Sex & Longing & Web 2.0–My talk at Gnomedex

I’m going to be talking about sex and relationships at Gnomedex this year–specifically about the bloggers, vbloggers, podcasters and photographers who are using Web 2.0 tools to give voice to their longings and experiences with a vitality unmatched since the Victorian era– and the communities forming around these topics.
This isn’t a talk about porn, though much of this work is erotic; it’s a talk about how digital identities (masked and cloaked in many cases) have enabled regular people–many of them geeks–to build a frank and authentic shadow world focused on free expression, sharing, and sexual celebration–and to connect with one another.
Some of the questions that interest me on a high level:
–How do we think about personal stories, erotica and porn in the framework of participatory media?
–Who is writing and creating in this realm and what motivates them?
–Given the huge business of porn online, where do these creators fit into the hierarchy?
On a personal level, and as a blogger, I also want to talk about this set of questions:
–How do we all interact with and experience bloggers whose sexually frank or personally honest blogs defy standard norms of *polite* society?
–What are we comfortable exposing about ourselves–and what do we keep back or cloak?
–Is authenticity different when sex is involved?
–Outing: Many sex-positive bloggers have been outed; hacked, attacked–what does this say about cyber standards and our digital communities?
This will be a discussion, not a lecture; I’m eager both to share thoughts and stories and to hear from conference attendees about their thoughts on authentic voice, personal sexuality online, privacy and toolsets that make it all possible.
Feel free to post comments/ideas/links here–looking forward to seeing you all at Gnomedex.

Latest Comments

  1. Jory Des Jardins says:

    Susan,
    Just reading your description makes me wish I was at Gnomedex–family reunion be damned! Seriously, I always felt that I was such a “Naked” blogger, but this is a new level, one I haven’t broached and yet one that should be outed for being a responsible approach to sexuality. I admire that you are willing to expand this fine line and go where others haven’t, simply because it’s misunderstood. I’ll check out the podcast.

  2. Anastasia says:

    It’s interesting, because I don’t consider myself a ‘masked’ blogger. I don’t hide my face and it’s not a question of me using my page to go into lengthy detail about each personal experience as it unfolds, I highlight the good, bad and ridiculous aspects of sex as a whole and try to distance myself from fallacies that have been doing the sexual rounds, particularly fallacious ‘research’ that’s based on pornography which I see as being partially or wholly geared toward receiving visitors.
    There are some aspects of sex blogging that bring to mind the notion of ‘pissing contests’, there’s also a level of group psychology involved where people create cliques and so on.
    I think a certain level of authenticity is required where the physical aspects of sex are involved, and bloggers ought to keep in mind that they may receive many visitors who are yet to experience sex on a physical level, who are looking for literature to guide them and reading sexual hyperbole (unrealistic sexual positions, biological functions, such as the unsubstantiated phenomenon of female ejaculation (to the point where it rivals a male’s ejaculation) where certain bloggers base their sexual research on viewing porn films – that do operate on special effects, that are edited and put together to form an ideal image.
    So, on this level, it’s difficult to see the medium as a balanced medium in terms of sex education. It’s great for escapism, great for masturbation (and masturbatory material), but if I was a late teen, curious about sex, I’d probably be more confused than enlightened.

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