculturally.
Article
Film studies in the heteronormative academy relies on close analysis to contain the threat and promise gay porno offers to both men and women, straight and gay.
Book
This international overview of how pornography--from softcore to hardcore, gay to straight, female to male, black to white--infiltrates and proliferates through various media. Porn is everywhere; from the suggestiveness of music videos to the explicit discussions of popular magazines; from the erotica of advertising to the refashioning of sex acts into art works; from a small garage industry to an internet empire. The media immerses us in the pornographic aesthetic. Now integral to popular culture, porn is part of our everyday lives. Sexual desire is commodified, pornified and the media leads the way. Exploring music videos, alt porn sites, Cosmogirls and Gaydar online forums, H&M's street advertising, retro pin-ups, film and educational sex videos alike, Pornification analyses the transformation of porn in today's media and its impact on our culture.
Book
Spreadable Media maps fundamental changes taking place in our contemporary media environment, a space where corporations no longer tightly control media distribution and many of us are directly involved in the circulation of content. It contrasts "stickiness"-aggregating attention in centralized places-with "spreadability"-dispersing content widely through both formal and informal networks,some approved, many unauthorized. Stickiness has been the measure of success in the broadcast era (and has been carried over to the online world), but "spreadability" describes the ways content travels through social media. Following up on the hugely influential Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide, this book challenges some of the prevailing metaphors and frameworks used to describe contemporary media, from biological metaphors like "memes" and "viral" to the concept of "Web 2.0" and the popular notion of "influencers." Spreadable Media examines the nature of audience engagement,the environment of participation, the way appraisal creates value,and the transnational flows at the heart of these phenomena. It delineates the elements that make content more spreadable and highlights emerging media business models built for a world of participatory circulation. The book also explores the internal tensions companies face as they adapt to the new communication reality and argues for the need to shift from "hearing" to "listening" in corporate culture. Drawing on examples from film, music, games, comics, television,transmedia storytelling, advertising, and public relations industries,among others-from both the U.S. and around the world-the authors illustrate the contours of our current media environment. They highlight the vexing questions content creators must tackle and the responsibilities we all face as citizens in a world where many of us regularly circulate media content. Written for any and all of us who actively create and share media content, Spreadable Media provides a clear understanding of how people are spreading ideas and the implications these activities have for business, politics, and everyday life.
Article
Sexualization might seem like a sympathetic explanation for sexting because it positions girls as innocent victims of mass culture. However, there are problematic unintended consequences with understanding sexting, the practice of sharing personal sexual content via mobile phones or the internet, in this particular way. One troubling implication is that it provides a rationale for holding girls who sext criminally responsible for producing child pornography. A second is that when girls' acceptance of sexualization is positioned as a key social problem, the solution that emerges is that girls must raise their self-esteem and gain better media literacy skills. Despite the value of such skills, a focus on girls' deficiencies can divert attention from the perpetrators of gender- and sexuality-based violence. Finally, discourses about sexualization often erase girls' capacity for choice, relying instead on normative assumptions about healthy sexuality. Interrogating the pathologization of girls' apparent conformity to sexualization and mass culture highlights the complexity of agency.
Article
For more than a century, scholars have alluded to the notion of an “imagined audience”—a person's mental conceptualization of the people with whom he or she is communicating. The imagined audience has long guided our thoughts and actions during everyday writing and speaking. However, in today's world of social media where users must navigate through highly public spaces with potentially large and invisible audiences, scholars have begun to ask: Who do people envision as their public or audience as they perform in these spaces? This article contributes to the literature by providing a theoretical framework that broadly defines the construct; identifies its significance in contemporary society and the existing tensions between the imagined and actual audiences; and drawing on Giddens's concept of structuration, theorizes what influences variations in people's imagined audience compositions. It concludes with a research agenda highlighting essential areas of inquiry.
Article
Many of the responses to teen sexting are ineffective and unjust: authorities sometimes blame the victims of nonconsensual sexting, use harsh child pornography laws against minors, and give teenagers the advice to simply abstain. While some scholars champion girls’ media production practices, mass media coverage of girls’ social media use since the early 2000s emphasizes concerns that girls are creating and sharing sexual content. In this paper, I illustrate and challenge common concerns about the negative effect of digital and mobile media on how girls communicate and who they can communicate with. I argue that thinking about sexting as media production would encourage researchers to pay more attention to the opportunities of social media as well as the risks. Thinking about consensual sexting as an act of media authorship also pushes models of media production to better account for the privacy rights of people who create social media content.
Article
This essay is an exploratory study of the uses and gratifications of social networking applications and sites widely utilized by gay men. Based on findings from six different focus groups and intercept interviews with gay and bisexual men, this essay explores the motivations and perceived benefits of social networking sites that allow for the creation of a virtual community of sexual minorities. This paper also considers these technological developments as part of a larger history of gay men communicating with other gay men within a culture where talk about homosexuality is closely policed and often restricted. Through a uses and gratifications approach, this essay discusses the needs and motivations that bring gay men online to social network sites, how they manage multiple identities online and the resulting gratifications of their online activity.
Article
The reality dating programs Boy Meets Boy and Playing It Straight purported to illustrate the elusiveness of performing sexual orientation in a culture that increasingly understands sexuality as fluid. By highlighting stereotypes typically associated with both gay and straight men, the shows exposed the difficulties of determining sexual orientation with “gaydar”. Both gay and straight participants were represented as equally incapacitated to identify sexual orientation. In doing so, the programs sought to advance liberal democratic conceptions of tolerance and equality. Employing Foucault's conception of the “glance,” I explore the problems inherent in relocating “gaydar” to the small screen.
Article
The movement toward what is often described as Web 2.0 is usually understood as a large-scale shift toward a participatory and collaborative version of the web, where users are able to get involved and create content. As things stand we have so far had little opportunity to explore how new forms of power play out in this context of apparent ‘empowerment’ and ‘democratization’. This article suggests that this is a pressing issue that requires urgent attention. To begin to open up this topic this article situates Web 2.0 in the context of the broader transformations that are occurring in new media by drawing on the work of a number of leading writers who, in various ways, consider the implications of software ‘sinking’ into and ‘sorting’ aspects of our everyday lives. The article begins with this broader literature before exploring in detail Scott Lash’s notion of ‘post-hegemonic power’ and more specifically his concept of ‘power through the algorithm’. The piece concludes by discussing how this relates to work on Web 2.0 and how this work might be developed in the future.
Article
This article critiques a number of recent attempts to outline a contemporary theory of panoptic surveillance. It argues that an updated Foucaultian thesis must take into consideration the decentered and networked aspects of information technologies in an attempt to explain how consumer `choice' is shaped by both rewards and punishments. Drawing upon the work of Foucault, Varela, Deleuze and Guattari, a diagrammatic theory of surveillance is developed, one that questions the interconnection between consumer, sales, distribution, and production data.
Article
This paper examines eye-gaze associated with identity recognition among gay men and lesbians. Eye-gaze is argued to be crucial to forces that either trigger or reinforce one gay person’s perception of another person’s gay identity during social encounters. “Gaydar” is the folk concept used within the gay and lesbian culture to name this identity recognition device. An ethnography on Gaydar conducted over a period of three years reveals that eye-gaze in relation to Gaydar includes two different variations of visual contact, the direct and the broken stare. These types of gaze can be accentuated by the presence of other forms of nonverbal communication such as posture, gestures, and smiles. Consciousness in relation to eye-gaze is also discussed to be a distinct trigger and reinforcer of gay and lesbian identity recognition.