Doing intimacy with Grindr

Kristian Møller

Research output: Contribution to conference - NOT published in proceeding or journalPaperResearch


Since its advent in 2009 the geo-chat sex and dating app Grindr has risen to ubiquity for men seeking sex with men in many metropolitan areas. Well passed the point of critical mass the apps have become not only sustainable options for their users, but in many cases indispensable media for finding intimacy and being intimate. This paper asks what happens to people’s practices and experiences of intimacy when they are negotiated through locative apps, and is based on partipant observations and interviews in East London.Research of locative media often fall in two opposing categories, either exploring its potentials as an empowering tool for place making and belonging, or its capacity for erosion of privacy along with critically assessing the commercialisation of yet another part of our bodily and social practices. This paper asserts that we should push past dialectical thinking and not only think of locative media in terms of opportunity and risk, or strategically formed power landscape open to some form of tactical navigation. The relationship between bodily practices of intimacy and mediating technologies is in Donna Haraway’s term a heterogenous assemblage radically open to surprising ways of doing intimacy. Understanding mediatization as becoming evermore related to shifts in embodiment and spatiality, I describe the mediatised intimacies through André Janssons sociospatialised mediatization concept (Jansson, 2013). I ask how people may adapt their intimate practices when geo-chat with their set of affordances are experienced as materially indispensable; how hierarchies of desirability premediates the positioning and representations of self; and finally, how the normalisation of mediatised intimacy takes many different forms, depending on the degree to which the practices are seen as normal or taboo.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date5 May 2015
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventGeomedia: Spaces and Mobilities in Mediatized Worlds - Karlstad Universitet, Karlstad, Sweden
Duration: 5 May 20158 May 2015
Conference number: 2015


LocationKarlstad Universitet


  • Grindr
  • Locative Media
  • Intimacy Practices
  • Mediatization
  • Sociospatial Relations


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