Being Anal About the Rules
How digital media and gamification redefined the sexual practices and culture of the MSM community
Developing technologies, digital media and mobile internet access have allowed members of the MSM community the opportunity to integrate their lives more fully into a world once dominated by exclusively straight places and communities - the change fostered by hook-up apps and services has taken the socio-sexual interaction of men who have sex with men (MSM) from the old physical community spaces into digital sexual oases.
This paper will discuss from a theoretical standpoint the changing sexual behaviours and new opportunities to create a sense of space for MSM individuals made possible by geolocation-based apps and the emergent playstyles that are born from the app developers’, and players’, gamification of sexual expression.
Aunspach, C. (2015). From the Gay Bar to the Search Bar: Promiscuity, Identity, and Queer Mobility on Grindr. Undergraduate. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Blackwell, C., Birnholtz, J. and Abbott, C. (2014). Seeing and being seen: Co-situation and impression formation using Grindr, a location-aware gay dating app. New Media & Society, 17(7), pp.1117-1136.
Bolding, G., Davis, M., Hart, G., Sherr, L. and Elford, J. (2007). Where Young MSM Meet Their First Sexual Partner: The Role of the Internet. AIDS and Behavior, 11(4), pp.522-526.
Carpenter, C. and McEwan, B. (2016). The players of micro-dating: Individual and gender differences in goal orientations toward micro-dating apps. First Monday, 21(5).
Colter, E. (1997). Policing public sex. Boston: South End.
Goedel, W. and Duncan, D. (2015). Geosocial-Networking App Usage Patterns of Gay, Bisexual, and Other Men Who Have Sex With Men: Survey Among Users of Grindr, A Mobile Dating App. JMIR Public Health and Surveillance, 1(1), p.e4.
Goffman, E. (1956). The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. American Sociological Review, 21(5), p.631.
Hobbs, M., Owen, S. and Gerber, L. (2016). Liquid love? Dating apps, sex, relationships and the digital transformation of intimacy. Journal of Sociology, 53(2), pp.271-284.
Lemke, R. and Weber, M. (2016). That Man Behind the Curtain: Investigating the Sexual Online Dating Behavior of Men Who Have Sex With Men but Hide Their Same-Sex Sexual Attraction in Offline Surroundings. Journal of Homosexuality, 64(11), pp.1561-1582.
Licoppe, C., Rivière, C. and Morel, J. (2016). Grindr casual hook-ups as interactional achievements. New Media & Society, 18(11), pp.2540-2558.
MacLoed, S. (2007). Skinner - Operant Conditioning. [online] Psychology Today. Available at: https://s3.amazonaws.com/academia.edu.documents/44186702/Skinner.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAIWOWYYGZ2Y53UL3A&Expires=1502219003&Signature=qQALRrmiTOn6q0vif4yd1At2MhI%3D&response-content-disposition=inline%3B%20filename%3DSkinner_-_Operant_Conditioning.pdf [Accessed 8 Aug. 2017].
Madigan, J. (2017). The Psychology of Video Game Avatars. [online] The Psychology of Video Games. Available at: http://www.psychologyofgames.com/2013/11/the-psychology-of-video-game-avatars/ [Accessed 8 Aug. 2017].
Queer Me Up. (2014). Grindr Turns Five!. [online] Available at: http://queermeup.com/lgbt-community-2/grindr-turns-five%E2%80%8F/ [Accessed 8 Aug. 2017].
Reece, M. and Dodge, B. (2017). Exploring the Physical, Mental and Social Well-Being of Gay and Bisexual Men who Cruise for Sex on a College Campus.
Tewksbury, R. (2008). Finding Erotic Oases: Locating the Sites of Men's Same-Sex Anonymous Sexual Encounters. Journal of Homosexuality, 55(1), pp.1-19.
Tziallas, E. (2015). Gamified Eroticism: Gay Male “Social Networking” Applications and Self-Pornography. Sexuality & Culture, 19(4), pp.759-775.
Weiss, R. and Samenow, C. (2010). Smart Phones, Social Networking, Sexting and Problematic Sexual Behaviors—A Call for Research. Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity, 17(4), pp.241-246.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Copyright for papers and articles published in this journal is retained by the authors, with first publication rights granted to the University of Glasgow. It is a condition of publication that authors license their paper or article under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence.