M$M@Gaydar - Queering the Social Network

Book chapter


Tyler, A. (2015). M$M@Gaydar - Queering the Social Network. in: M. Laing, K. Pilcher & N. Smith (ed.) Queer Sex Work Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group). pp. 140-150
AuthorsTyler, A.
EditorsM. Laing, K. Pilcher & N. Smith
Abstract

Gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM) have made use of social networking sites for romantic and sexual encounters for over 15 years (Campbell 2007). Predating Facebook.com by five years, sites like Gaydar.co.uk gave MSM not only an online space, but a virtual presence. While Gaydar quickly became a worldwide brand and recognised as an innovative, successful business model, it also became a ubiquitous feature in how MSM sought and found other MSM socially. Alongside the tens-of-thousands of personal profiles there are thousands of Commercial profiles for men selling sex to men (M$M) as escorts, masseurs or in other occupations. This chapter looks at how the Commercial profiles co-exist alongside Personal profiles and how M$M ads have queered the social network landscape which has, in turn, queered the construct of what it means to sell sex. MSM ads have thus disrupted not only dominant discourses of ‘sex work’ and ‘massage’ – but have also queered modern ‘gay’ identity/-ies by challenging prescribed authenticity in ‘sex’ and ‘work’. This chapter further asks whether this disruption challenges modern hetero- and homonormativity, or whether it cements century-old stereotypes. Based on data collected from Gaydar profiles and combining a ‘reflexive queer ethnography’ with semiotic analysis of both visual and verbal texts, the chapter details how MSM and M$M use their profiles to make an iterative and dialogic construction of their own sexualised embodiment.

Keywordssex work; male sex work; queer theory; LGBTQ; social network; ethnography
Page range140-150
Year2015
Book titleQueer Sex Work
PublisherRoutledge (Taylor & Francis Group)
File
License
CC BY 4.0
File Access Level
Open
ISBN9780415704557
Publication dates
Print2015
Publication process dates
Accepted2014
Deposited11 Dec 2019
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https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/88q66

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