Men Seeking Sex on an Intergenerational Gay Internet Website: An Exploratory Study

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Objective: This study explored the characteristics and sexual behaviors reported by men who have sex with men (MSM) seeking sex on an intergenerational website. Of special interest was to determine whether and how seeking sex on the Internet contributed to risky sex behaviors.

Methods: This descriptive exploratory study extracted data from a stratified random sample of 1,020 profiles posted by men seeking sex on a gay intergenerational website. Frequencies and percentages were calculated for all categorical variables. Analysis of variance was used to test for differences in subgroup categories.

Results: The men in the sample were primarily Caucasian (92.3%) with a mean age of 50 years (range: 18-88 years). More than one-fourth of the men (28.5%) reported being married. Of the married men, 76.0% indicated they would engage in receptive anal intercourse. Only a small number of men in the total sample expressed interest in safe sex (17.5%), while 91 men (8.9%) directly stated that they wanted unsafe sex. Most men in the sample were seeking intergenerational sexual encounters, with 71.0% of younger men expressing a preference for older men.

Conclusions: The Internet can play a significant role in seeking same-sex encounters across generational groups. Safe sex was not a stated priority for most men in this study, and the Internet provides an effective method of seeking unsafe sex. A number of MSM seeking sex on the Internet were married and Caucasian. This finding suggests the need for greater attention to married and/or publicly identified Caucasian, heterosexual men in human immunodeficiency virus prevention efforts. Effective Internet-based prevention programs need to be implemented and researched.

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Public Health Reports

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