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Virtual Intimacies

Media, Affect, and Queer Sociality

Shaka McGlotten

Publication Year: 2013

Uses ethnography and cultural analysis to track scenes of intimate connection and disconnection among gay men across an array of media sites.

Published by: State University of New York Press


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pp. C-C

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-viii

This book has been a lesson in sociality. I am grateful for the feedback and support of colleagues, who have modeled the criticality and care that supports every good friendship. Jason Pine, Agustin Zarzosa, Michelle Stewart, Ahmed Afzal, Bill Baskin, and Lisa Jean Moore all read portions of the book and offered their generous input. Special thanks go to Morris...

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pp. 1-16

This book is about what it feels like to connect, or fail to, in a technophilic and technophobic present in which intimacy has gone virtual, if it ever was real. We depend on communications technologies to facilitate our lives and our interactions with others; we look to new media for succor from our loneliness, to bring us into contact with ...

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Chapter One: The Virtual Life of Sex in Public

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pp. 17-38

In this chapter, I examine various scenes of intimacy’s failure, juxtaposing recent mass mediated sex scandals with ethnographic research I conducted in Austin, Texas, a city famous both for its high technology aspirations and for its cruising culture. I speculate on the ways various discourses on sex in public and virtually mediated eroticism try ...

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Chapter Two: Intimacies in the Multi(player)verse

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pp. 39-60

In the overlapping fandoms of comic and gaming culture, a multiverse is comprised of many existing, sometimes overlapping, parallel universes. In different genres of fiction, these are speculative zones that allow creators and fans to ask and explore “What if?” scenarios in which they creatively reframe familiar characters, spaces, and...

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Chapter Three: Feeling Black and Blue

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pp. 61-78

This used to be my Grindr profile (Fig. 3.1). Grindr is a smart phone app that brings gay cruising into the digital age.
This is a picture of me doing a twisted thigh stretch in Central Park. The image is heavily shadowed, but an interested viewer might note my lean muscly frame and the faint hint of tattoos on my back...

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Chapter Four: Justin Fucks the Future

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pp. 79-100

It’s hard to be certain what former “camwhore” Justin Berry was looking for when he appeared on Oprah with his erstwhile savior, the then‑esteemed New York Times journalist, Kurt Eichenwald. Was it to seek redemption? To warn parents about what their kids were doing with webcams? To tease and frighten viewers about the availability of...

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Chapter Five: The Élan Vital of DIY Porn

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pp. 101-122

I jump between sites.
I watch the cropped torso of a racially ambiguous young man with thick, muscular legs standing in front of a nondescript bathtub. He whispers, just audibly, “I’m so horny right now,” rubbing his cock beneath red Diesel boxer briefs. He turns and pulls his underwear down, arching his back to reveal a hairy butt. He turns toward the ...

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Coda: On Not Hooking Up

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pp. 123-136

In John Cameron Mitchell’s 2006 film Shortbus, Ceth (pronounced “Seth”), a willowy young model, navigates an indy queer salon/party/orgy also called “Shortbus” in New York City. He has a mobile device with him, a “Yenta,” that exclaims, “I’ve got a match for you!” when he nears Magnus, a tall, black potential match with a cool haircut....


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pp. 137-156


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pp. 157-164


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pp. 165-171

E-ISBN-13: 9781438448794
Print-ISBN-13: 9781438448770

Page Count: 192
Publication Year: 2013

OCLC Number: 864139116
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Virtual Intimacies

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Internet -- Social aspects.
  • Computer networks -- Social aspects.
  • Interpersonal communication.
  • Gay men -- Sexual behavior.
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