Watching bareback videos and fantasizing about unprotected sex: exploring correlations with reported sexual risk-taking in MSM

Published: July 21, 2010

P.C. Adam1,2, J. de Wit1,3

1University of New South Wales, National Centre in HIV Social Research, Sydney, Australia, 2Institute for Prevention and Social Research, Utrecht, Netherlands, 3Utrecht University, Dept. of Social and Organizational Psychology, Utrecht, Netherlands

Background: To assess watching bareback videos and fantasizing about unprotected anal sex in MSM and its potential influence on sexual risk-taking with casual partners.
Methods: In December 2009, MSM in France were recruited into an online survey of sexual behaviours, including sexual fantasizing, the usage of pornography, masturbation and unprotected anal sex with casual partners (UAIC).

Results: Among the 629 respondents, the frequency of masturbation was high (90% at least once per week, 40% at least once per day). Almost all respondents had used (internet) porn videos or their imagination to self-stimulate; 71% and 49%, respectively, did so ‘often or always’. When selecting a video to support masturbation, 29% of respondents preferred a safer sex video, 40% had no preference and 31% preferred a bareback video. When masturbating without any supporting material, 73% of respondent had ever fantasized about unprotected sex and 32% did so ‘always or often’. Overall 35% of participants reported UAIC and engaging in UAIC was significantly related to the scenarios men preferred for self-stimulation. UAIC ranged from 14% in men who masturbated with safer sex video to 54% in men who masturbated with bareback videos. Similarly, UAIC ranged from 12% in men who never fantasized about unprotected sex to 56% in men who often or always fantasized about unprotected sex. A multivariate analysis confirmed the independent associations between watching bareback videos and fantasizing about unprotected sex and reports of UAIC.

Conclusions: Watching bareback videos or fantasizing about unprotected sex is a source of pleasure for a significant proportion of MSM. Not all men who engage in these activities report UAIC, but strong associations were found with sexual risk-taking. While this raises concerns regarding the effects of (inadvertently) watching bareback videos, experimental studies are needed to assess causal relationships between exposure to bareback materials and sexual risk-taking.
 

Leave a Reply