February Sex Salon: Hot Tub Streams & Wet Media Dreams


5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

A recording of the event is now available on the Sex Salon Youtube Channel.

The Sex Salon Event Series is excited to announce our upcoming February 2022 event: “Hot Tub Streams & Wet Media Dreams: A Thought Pool on the Hydraulic Technopolitics of Sex, Games & Twitch.tv”

“[B]eing found to be sexy by others is not against our rules,” declares Twitch.tv’s community blog for the 2021 debut of their latest content category, “Pools, Hot Tubs & Beaches.” Drawn in this passive position, self-sexualized creators on Twitch are essentialized as perpetually vulnerable to both GamerGate-style harassment campaigns and also the whims of attire and obscenity moderation on the world’s largest platform for live video and gaming entertainment. “Hot tub streaming,” and the backlash it sparked, reveals the autonomies at stake when the intimate labour broadcasting oneself online clashes with sexist attitudes in platformed leisure cultures. As a working group of scholars from digital gaming and platform studies, we convene to discuss Hot Tub streaming as a pivotal boundary object in the technopolitics of moderation. We offer “wetness” as a powerful framework to decipher the interplays of sex, leisure, and identity that lubricate the wider platform economy.

From “streaming” to “the Internet as tubes,” aquatic metaphors are historically central to conceptualizations of digital technology. Hot Tub streams literalize the erotic work that intermingles the controlling and hydraulic imaginaries of the wet, wide web. Reflecting the fluid and ludic nature of this topic, we invite this Zoom discussion to be iterative. Five members will narrate their encounters with Hot Tube streaming & what their work in games brings to the topic of erotic leisure moderation. We then ask our guests: Can digital media’s “wet” history teach platform users and policymakers to be better (or productively worse) players with each other?


Bo Ruberg (they/them) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Film and Media Studies at UC Irvine. Their research explores gender and sexuality in digital cultures with a focus on queerness and video games.

Christopher J. Persaud is a PhD student at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at USC. His work has been published in First Monday, Social Media & Society and other venues. His work explores sexuality, race, gender as entangled with platform governance and content moderation.

Amanda L.L. Cullen (she/her) is a PhD candidate in the Department of Informatics at UC Irvine. Her work has been published in Critical Studies in Media Communication and Feminist Media Studies. Her research focuses on women as players and professionals on video game live streaming platforms.

Arianna Gass (she/her) Is a PhD candidate at the University of Chicago’s Department of English. Her work explores players, texts and community behavior.

Christine Tran (they/she) is a PhD researcher at UofT’s Faculty of Information. Their work has appeared in Communication, Culture & Critique and The Canadian Journal of Communication. They are Massey College Junior Fellow whose work explores the livestreaming of domesticity.

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