"You lookin'?": insights into how technology affects dating among gay men in south Texas

Cavazos, Kameron
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As the dating practices of the LGBTQ community are often taken for granted with regards to the heteronormative, hegemonic society at-large, this research aims to provide unique insights into the dating experiences of gay men in South Texas. What is more, this project recognizes the influence of gay social networking sites (GSNS) on the dating practices within the gay community. As such, this research employs a phenomenological theoretical perspective in order to give voice to the gay men who were interviewed throughout the course of this research project. Coupled with phenomenology, a rigorous ethnographic method involving in-depth interviews elucidated valuable experiential data from gay men in their use of GSNS. Primary research questions driving this project include: 1) In what ways does technology affect the lived realities of gay men in search of a partner? 2) How does the standardization of technology influence the identities of users as well as their connection to gay communal subgroups? and 3) What are the driving factors leading gay men to use GSNS? After analyzing the data, the three overarching themes are: polypotency of GSNS, transcendence of identity across GSNS, and rationalization of identity. Implications of this and further research are also discussed.

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Dating technology, Gay men, Gay social networking sites, In-depth interview, Phenomenology