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  • 1.
    Paasonen, Susanna
    et al.
    University of Turku, Finland.
    Sundén, Jenny
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Gender Studies.
    Tiidenberg, Katrin
    Tallinn University, Estonia.
    Vihlman, Maria
    University of Turku, Finland.
    About Sex, Open-Mindedness, and Cinnamon Buns: Exploring Sexual Social Media2023In: Social Media + Society, E-ISSN 2056-3051, Vol. 9, no 1, article id 20563051221147324Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    General purpose social media platforms—often incited by American legislation—increasingly exclude sex from acceptable forms of sociality in the abstract name of user safety. This article analyzes interview data (four developer interviews and 56 user interviews) from three North European sexual platforms (Darkside, Alastonsuomi, and Libertine.Center) to explore what follows from including sexual sites in definitions and analyses of social media and, by extension, in including sex in definitions of “the social” itself. We found that instead of context collapse, the users and developers of the studied sites operate with what we call context promiscuity, blending boundaries, but maintaining their structural integrity. This allows for a particular silosociality to emerge based on experiences of safety, risk, and consent. Building on this, we propose thinking of sexual expression as something not contained by, but put in motion across platforms, user cultures, content policies, and sexual norms. Rather than framing sexual social media exchanges in terms of their perceived risks and harms, we would do well to also inquire after the risks and harms involved in ousting sex from networked forms of sociality. Deplatforming of sex truncates our ways of understanding what interests, forces, and attachments drive our sociality. Yet, when analyzing social media as if the socio-sexual matters, platforms designed to support sexual displays and connections become vital nodal points in social media ecologies. 

  • 2.
    Sundén, Jenny
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Gender Studies.
    Digital kink obscurity: A sexual politics beyond visibility and comprehension2023In: Sexualities, ISSN 1363-4607, E-ISSN 1461-7382Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Based on an interview-driven ethnographic study of the Swedish digital BDSM, fetish and kink platform Darkside, this article explores digital kink expressions at a moment when kink communities are both marginalized and seemingly mainstream, navigating a tricky balance between visibility and invisibility, intelligibility and unintelligibility. Across queer, postcolonial, and digital media theorizing, "opacity" provides a way of rethinking these tensions, challenging the idea of public visibility and identification as that which legitimizes sexual otherness. Building on this work, I suggest the term "kink obscurity" as a way of conceptualizing a set of tactics for sexually marginalized groups to exist, resist, and transgress without becoming fully visible or graspable. To these ends, I foreground a "closet positive" analysis of Darkside, not primarily of shame, secrecy, and isolation, but of shared spaces of vulnerability and intensity, a temporary safe house which partly protects against normative regulation. Although the platform activist ethos speaks to the value of openness and outness for the sake of sexual justice, the users are quite invested in anonymous and pseudonymous online presence and sexual expression. Opacity implies a lack of clarity; something opaque may be both difficult to see clearly as well as to understand. Drawing on edouard Glissant's idea of opacity as a form resistance to surveillance and imperial domination, a digital sexual politics of obscurity could help provide recognition without a demand to fully understand sexual otherness, opening up for new modes of obscure and pleasurable sexual expressions and transgressions.

  • 3.
    Tiidenberg, K.
    et al.
    Tallinn University, Estonia.
    Paasonen, S.
    University of Turku, Finland.
    Sundén, Jenny
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Gender Studies.
    Vihlman, M.
    University of Turku, Finland.
    Vanilla normies and fellow pervs: Boundary work on sexual platforms2023In: Sexualities, ISSN 1363-4607, E-ISSN 1461-7382Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Building on a study of three Nordic and Baltic digital sexual platforms, this article analyzes the perceptions of enjoyable sex and sexual belonging among 60 people, who self-identify as sexually liberal. In dialogue with Gayle Rubin’s formative work on sexual hierarchies and “good sex,” we explore our participants’ complex and often ambiguous sexual boundary work to delineate liberated sex. Independent of particular preferences (non-monogamy, BDSM, fetishism, and exhibitionism), liberated sex for our participants is definitionally enjoyable and articulated via an aspirational hierarchy based on willingness, diversity/variability, and self-reflexivity—partly set against national sexual imaginaries of vanilla normalcy, yet allowing vanilla some gradations and nuances.

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  • harvard-anglia-ruskin-university
  • apa-old-doi-prefix.csl
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  • Other style
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