“Affect & Media(ted) Experiences: Lust and Disgust: Online Pornography and Affect” presented by Paasonen


Session Title:

  • Critical Interaction Design Sessions: The Aesthetics of Interaction and Behavior

Presentation Title:

  • Affect & Media(ted) Experiences: Lust and Disgust: Online Pornography and Affect



  • For the past ten years, media researchers have focused on online erotica and cybersex, the possibilities of sexual self-expression, experimentation and play online (‘e-rotics’ and ‘cyborgasms’), while relatively little attention has been paid on the massive and highly profitable field of online pornography. Online porn, varying from live shows to webcams, videos, photo and text galleries, is increasingly part of everyday Internet use, finding its way to inboxes as html spam, and forming the most popular search words on the WWW. There is little doubt that pornography is both affective and effective, but there is less agreement over its meanings and implication. Porn relies on ‘gut reactions’ in terms of arousal as well as disgust, and these reactions are inseparable from the workings of gender, class and race. This presentation, basing on analysis of 366 html porn spam messages, argues for the need to consider porn both in terms representation and affect in order to achieve a fuller understanding of the meanings of, and reactions towards pornography.

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