Frequency, Reasons for, and Perceptions of Lubricant Use among a Nationally Representative Sample of Self-Identified Gay and Bisexual Men in the United States

Published: August 4, 2014

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Few previous studies have examined lubricant use among gay and bisexual men outside the context of human immunodeficiency virus risk reduction associated with condom use during penile-anal intercourse and the potential use of lubricants to deliver rectal microbicides. The vast majority of studies examining lubricant use among gay and bisexual men have employed convenience sampling strategies for participant recruitment. Additionally, most studies have collapsed gay men and bisexual men into one category of "gay and bisexual men."

AIMS:

This study aimed to provide overall rates of lubricant use and related factors among a nationally representative sample of self-identified gay and bisexual men. Frequencies of lubricant use, reasons for using lubricant, and perceptions of lubricant use were examined separately for subsamples of both gay and bisexual men.

METHODS:

Data were from the 2012 National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, which involved the administration of an online questionnaire to a nationally representative probability sample of women and men in the United States aged 18 and older, and we oversampled self-identified gay and bisexual men and women; the results from male participants are included in this article.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Measure included demographic characteristics, recent and lifetime commercial lubricant use, lubricant use during specific sexual behaviors, frequency of lubricant use, and reasons for lubricant use during sexual activity.

RESULTS:

Over 90% of both gay and bisexual male participants reported lifetime lubricant use. Use was most common during partnered sexual activities, particularly among men aged 25-29 years old. The most commonly reported reasons for lubricant use included to increase comfort during anal intercourse, curiosity, and to make sex more comfortable.

CONCLUSIONS:

Most gay and bisexual men in the United States have used lubricant to enhance a wide range of sexual activities, including but not limited to anal intercourse. Findings from this study will be of utility to clinicians and other health practitioners who seek to understand and promote sexual health among gay and bisexual men and other traditionally underserved public health populations. Dodge B, Schick V, Herbenick D, Reece M, Sanders SA, and Fortenberry JD. Frequency, reasons for, and perceptions of lubricant use among a nationally representative sample of self-identified gay and bisexual men in the United States. J Sex Med **;**:**-**.

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