An IAS Public Lecture by Professor Katrin Tiidenberg (Tallinn University)
Image courtesy of Sara Kurfess on Unsplash
Sex is fascinating and important, and sometimes scary. Sex is a normal part of life. Sex is fundamentally social. Social media has become the dominant communication infrastructure and a key arena of sociality. Yet, the multiplicity and richness of sexual practices on and with social media very rarely make it to everyday conversations. The nuances of how technology, practices, preferences, and perceptions are intertwined even less so. Public opinion construes sex on and with social media as deviant, risky, or something only teenagers do because they don’t know better. Meanwhile, apps and digital services continue to be advertised as a key resource for finding and doing sex, yet most generic social media platforms increasingly restrict sexual expression. This talk explores how social media shapes sex; addresses some common misconceptions about socially mediated sex; and argues that understanding sex and social media is less about the who, where, and what of it, and more about the struggles around norms, audiences, and contexts. Relying on her (and co-author Emily van der Nagel’s) book “Sex and Social Media” as well as other recent work, Professor Katrin Tiidenberg proposes thinking about socially mediated sex through what sets it in motion and what constrains it, offering the model of three Ps (Pleasures, Panics and Platforms) as the conceptual framework for doing so.
This lecture is free and open to all. Registration is not required to attend in person.