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Revisiting old haunts through new technologies: public (homo)sexual cultures in cyberspace

By Sharif Mowlabocus


While gay male culture becomes increasingly visible and accepted by mainstream Britain, other forms of homosexual desire remain firmly outside the boundaries of what is deemed acceptable by British society. This article considers how small groups of men are using the decentralized nature of the internet to engage in one such form of homosexuality, namely cottaging (British gay slang for sexual acts in public lavatories). Via an analysis of these 'subaltern' spaces the article demonstrates that, far from being the domain of closeted homosexuals (and in contrast to the cultural stereotype), `cybercottages' are being constructed and populated by men who otherwise hold confident gay or bisexual identities both on- and off-line. As such, the cybercottage becomes a site of 'nostalgized' performance and play, where gay men explore 'older' articulations of male┬┐male desire, outside of the confines of a sanitized commercial gay scene

Publisher: SAGE Publications
Year: 2008
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