There were quite a lot of women on The WELL—for an Internet group, it was a shocking number. It didn’t even occur to me that computers were supposed to be a guy-only space.
[As part of ] this private women’s conference—it was more gossipy and talking about our private lives and things you didn’t necessarily want everyone else to see in public—someone started a topic called ‘That Son-of-a-Bitch.’ ” She laughs. “This woman told a story about how she’d met this wonderful man on The WELL and it just all seemed so incredibly touching and poignant and like a match made in heaven. So we were ‘listening’ to her describe how sexy it was.
“What the Internet did was give me a new awareness of myself.
Previously, the gay bar scene revolved around a body fascism: a prescriptive sense of muscles, tight abs, shoulders that you had to have. So in a bar, my eyes had always been filled with fear—the fear of rejection.
In previous decades, many gay men, he says, had relied on Polaroids (which required no processing) since they were concerned about bringing their undeveloped film to the corner drugstore or one-hour photo shop.