Social networking in Gay London: Tinder instead of Hook-Up Apps

Social networking in Gay London: Tinder instead of Hook-Up Apps

Social networking in Gay London: Tinder instead of Hook-Up Apps

This work is a reminder that it is not necessary to go too far to find interesting cases of how different social groups use platforms in their own particular ways in terms of Digital Anthropology as a sub-discipline. a commonly used and platform that is highly stereotyped Tinder are totally reinterpreted by homosexual guys in their own personal context and used to explore various identities. This task can be an appealing workout of picking out a social media marketing platform as an item of study, but more to the point as a kick off point. Methods which can be seen in social networking platforms are extremely permeable to many other platforms too, and precisely what may be interpreted as “digital.” For this reason the theory of polymedia is fundamental because of this extensive scientific study. Various social network platforms become venues in which the fluidity of identities may be explored and exercised, however these online spaces are socially built and interpreted as an interdependent set of spaces. This piece sjust hows just how, especially, homosexual guys in London have actually appropriated Tinder has an area suited to intimate quests, while maintaining more typically hyper-sexualized online platforms, such as for instance Grindr, as venues right for the research of these sexual desires. Also, why this occurs is tightly connected to other platforms which are not straight associated with homosexual cybersociality. The fact the architectural design for the platform compulsorily matches Facebook identities to Tinder reports may be proposed as the utmost factor that is relevant to the rendering with this online area as a place for desexualized demeanors, a thing that is socially built among homosexual males, and is apparently unique for this team.

Finally, i do want to explain that all the methods and experiences within the digital world proposed with this research could not be included there too. Research—and fieldwork—was a fluctuation that is constant the web therefore the offline, while the research concern has brought my project through different platforms, exciting offline areas, and contains additionally permitted me to satisfy those that have kindly provided their lived experiences.


We thank the guidance Hannah Knox offered during all phases of the research, as well as the help and feedback of Victor Buchli, Ludovic Coupaye, Nicholas Hill, Jacek Kormak, Tom McDonald, and Daniel Miller.

Declaration of Conflicting passions The author(s) declared no prospective disputes of great interest with regards to the research, authorship, and/or book for this article.

Funding The author(s) received no support that is financial the study, authorship, and/or book with this article.


1. In this essay, i am preventing the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) denomination, as I have always been solely considering guys who self-identify because homosexual as my informants. Additionally, i am going to never be utilizing the label M2M—men who possess intercourse with men—another term that is broad to medical and emotional studies.

2. “Gay” and “straight” are far more than synonyms for homosexual and heterosexual, correspondingly. Placed into context, gay and refer that is straight identification instead of simple intimate attraction or behavior (Kulick, 2005; Ward, 2015).

3. In the idea of affordances, see Gibson (1977).

4. Social networking, when it comes to purposes for this research, needs to be recognized as a tremendously ecosystem that is complex of and mobile applications that provide various sociality purposes (Rainie & Wellman, 2012; Chambers, 2013).

5. My pages on gay apps clearly reported my status as being a researcher in the period of fieldwork through the description “Digital Anthropologist conducting research on social networking.”

6. In this specific article, i shall relate to online and offline surroundings whenever currently talking about electronic and non-digital areas, correspondingly (Boellstorff, 2008; Boellstorff et al., 2012; Miller and Sinanan, 2014).

7. The software profile of Tinder on Apple’s App shop at the time of 2015 was august

Tinder is an enjoyable way to relate genuinely to brand new and interesting individuals near you. Swipe straight to Like or kept to Pass in the social individuals Tinder suggests. If some one likes you right right back, it is a match! Talk to your matches and progress to understand them inside of Tinder.

9. “Mates” is a really word that is local employed for “friends,” which could never be as trusted outside Britain. The fact the language “mates” and “dates” rhyme may donate to why the phrase is indeed trusted as being a stock expression across all homosexual apps.

10. On homosexual apps, “fun” should always be interpreted as a euphemism for intercourse.

11. You can find range gay-oriented apps that don’t revolve around love and love. As an example, QXGayLondon and GayCities list events that are gay the town a day and venue. Misterbnb lists gay-owned flats and homes for brief subletting agreements.

12. The menu of homosexual apps identified during fieldwork includes Grindr, Scruff, Hornet, PlanetRomeo, Gaydar, Adam4Adam, Hookapp, Hanky, Bender, Daddyhunt, MR X, Gfinder, Surge, among others.

13. NSA is short for “no-strings-attached.”

14. Images—despite being public—have been edited and blurred to anonymize them.

15. The labels “top,” “bottom,” and “versatile” suggest penetrative party, receptive celebration, and both, correspondingly.

16. In homosexual argot, “otter” refers up to a slim or toned masculine, hairy guy. Further reference on subjects associated with the” that is“Bear and hyper-masculinity in the homosexual community are Suresha (2013, second version) and Manley, Levitt, and Mosher (2007)

17. “Vanilla sex” is argot for intercourse that will not consist of anal penetration. It will always be understood as a mix of foreplay, oral intercourse, and masturbation that is mutual.

18. “Bttm” and “vers” are typical abbreviations for base and versatile, respectively.

19. A couple of gay apps that copied the basic design of swiping profile pictures were launched to the market: Hanky and Lavender during the last 2 months of fieldwork. Nonetheless, both of these apps appear to have not many users in London, which describes the minimal understanding of these apps when you look at the population associated with the research.

20. “Pics” should be recognized as brief for “pictures.”


Freddy MacKee (MSc, University College London) is definitely a researcher that is independent passions consist of technology, identification, sex, wellness, and activity. Almost all of their work happens to be done for commercial purposes in Latin America, great britain, additionally the united states of america.

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