Charlie Roberts: “Monetising homophobic discourse: hate speech, derogatory language, and the hetero-masculine male body on OnlyFans.”

In Students by General Account

My name is Charlie Roberts (he/him) and I have graduated with First Class Honours in BA Media, Communication and Cultural Studies. My research interests are situated around the representation and performance of masculinity within user-generated pornography and how this is positioned in relation to offline sexual encounters.

Over the course of my MA and PhD, I will be investigating how male-identifying content creators on OnlyFans perform, regulate, and curate their hetero-masculinity to permit the unfolding of homoerotic desires and sex between men while maintaining an ‘authentic’ attachment to heterosexuality. Since the OnlyFans platform emerged in 2016, there has been an upsurge in the monetisation of hate speech and derogatory language to commodify the hetero-masculine body for gay and queer consumption.

Previous research surrounding hetero-masculine identities who have sex with men has concluded that offline spaces permit male-on-male sexual encounters without using homophobic discourse to authenticate heterosexuality. However, my study provides a foundation for future research to explore how hate speech and hetero-masculinity digitally converge to negotiate the tensions and exchanges aligned to male-on-male sexual interactions and desires. Using a queer theoretical standpoint, I will use oral history testimonies with hetero-masculine content creators to qualitatively interrogate how these men capitalise on derogatory discourses to provoke arousal for gay and queer consumers, remodel homoerotic desires, and mould the hetero-masculine body into a fetishized queer commodity to be exchanged within the eroticised arena of OnlyFans.