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Mediated Exhibitionism: The Naked Body in Performance and Virtual Space


Mediated exhibitionism is the phenomenon of amateur performers exposing their nude bodies on the Internet, and includes the exchange of nude images by email, text message, webcam, electronic bulletin board, and other means of digital communication. Although mediated exhibitionism has its foundation in live performance and traditional media forms, its potential as a means for broadening the aesthetics of the body and offering a form of resistance to social control is magnified by the interactive quality of the Internet. Conversely, new aesthetic ideals have been established and resistance to social control has been challenged by the very technology which made resistance possible. A series of websites catering to mediated exhibitionism were investigated.

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  1. Some examples discussed later include,,,, and

  2. Even if Voyeurweb offers an avenue for body acceptance, Richardson, the author of the Playboy Magazine article, undercuts this with the use of the word Shamu to describe larger bodies. This derogatory reference is in keeping with the Playboy aesthetic which is jeopardized by the appreciation of non-idealized bodies.

  3. Other websites (e.g., are exclusively dedicated to the mediated exhibitionism of larger bodies.


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Correspondence to Matthew T. Jones.

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Jones, M.T. Mediated Exhibitionism: The Naked Body in Performance and Virtual Space. Sexuality & Culture 14, 253–269 (2010).

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  • Mediated exhibitionism
  • Nude performance
  • Virtual space
  • Media
  • Body image
  • Social control