“Retweet for More”: The Serialization of Porn on the Twitter Alter Community

Ruepert Jiel Dionisio Cao

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    This article examines the notion of seriality in the context of the Filipino alter community, a network of Twitter users producing, distributing, and consuming pornographic images. The alter community is prominent among Filipino gay men who satisfy their need for sexual arousal, collective identity, and validation of their sexuality in the alter community. Seriality is influenced by technological features and affordances of a media platform. In the case of Twitter, the platform’s short form formats and real-time content generation fosters a particular kind of seriality. This essay analyzes data from online observations, content analysis of tweets and profiles, and interviews and is informed by theories on seriality, gay sexuality, and Internet studies. In situating seriality within the context of gay amateur porn economy, this article argues that serial pornography is instrumental in satisfying both present and long-standing affective, sexual, and social needs of gay men. These needs, this essay claims, stem from long history of minoritization of homosexuality. As Twitter renders older tweets ephemeral and quantifies social engagement, seriality enables gay men to satisfy the aforementioned needs longer. Furthermore, this essay proposes that serial porn on Twitter brings new insights to how seriality is conceived. Serial porn images are strategically and carefully constructed narratives of sexual encounters aimed at garnering higher social engagement and validation. Thus, serial narratives can resolve present and urgent affective tensions and needs that unravel within an ongoing life narrative rather than working toward supporting a plausible ending, as seen in other serial forms. This article contributes to an understanding of how pornographic images and serial narratives fit into consumerist culture and how platforms exploit long-standing affective needs of sexual minorities to ensure extended production and consumption of contents.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)109-134
    Number of pages26
    JournalGlobal Storytelling: Journal of Digital and Moving Images
    Volume1
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2022

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