10. A Bit too Skinny for Me: Women's Homosocial Constructions of Heterosexual Desire in Online Dating
Kristine Køhler Kohler Mortensen
Department of Swedish University of Gothenburg Sweden
Using the notion of homosocial desire, this article explores how homosociality ties into heterosexual desire in an online dating context. During the past two decades, the number of users has increased rapidly and online dating today forms a key context for negotiating romantic relations. Thus, online dating practices are rich fields for investigating the workings of desire. Based on audiovisual recordings of two Danish female friends engaging in online dating activities, this article demonstrates how participants, through joint stance-taking, co-construct shared desire and adjust individually-produced desire to create homosocial affiliation. Hence, in this case, heterosexual desire construction is a collaborative undertaking generated through homosocial bonding. The performed desire carries a strong physical focus, partly produced by the participants’ attention to bodily detail and partly through the dating site’s visual design. The article concludes by arguing for the incorporation of attention to homosocial aspects in research into heterosexual desire.