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Trans woman Aoife Martin knows all too well how a lack of information and public role models can affect a person’s sense of confidence and self-worth, and how the internet can help fill that void.Working in IT, she has observed and experienced how the internet and technology can educate and empower individuals about sexuality and gender.Then the internet came along and it was both a blessing and a curse. ) allowed people to build their own pages and upload photographs.It was here and on similar sites that I started to gather information about make-up tips, what clothes to wear for my build, how to tuck, how to walk, etc and the scourge of trans people everywhere, how to pass [as a man or woman].” Martin also cites Twitter as being a huge source of inspiration and comfort to her, allowing her to connect with friends and allies who support her.This indicates that there’s a demand for gay, lesbian and bisexual narratives which is not being fulfilled by mainstream media, and that online spaces allow women to explore their sexually-fluid desires and fantasies in a way that they do not in their daily lives.Author Sarah Maria Griffin believes that these spaces are empowering.
But the course of normalcy never did run smooth, and when sex did not result in commitment or marriage, it was accompanied by judgment and shame – borne mostly by the woman.
This allows for the possibility of having their unique desires fulfilled, but for many the value of being able to connect with like-minded people online is simply having their desires acknowledged, shared and normalised.
Irish people, who have traditionally experienced so much shame around sexuality, can find acceptance and validation at the click of a button.
Apps such as Tinder have made having casual sex easier and more efficient than ever – though, women’s experiences of so-called “hook-up apps” and approach to casual sex pose a radically different set of concerns than men’s.
This gender divide was perfectly summarised in HBO’s 2011 documentary series , “the technology itself promised nothing.