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Updated on 9 June 2021. The previous version of this content can be found here.
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date: 24 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses on sex/uality in the context of so-called new media and, specifically, digital discourse: technologically mediated linguistic or communicative practices, and mediatized representations of these practices. To help think through the relationship among sex, discourse, and (new) media, the discussion focuses on sexting and two instances of sexting “scandals” in the news. Against this backdrop, the chapter sets out four persistent binaries that typically shape public and academic writing about sex/uality and especially digital sex/uality: new-old, mediation-mediatization, private/real-public/fake, and personal-political. These either-or approaches are problematic, because they no longer account for the practical realities and lived experiences of both sex and media. Scholars interested in digital sex/uality are advised to adopt a “both-and” approach in which media (i.e., digital technologies and The Media) both create pleasurable, potentially liberating opportunities to use our bodies (sexually or otherwise) and simultaneously thwart us, shame us, or shut us down. In this sense, there is nothing that is really “new” after all.

Keywords: binaries, digital discourse, mediation-mediatization, new-old media, personal-political, private/real-public/fake, sexting, sex/uality

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