Title

The Naked Self: Being a Body in Televideo Cybersex

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-2002

Department

Sociology and Corrections

Abstract

Unlike text-based cybersex, televideo is an embodied experience. Participants present their bodies as an object to be looked at. Through in-depth interviews this study examines the relationships among selfhood and the body and the context in which both are located. The body, much like the self, exists as both a viewed object and an experienced subject. Televideo cybersex participants manipulate this relationship by presenting themselves as only a body, the experience of which acts back in an erotic “looking glass” affecting how the self conceives of the body. While in some cases the medium serves to create a “disembodied” context for interaction, as this study illustrates, it may also serve to fully embody. The obvious relationships among self, body, and social situation made evident in any form of sexual experience are largely unexplored in sociology, yet fully within the realm of interest and theoretical models of symbolic interaction.

Publication Title

Symbolic Interaction

DOI

10.1525/si.2002.25.2.199