QMJC 2020 – Party and Play’: Online hook-up devices and the emergence of PNP practices among gay men february

Team: Adrian Farrugia, Duane Duncan, Gemma Nourse and Nyssa Ferguson (Australian Research Centre in Intercourse, health insurance and community, Los Angeles Trobe University)

Kane Race’s (2015) article ‘“Party and play”: on line hook-up products plus the emergence of PNP methods among gay guys’ is just a generative analysis of technologically mediated sexual encounters such as medication usage, or Party ‘n’ Play (PNP) practices. The content traces the complex arrangement of technologies, items and surroundings, together understood as ‘infrastructures’, that form these encounters as well as the kinds of sociality that emerge therein. As the article provides an expansive analysis among these infrastructures, we focus mainly on Race’s study of the part of medication usage, generally speaking crystal methamphetamine and GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate), in these methods additionally the implications associated with the analysis for wellness training.

The content is due to an ‘insider-ethnography’ of this changing contexts of HIV prevention in Sydney, Australia.

The broader study carries a dataset comprised of findings, qualitative interviews and analysis of textual and historic material. In this piece, nonetheless, Race mainly works closely with information generated by his or her own involvement within the culture that is sociosexual research. Most of Race’s argument is dependant on an analysis of screenshots of discussion between him and potential partners that are sexual hook-up phone apps such as for example Grindr and Scruff. The data offer a rich and, indeed, pleasurable encounter with the subject matter of the article while the dataset may be unfamiliar to researchers more used to traditional social science methods commonly encountered in alcohol and other drug journals.

PNP methods or ‘ChemSex’ have attracted considerable concern in general general public health research and popular tradition (see, as an example the 2015 Vice documentary Chemsex). As Race contends, within these websites PNP is positioned being a pathogenic website in which dangers connected with medication consumption and HIV transmission coalesce. Whilst not doubting the risks that may emerge, Race implies that a focus that is singular them ignores just just exactly how PNP can be a niche site for which crucial social bonds, logics of care and community connection can emerge (256). In focussing from the types of pleasure, play, community and care that emerge through PNP, Race concerns pathologising theories and reports of ‘unsafe intercourse’ or medication usage between males who possess intercourse with guys. Alternatively, he takes really the types of sociality that emerge through PNP with all the purpose of ‘equipping individuals with an increase of conscious methods of navigating them’ (269).

The intake of illicit medications such as for example crystal methamphetamine and GHB during PNP activities or ‘extended sessions’ is an integral explanation these are typically placed as being a health concern that is public. Race delivers an analysis that is nuanced of usage of these activities, emphasising that they’re utilized to enhance and create brand brand brand new bodily capacities that play a role in the emergence of unique kinds of sociality and experimentation. As an example, in discussing crystal methamphetamine, Race shows:

The drug … delays ejaculation, sometimes indefinitely, which implies that ‘getting down’ isn’t always the privileged purpose of the encounter that is sexual. Rather, what exactly is respected could be the ability to keep give attention to different intimate opportunities and activities, plus the stamina or endurance necessary to maintain these erotic engagements.

Race presents a complex image of the kinds of experimentation or play stated in PNP.

while he argues, extended sessions are grasped as an enactment that is specific of ethic of experimentality founded through PNP (268). While frequently focussed on pleasure and play, Race is careful to acknowledge that pleasure and desired medication results aren’t guaranteed in full, rather they’ve been experiments that may get array. As an example, individuals may eat crystal methamphetamine but struggle to create a satisfying intimate encounter leading to loneliness and frustration as opposed to playful connection that is social. Drug effects then, are grasped to be co-constituted by the infrastructures that produce PNP – technologies, things and surroundings that really must be correctly taken into account in just about any tries to research or elsewhere build relationships this sociability that is sexual associated drug consumption.

This article convincingly shows that PNP is better recognized as a ‘form of play and intimate conjecture in which males try out physical opportunities to make more expansive experiences of enjoyment and masculinity’ (269). The increased exposure of the part of technologies, things and surroundings throws up a challenge for wellness educators and damage reduction more generally speaking.

so how exactly does wellness advertising build relationships a completely emergent training co-produced by a complex selection of forces?

For Race, wellness training has to establish mode of engagement that delivers individuals with an increase of capacity that is agential navigate the infrastructures that create PNP. For Race,

This could indicate a various kind of wellness education than that which addresses itself into the sovereign, intentional, rational-choice actor, since agency is recognized right right here, much less a question of specific sovereignty over circumstances, but as something which emerges from provisional relations and accessories. (269)

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This really is a type of health training by which participants become sensitised towards the emergent capabilities of this forces, including medications, getting back together these infrastructures. Significantly, it is a strategy that does perhaps perhaps maybe not pre-emptively place non-normative wellness methods such as for instance PNP nearly as good or bad but instead acknowledges and works together the pleasures and dangers that emerge from their store.

That is a typical example of conceptually and research that is methodologically novel crucial implications for scientists, wellness educators and damage decrease more generally speaking. Race effortlessly contends that by attending to your infrastructures creating – and forms of sociality growing from – PNP, we’re better in a position to develop effective and responses that are ethical them.