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Australian Men's Sexual Practices in Saunas, Sex Clubs and Other Male Sex on Premises Venues

October 12, 2010

Although sex on premises venues (SOPVs) for men who have sex with men (MSM) have been implicated in the spread of STDs, little research has described men's sexual encounters in these venues, particularly the degree to which men from different backgrounds engage in risky sexual practices.


In the current study, interviewers administered surveys to 186 MSM within 48 hours of visiting an SOPV. The MSM reported their sexual practices, the characteristics of their partners, and other circumstances regarding the encounter.

The study reported on 430 sexual encounters. Of the sexual encounters: 74.9 percent involved oral sex; 53.7 percent involved massage, frottage (sexual stimulation by rubbing against a person) or kissing; 36.3 percent involved solo or mutual masturbation; and 32.1 percent involved anal sex. In multivariate analyses, age was a significant factor for having protected anal sex (P=0.001), insertive anal sex (P=0.004), and receptive anal sex (P<0.001). These practices were found to occur more frequently in encounters among younger men, while masturbation (P=0.03) was more frequent among older men.

When the partner was affected by alcohol, the encounters were less likely to involve unprotected anal intercourse (P=0.006) and more likely to involve massage, frottage or kissing (P=0.009). In only 7.7 percent of encounters did men disclose their HIV status.

"With the likelihood of risky sexual practices varying according to background, results from this study should be used to guide interventions aiming to promote safer sex in SOPVs," the authors concluded.

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Excerpted from:
Sexual Health
05.2010; Vol. 7; No. 2: P. 186-192; Anthony Lyons; Anthony M.A. Smith; Jeffrey W. Grierson; Henry von Doussa

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