The 2020 ASCA Award Committee, consisting of Julian Isenia, Patricia Pisters and meLê Yamomo, gave the ASCA Article Award to Shuaishuai Wang for his article: "Live Streaming, Intimate Situations, and the Circulation of Same-sex Affect: Monetizing Affective Encounters on Blued". Sexualities. 1-17.
The article, Live Streaming, Intimate Situations, and the Circulation of Same-sex Affect: Monetizing Affective Encounters on Blued by Shuaushuai Wang, analyses the feature of live-streaming on the Chinese gay male dating app Blued. The article describes a rich two-year fieldwork in which Wang used the app and conducted 40 interviews with 30 users and ten streamers. Wang provides detailed insights into the particular community of same-sex affective relationships. According to Wang, users of the GPS location-based app Blued do not necessarily focus on face-to-face hookups, as is the case with so-called Western apps such as Grindr, but concentrate on creating affective (sexual and emotional) virtual relationships through live shows and gifts. Wang eloquently describes the complexity and entanglement of the business model of the creators of the app Blued and the shaming of promiscuity and sex work in Chinese same-sex culture.
Wang notes that despite the proliferation of a vibrant social virtual gay network in China, little research has been done on the subject. Wang’s contribution is, therefore, to question how, in his words, “Western theories” can offer to “China’s complex sexual experiences”. He concludes that “the monetization of gay dating apps has moved beyond physical hook-ups and expanded into a large spectrum of affective needs, which combine sex, intimacy, emotion and money”. The article mixes smart and sharp, virtual and physical ethnographic work, the use of literature and the theorizing of case studies. The article is a rare study of online Chinese gay sex intimacy that provides a careful analysis of how Chinese norms and values (e.g. for dating or sex work) are connected to the dating app policy and sexuality. The article is of excellent quality; it has been thoroughly researched, and Wang writes the analysis meticulously.