Meetspaces: Going the Way of Newspapers

Diesel Sweeties raises an interesting point, that media studies and rhetoric don’t seem to focus on as much as the perishing newspaper: how much are our public physical spaces changing due to online behavior and sociality? I’ve read a number of news stories over the last four years about bars closing down (particularly gay bars) and the blame tends to go (whether accurately or not) to online networking and hookup culture.

Particularly, a few posts ago, I mentioned the politics of spaces. A friend and I had a conversation about how gay male social and sexual behavior seemed different here now than five years ago (his comparison) and I noted how it was much different here than in Oregon. Too small of a sample size, but there does seem to be a privatization of public sex culture — moving online and into bedrooms, rather than public spaces (the stuff that Tim Dean so eloquently discusses in Unlimited Intimacy).

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2 Responses to Meetspaces: Going the Way of Newspapers

  1. Nels says:

    I’m writing about the privatization of gay male sexual culture right now (for an essay due Sunday). Yes, I do see a huge change from when I was in college and going out and meeting all kinds of diverse men and what my students do online when they post ads that limit what that want (no one over thirty, no fats, no fems, all that stuff). It’s like people are starting with an ideal image and waiting for him to find them online as opposed to going out and meeting who knows whom.

  2. Michael says:

    Awesome, Nels! I can’t wait to read the essay!

    A professor on my committee and I have talked about this too — about how not only does it seem to limit whom one meets (much like a shopping excursion online), but it also incorporates a scriptedness to sex that isn’t there with the contact of other in-the-meat public spaces.

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