Virtual Intimacies. Media, Affect, and Queer Sociality

McGlotten, Shaka

Virtual Intimacies tells the stories of gay men, including the author, who navigate social worlds in which the boundaries between real and virtual have been thoroughly confounded. Shaka McGlotten analyzes intimate connection and disconnection across an array of media sites, including mass mediated public sex scandals, online spaces, Do-It-Yourself porn, and smartphone apps in order to show the ordinary ways people challenge and rework sexuality and technology. The book frames “virtual intimacy” in terms of the mocking disapproval that looks at using technology to connect as something shameful or as a means of last resort. However, where many see a dead end, Virtual Intimacies argues on behalf of more extensive understandings of intimacy, thereby contributing to many feminist and queer approaches that seek to expand the scope of what counts as connection, belonging, or love. The author also highlights the creative and resilient ways that queer people build social worlds using spaces and technologies in ways they were not intended.