Hook-up websites and apps are said to be transforming the sexual lives of gay men and have been linked with the apparent erosion of gay publics as the basis for identity politics and social action. This article examines these dynamics in the interview and focus-group talk of gay men living on the economic and geographical margins of metropolitan gay culture. It offers perspectives on the importance of location – class, generation and space – for the experience of digital media, the negotiation of safety, and the new codifications and elaborations on sex with the (non) stranger; a figure who is not alien, yet not familiar, in sexual sociality. Reflecting on these situated perspectives in connection with debates on the erosion of gay publics, this article argues against monolithic framings of gay men’s sexual lives after digital media.
- gay men
- mobile phone apps