Bo Ruberg on Hot Tub Streaming

21 Apr, 2022

Bo Ruberg on Hot Tub Streaming

Bo Ruberg recently featured as a speaker for Sex Salon's "Hot Tub Streams and Wet Media Dreams: the Hydraulic Technopolitics of Sex, Games, and Twitch". The event addesses the self-sexualization of creators on Twitch and other live streaming platforming and how the intimate work of broadcasting oneself clashes with sexist attitudes in platformed leisure cultures. Bo focuses on "What We Make in Hot Tubes", exploring the differences between tech perspectives and queer perspectives on the legitimacy of working in water.

From the event (Bo):

This question specifically of what we make in hot tubes came out of this collaborative writing group that others have mentioned which was sparked by thinking about aquatic metaphors of technology -- the way we envision technology and the cultures around it through ideas of water. And the fact that we were seeing really strongly issues of gender and sexuality come out at that intersection so the places where water and tech meet seem to be these really rich but also really charged and often problematic sites of gender and sexual meaning. So this marked the collaboration that others have mentioned. For me, it really put me down this rabbit hole of thinking about wha kinds of work, and specifically what kinds of gendered and sexualized work is allowed to take place in hot tubs. So what I mean by allowed, and you might guess this isn't like what can actually be doen but within the cultural narratives and the accepted social norms of certain situation, what kinds of labor is allowed to happen in hot tubs, what kind is deemed legitimate or illegitimate and what I was seeing is a real divide between how this was being imagined in text spaces, so games and streaming, but also computation more broadly versus how it's imagined in queer spaces and specifically in queer studies.

Watch the entire event here!