The sexual use of a social networking site: The case of pup twitter

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This article examines how Twitter has been adopted and used by a sexual subculture in distinct ways. Drawing on interviews with 26 gay and bisexual men based in the UK who identify as ‘pups’, it demonstrates how a kinky sexual subculture exists on a social networking site in new and innovative ways, adapting various elements of Twitter to form a unique subculture that I call ‘Pup Twitter’. Engaging with debates about social trends related to sexuality, as well as contemporary understandings of social networking sites, the study documents how this subcultural sexual community, while predating Twitter, has adopted online methods to enhance communication, engagement, and even visibility. The intersection of sexuality and social networking sites is an area ripe for further study, and this article develops empirical and conceptual ways to examine this issue in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-37
Number of pages16
JournalSociological Research Online
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sept 2017


  • BDSM
  • Community
  • Kink
  • Online
  • Sexuality
  • Twitter


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