Objectives: To assess the extent to which sexual risk-taking among men who have sex with men (MSM) is influenced by their sexual desires, as reflected in sexual sensation seeking, and to establish whether men’s sexual self-control moderates the influence of sexual sensation seeking.
Methods: An online survey in the Netherlands recruited 1613 MSM; 1129 men who had sex with casual partners and reported full data were included in this study. Potential sexual risk-taking in the preceding 12 months was indexed by number of casual partners (<10 vs ⩾10), unprotected anal intercourse with casual partners (UAI-C; no vs yes) and sexually transmitted infections (no vs yes).
Results: Potential sexual risk-taking with casual partners was highly prevalent in this online sample of MSM; 51.0% had 10 or more casual sex partners, 38.8% had engaged in UAI-C and 22.9% reported having had a sexually transmitted disease. Multivariate logistic regression analyses showed that sexual sensation seeking was significantly related to more risk-taking according to each outcome variable, while all effects of sexual self-control were significantly protective. As expected, sexual self-control attenuated the effects of high sexual sensation seeking on UAI-C, but not on numbers of partners and infection with a sexually transmitted infection.
Conclusions: Although MSM who are higher in sexual sensation seeking are more likely to engage in sexual risk-taking, some men successfully self-regulate the influence of their sexual desires on UAI-C. While men high in sexual self-control may spontaneously control their sexual desires, men low in sexual self-control may benefit from a generation of prevention tools that promote planning ahead of time.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.
Funding: This study was funded by a grant from AIDS Fonds, the Netherlands (grant number 7018). The funding source had no involvement in study design; the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; the writing of the report or the decision to submit the paper for publication.
Competing interests: None.