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Kath Albury

In: The SAGE Handbook of Social Media

Chapter 24: Sexual Expression in Social Media

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Sexual Expression in Social Media
Sexual expression in social media
Kath Albury

While there once was a time when it seemed easy to draw a boundary between ‘cybersex’ and offline sexuality, contemporary practices of courtship, dating, flirtation and sexual experimentation are explicitly and implicitly supported by social media platforms, particularly those offering affordances of picture sharing and geo-location. Contemporary practices, such as sharing sexy selfies, are not entirely new. Since the 1990s, new forms of sexual self-representation – such as text-based ‘cybersex’ (Atwood, 2013), or the ‘peep-show’ aspects of webcamming – have been supported by proto-social networking sites such as alt-sex bulletin boards and Pro/Am sites such as SuicideGirls (Senft, 2008; Paasonen, 2011). Within these spaces, mediated sexual practices that might previously have been associated with ...

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