Sexing Up Digital Media: From Online Dating to Sexting to Porn

My recent conversation with Natalie Hendry (also podcasted) about anything and everything relating to romance and sex (that we could fit into twenty-five minutes!) is a must-see, as Natalie teases apart many of the complexities of – and shatters some commonplace myths about – the subject. You can also read a great blog written by Natalie that expands on some of her thoughts here. So, there’s lots to think about there alone. Maybe I’m coming across as over-(cyber)sexed, but there’s so much interesting stuff to talk about in relation to this topic and in addition to the videos below, I have one more issue for you to reflect on! [Okay, stop hyperventilating… check… continue blog post…]

One subject I didn’t touch on in any of the other material I’ve develope for this week is highlighted by the title of a 2009 science-fiction film starring Bruce Willis. Surrogates is an intriguing depiction of how sexuality might be (?) mediated in the near(ish) future – although as with all of these kinds of films, it’s actually more of a commentary on today’s digital media practices than some kind of prophecy. You can watch the trailer for Surrogates here, which will give you a fairly good idea of the film’s content. What seems to be the ‘message’ here? Does the film seem to put forward a dystopian perspective? If you’ve watched the film before, do you think the filmmakers effectively critique the sexualisation and eroticisation of the (particularly female) body in contemporary culture, which they seem to be trying to do, or is voyeuristic entertainment at the very core of the film’s attempt to engage audience members? You might also like to think about how similar films you have seen (such as Gamer, another 2009 production) generate meanings about sex and sexuality – and how digital media has changed things… allegedly.

Don’t worry, I’m done. I need a break from me now too, and am tempted to go play some Xbox – though I won’t be going near this one… ‘Thing’ from The Addams Family was always creepy enough…

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