Now Dating on Steroids: Play and Nostalgia in the Mediatization of Gay Cruising in the Philippines

Randy Jay Canillo Solis


Gay men’s lives now are increasingly mediatized, with gay cruising transforming from a purely physical encounter to the use of geosocial gadgets, causing relevant social changes, such that some gay men would actually prefer to stay at home to “meet” other men, which in earlier decades would sound preposterous. This study applies the mediatization approach in examining how the emergence of new communication technologies and the changing communicative behaviors of gay men in the Philippines explain the cultural changes within the gay community and implications of societal changes at large. Focus interviews with a total of 36 informants revealed that gay men use digital apps as part of their sociotechnical “infrastructure of sexual encounter” for cruising and that in this process of play, there emerges among the older gay men the nostalgia of the traditional identity of the bakla and practices of pagliligawan.


mediatization, gay cruising, play, nostalgia, dating apps

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