‘Would you rather?’ Weirdness and affect in reaction videos to porn


  • Lauren Bliss The University of Melbourne




Reaction videos, Memes, Participatory Culture


Reaction videos to porn are popular forms of memetic media that circulate widely on YouTube and TikTok. However, analysis remains limited and little attention has been paid to how they mediate porn. This research seeks to understand and clarify the range of reaction videos to porn on YouTube, and analyses how they expose the mutable and shifting cultures of pornographic spectatorship, from being ostensibly private and sexual to affecting and inherently public. Through a content analysis of 276 videos, this study seeks to clarify how reaction videos to porn can be understood as memes and broadly conceptualises the range of content-reactors, as well as distinct patterns in their perspective and overall purpose. This paper argues that reaction videos mediate porn as possessing a weirdly affective power, shaped by participatory logics of the Internet ‘built for porn’ where it seems as if anything can be watched by anyone, with anyone.




How to Cite

Bliss, L. (2022). ‘Would you rather?’ Weirdness and affect in reaction videos to porn. First Monday, 27(6). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v27i6.12580