Queering digital temporalities? Visceral geographies of Grindr

Carl Bonner-Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neoliberal discourses present digital technologies as life-enhancing, promising a collapse of space and time as time becomes neatly organised in ways where lives become increasingly convenient and ‘productive’. Grindr offers such an experience, promising users instant and numerous sexual encounters in the places they live, doing so, however, against sets of heteronormative ideas of time, sex and sexuality. In this article, I explore the ways that men who use Grindr in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 2015 experience using the app amongst competing sets of meanings of sexuality and temporality. By focusing on the lived experience of using Grindr, I expose a range of spatiotemporal disjunctures and I argue there is a paradox of using Grindr – that users are often forced to feel shameful about an app that offers the collapse of space/time and erotic futures, whilst feeling as though using Grindr is wasted time when such a collapse, and future, is not available. I do so by taking a visceral approach, enabling investigation into the way bodily intensities come into being through arrangements of digital discourses, encounters and spaces. I conclude by highlighting how queer and feminist approaches to digital spatiotemporalities enables a revelation of the ways the promise of digital futures is not often materialised, especially for people who may challenge normative ideas of space and time. Therefore, I offer geographers a way of conceptualising digital technologies as both queer and neoliberal, where both positions may always be failing.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103815
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2023


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