All I get is an emoji : dating on lesbian mobile phone app Butterfly

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Unlike mobile apps for gay men, lesbian dating apps have been slow to catch on as a habitual space to look for friends and lovers. This study adopted a qualitative approach to investigate the social expectations and romantic longings of Chinese lesbians and bisexual women aged 35 and above in establishing same-sex relationships using mobile media. In-depth interviews were conducted with 12 Chinese lesbians and bisexual women, and participant observation was carried out on the Hong Kong-based lesbian social networking site Butterfly. The aim of the study was to explore the social meanings of intimacy created, negotiated and changed among Chinese lesbians and bisexual women. I argue that although social media presents ample opportunities for love and intimacy, the prevailing conservative values and cultural norms surrounding dating and relationships in Hong Kong are often reinforced and played out in their choice of romantic engagement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)816-832
Number of pages17
JournalMedia, Culture and Society
Issue number6
Early online date6 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • MOBILE apps
  • ONLINE dating
  • SAME-sex relationships
  • SEX on the Internet
  • INTIMACY (Psychology)
  • SOCIAL networks
  • Chinese sexuality
  • dating app
  • Hong Kong
  • intimacy
  • lesbian
  • love
  • online dating
  • romance


Dive into the research topics of 'All I get is an emoji : dating on lesbian mobile phone app Butterfly'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this