Sex Site

Exploring the Internet’s impact on alternative sexual lifestyles with photographer, Joshua T Gibbons

Worldwide access to the Internet and the emergence of an omnipresent social media is the defining spectacle of our time, with its reach expected to hit some 2.95 billion people, approximately one third of the Earth’s entire population, by 2020. It has never been easier to find like-minded people.

The Internet is beginning to shape the sexual culture of Britain. The vanguard of this movement is the growing number of people that are utilising online mediums to explore their sexual identities. Where those with an interest in BDSM, swinging and other “alternative” sexual lifestyles previously found it much harder to seek out like minded individuals, they can now, through online means, become part of the community of their choice with relative ease.

Sex Site is a rare and essential look into a world that, despite it’s emerging popularity, remains largely hidden from public view.

Shot over two years in London, Brighton, Poole and Bournemouth, the series features individuals and couples, all between the ages of 18-35, that Gibbons has sourced through sexually orientated social media platforms.

Photographed in their homes, the participants all utilise social media sex sites to engage in a variety of sexual endeavours including swinging, BDSM, daddy/little girl, cross-dressing (for the purpose of sexual enjoyment), and dogging.

The photographs, accompanied by reproductions of the graphically vernacular messages received by Gibbons and participants during the making of the project, contrast unfiltered sexual context with humanising and relatable portraiture.

Y Sied

Joshua T Gibbons photographs men and their sheds in the Welsh village of Pyle

Words by Joshua T Gibbons

Located roughly 25 miles west of Cardiff, Pyle is a village in the Welsh county of Bridgend. It is a traditional Labour stronghold and area of proud working class roots. Known for little else other than being the neighbouring village in which the infamous drug smuggler, Howard Marks was born, Pyle is just another small village in South Wales, in which there is little to do and very little happens.

With the lack of distractions, the area’s young people will tell you that it is a deathly boring place to live. Most will attempt to leave as soon as possible seeking employment and educational opportunities in nearby Cardiff and Swansea. If you speak with the older generation though, they’ve a very different attitude. They are content, happy and proud to be a part of this sleepy community in Wales. Many of the men who express this contentment have something else in common, a hobby. These pursuits, that they care for deeply, range from fishing and hunting to astronomy, motorbikes and woodwork. Whatever the endeavor, they will almost always require a space to store equipment or carry out the hobby itself. This area is exclusively their own domain where they will spend countless of hours, days and years. In this part of the world, these little spaces will usually be found at the bottom of the familial home's garden.

This mini-series sets out to capture this generation of men, all lifelong inhabitants of Pyle, within the intimate spaces in which they find so much solace and pride, Y Sied.

“My head is in the shed." - Harry Bentley, RIP.

As a publisher and Community Interest Company, TRIP is dedicated to showcasing unconventional stories that may otherwise be overlooked. We aim to give a platform to the unseen and a microphone to the ignored. Expression is a right and should not be confined to those that can afford to work for free; which is why we strive to support a diverse range of creatives in their work, commissioning exciting projects and creatives to visualize them.

Founded as a magazine in 2013 by photographer, Dean Davies, TRIP was born from a desire to provide opportunity and exposure for image-makers across multiple platforms and medias. With a focus on people and place, in 5 years TRIP gained a loyal readership, and became known for its honest image output and representation of the underrepresented, featuring over 800 image-makers from across the world through a website, 5 magazines and 3 free zines.

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