Intimacy collapse: Temporality, pleasure, and embodiment in gay hook-up app use




hook-up apps, gay, intimacy, context collapse


This article maps key tensions in contemporary, mediatized gay male sexual culture by focusing on hook-up app use. Based on data generated through a situated and visual interview technique, the paper gather experiences from hook-up app users in the U.K. Concerned with how understandings and usage of hook-up apps are bound up with normative evaluations of their ability to produce “good” intimacy, I suggest integrating analysis of practice and infrastructural capacities with critical intimacy theory. This is captured in the concept intimacy collapse of which I examine three types: one between immediacy and foresight, another between organic and representational pleasure objects, and a third between personal and social acts of looking. The analysis demonstrates that intimacy collapses in hook-up apps produce new (in)visibilities, anxieties and opportunities that are distributed unevenly across the disparate online cultures and identities that make up gay culture.

Author Biography

Kristian Møller, Roskilde University

Assistant Professor at Roskilde University. He researches digital, chemical and sexual aspects of LGBTQ intimacy. He has published on reproduction of HIV stigma in dating/hook-up apps, the mediated negotiation of non-monogamous relationships, sexualized drug use on video conferencing services like Zoom, the algorithmic production of porn genres and sexual publics, as well as digital mobile ethnography and ethics.




How to Cite

Møller, K. (2022). Intimacy collapse: Temporality, pleasure, and embodiment in gay hook-up app use. First Monday, 27(1).