In Beirut, gay hook-up and mobile apps have become popular among men who want to arrange sex. These apps generate a new means for men to explore possibilities in their intimate lives, impacting the ways they create fantastical imaginaries of self, others, and sexual and social encounters. Focusing on the intimate biography of Nadir, in this paper I examine the relationship between fantasy and information in these media. I examine how Nadir exchanges, consumes and arranges information via media to create fantastical imaginaries about possible sex and pleasure, and to control possible outcomes in his intimate life. Once Nadir moves his interactions offline, he relies on information flows to evaluate the strength of his intimate relations. This article contributes to debates on the role of fantasy in digital cultures by examining how fantasy in digital media becomes informational, grounded to sociocultural systems of signification and communications and is negotiated within imaginative horizons of intimate possibilities.
Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2016
Keywords: digital intimacy; gay hook-up apps; Lebanon; digital mediated fantasy; queer anthropology
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