Sexuality & Culture

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 759–775 | Cite as

Gamified Eroticism: Gay Male “Social Networking” Applications and Self-Pornography

  • Evangelos TziallasEmail author
Original Paper


It is taken for granted that face-to-face contact is the ultimate goal of gay male social networking applications such as Grindr and Scruff. I, however, challenge this assumption and argue that these applications have succeeded not because they fulfill their tacit promise to connect gay men, but by doubling as do-it-yourself (DIY) amateur porn platforms. Gay male social networking applications are screening tools that facilitate self-pornification through a process of gamified surveillance. I contend that the rewards for playing the game are often not the sanitized ones promoted by application creators and their public relations departments but the erotic exchanges and byproducts produced during the screening process these applications ambivalently disavow—nude images and erotic chat.


Gamification Gay male Pornography Grindr Scruff Surveillance 



I would like to thank Thomas Waugh and the blind reviewers for their generous constructive criticism, and I would also like to thank my friends and colleagues for their support, expertise, and feedback throughout the article's research, writing, and revision phases.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mel Hoppenheim School of CinemaConcordia UniversityMontrealCanada

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