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‘As straight as they come’: expressions of masculinities within digital sex markets

‘As straight as they come’: expressions of masculinities within digital sex markets

Rand, Helen ORCID: 0000-0002-2513-0667 (2022) ‘As straight as they come’: expressions of masculinities within digital sex markets. Sexualities. pp. 1-16. ISSN 1363-4607 (doi:

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The research presented in this paper supports claims by feminists and queer theorists that there are numerous and diverse sex/gender/desire categories (Bem, 1995). Taken from a broader digital ethnography of digital sex markets in the United Kingdom, the findings are based on ten in-depth interviews with those who identified as men or ‘gender flexible’ and who buy and/or sell sex within digital markets. The participants featured in this paper used digital sex markets as a space to explore and express non-normative/subversive sexual and gender identities. Yet for many of them, these subversive acts were bounded by the market, so they were able to uphold masculine heterosexual identities outside of sex markets. The relative privacy of digital sex markets empowered them to maintain heterosexist power, reducing the social risks of stigmatisation and ostracisation associated with subversive sexual and gender identities. The thematic analysis revealed the limitations of heteronormative and homonormative labels and assumptions of sex work relations, thus, prompting the need to write this paper. Framing sex markets in narrow binary terms, as either homosexual or heterosexual markets, or research participants as customers or workers do not reflect the fluidity and diversity evident in this small yet revealing sample. The study shows multiple and fluid expressions of sex/gender/desire; and a duality in market roles as workers and/or customers amongst men engaged in digital sex markets

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Queer theory, masculinities, digital sex markets, sex work, sexualities
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > Gender, Deviance & Society (GDS)
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 11:28

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