‘Totally straight’: Contested sexual identities on social media site reddit

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Abstract

This article is centred on a case study of the ‘Totally Straight’ (r/TotallyStraight) ‘sub- reddit’ on social media site reddit. r/TotallyStraight serves as a web forum for sharing gay pornography amongst men who identity as straight. I draw on a small-scale study of the r/TotallyStraight subreddit, conducted over a period of three months. Analysis reveals that while r/TotallyStraight is largely used as a forum for sharing porn depicting men, it also serves as a space for affirmation and sharing personal narratives related to contested ‘mostly straight’ sexual identities. The moderators of the subreddit, and the users themselves, foster a supportive, non-judgemental discourse. It is argued that this phenomenon could be representative of broader cultural shifts towards less rigidly defined sexual identities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49–67
Number of pages19
JournalSexualities
Volume21
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • gay
  • heterosexual
  • homosexual
  • pornography
  • reddit
  • sexuality
  • social media
  • straight

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