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Men who have sex with men MSM use dating applications apps to explore various romantic and sexual relationships. Thirty-one MSM who were sexually active and who used dating apps were recruited. Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted. Qualitative data were thematically analyzed to outline ificant phenomena and perceptions.
The factors associated with matching on apps included sex roles, human immunodeficiency virus serostatus and availability of a venue for meetup. Facilitated by these apps, diverse types of sexual encounters were arranged. Condoms were typically used for safer intercourse, except by people who were younger and inexperienced or when drugs were consumed before or during sex chemsex. Extensive interest in non-penetrative sexual behaviors was expressed by our sample.
Sexually abusive encounters were followed by changes in sex-searching habits and lowered trust in relationship formation. The of this study are important for the development of appropriate interventions to promote safer sexual practices among HIV-negative MSM dating app users. The methods by which men who have sex with men MSM find partners have evolved over the past decades.
A transition in the trends of partner exploration among MSM has also been observed Chow et al. Aside from the traditional ways of meeting people in bars and cruising venues and posting messages on online forums, members of the community now look for dates and sexual encounters actively using the different dating applications apps on their smartphones Chow et al.
Venue-based characteristics such as alcohol in bars, dark spaces in saunas and anonymous online settings have been suggested to affect how MSM negotiate sex and human immunodeficiency virus HIV -associated risk behavior Grov et al. For example, a study on MSM found that the odds of unprotected anal intercourse increased ificantly for men who reported finding sex partners through the Internet Horvath et al.
Rosser et al. These studies indicate that sexual behaviors are different between men who meet partners online and those who meet Sex Dating Impact offline. The affordance theory by Gibson has been applied to understand the unique features of dating apps.
According to this theory, dating apps offer at least three types of affordance: 1 Mobility — dating apps run on smartphones, so they can be used anywhere at any time; 2 Proximity Sex Dating Impact using GPS, dating apps connect users in the immediate vicinity; and 3 Immediacy — dating apps promise quick or instant sexual encounters Chan, b ; Licoppe et al. In summary, dating apps offer unique benefits that other modalities, such as physical Sex Dating Impact or traditional dating websites, cannot match.
Through an app, individuals can gain access to a large pool of prospective partners in their immediate vicinity at any time. Moreover, because of the stigmatization and discrimination against sexual minorities in society, dating apps provide a private and safe platform for MSM to meet partners without overexposing their identities Miller, At the same time, sexual minorities constitute a small group relative to the heterosexual population, making it more difficult to initiate encounters or relationships in daily life Hillier et al.
In this context, dating apps serve as convenient platforms that involve less risks of wider exposure or embarrassment Miller, The of young people employing dating apps to search for sexual activities is notable in Hong Kong Choi et al.
The use of dating apps has also been posited to encourage engagement in risky sexual behaviors i. In addition, it was reported that dating app use was associated with alcohol and recreational drug use Choi, Wong, Lo et al. A recent systematic review found a higher prevalence of chemsex behaviors among a sample recruited from dating apps compared with samples recruited from health clinics Maxwell et al.
From a sociological perspective, such practices denote the involvement of autonomous risk-taking, thereby intensifying emotions and sexual sensation-seeking Hickson, As a result, this population is at greater odds of testing positive for STIs, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea Beymer et al. The ratios of infection between heterosexual men and homosexual or bisexual men are 0. The use of dating apps is an increasingly prevalent social phenomenon, yet little work has been done to explore how MSM use dating apps to arrange sexual encounters in Hong Kong.
The present research constituted a qualitative study wherein individual interviews were conducted to address the research questions. The study participants were recruited through different local non-governmental organizations NGOs geared toward MSM populations and on social media platforms. The enrolled participants were also asked to invite potentially interested friends, especially those whom they met via dating apps, to the study to expand the sampling pool. The criteria for inclusion in the study were as follows: 1 MSM; 2 cis-male; 3 aged 18 years or older; 4 currently using dating apps; 5 self-reported HIV-negative; and 6 sexually active self-reported having any sexual contact in the last 12 months.
Individuals who were unable to read and understand Chinese were excluded. The ideal sample size in qualitative studies has not been standardized, but research has suggested that 12 interviews are sufficient for data saturation and code generation in research on sexual behaviors Guest et al. In view of this, the research team decided to recruit at least 30 participants to obtain a good variety of responses and experiences.
The individual interviews were conducted by the first author. Convenience sampling was adopted in recruiting participants who fulfilled the inclusion criteria.
Random sampling via dating apps was difficult, so the present study involved individuals who were easily accessible to the researchers Given, After reviewing the literature and consulting experienced frontline workers who were experts in providing STI testing, consultation and community education to MSM in Hong Kong, four questions were generated: 1 What criteria were used in screening and selecting matches on apps? A semi-structured interview guide consisting of open-ended questions was then developed to elicit answers that were relevant to the research questions from the participants.
Will you maintain a close contact with them? The details of the questions were refined as the interviews progressed to obtain more relevant answers from the participants. All interviews were conducted by a single research team member to ensure consistency in question interpretations and to minimize discrepancies in interview content. The interviewer was a cis-female who had not met any of the participants prior to the interview. The sessions were conducted in private rooms at the university, at NGOs providing MSM support services in Hong Kong or at an event space, with each session lasting from one to one-and-a-half hour.
Following the guide set by Sex Dating Impact and Clarke in conducting thematic analysis, the data were first transcribed verbatim by two individual transcribers who were not part of the investigation team. To increase Sex Dating Impact, the transcribers were briefed on the slang and terms used by the MSM community. The accuracy of the transcripts was checked by two members of the research team who were not involved in the transcribing process.
Content that was inconsistent or untranscribable were checked against the recording and the field notes by the interviewer. Initial codes labeling the ificant features of the data were cyclically developed and refined Boyatzis, Representative codes that were relevant were condensed into themes capturing the experiences of the population. After reviewing the relationships between codes and themes, several main themes and sub-themes were constructed.
The internal homogeneity and external heterogeneity of the themes were also considered Patton, They were reviewed and finalized to present valid s of the responses to the research questions representing the entire data sample.
The codes and the themes were checked by the two members of the investigation team. UW 18— Written consent was obtained from each participant prior to the interview. Only one participant had had sexual contact with a female partner over the past 12 months, whereas the remaining 30 individuals engaged in sex with male partners only during the specified period. Other sexual behaviors and the demographics of the participants are presented in detail in Table 1.
Their dating app usage and sexual encounters arranged through apps are presented below. ChoiEdmond P. ChoiEric P. ChowEric Y. WanWilliam C. WongJanet Y. The participants suggested multiple criteria to identify suitable matches on dating apps.
Other than physical characteristics and geolocations, the three factors below were emphasized as crucial in selecting favorable partners for sexual encounters. Sex Dating Impact uneasy, the participants typically look for a match to their sexual roles to facilitate speedy sexual encounters. If they encounter people who prefer the same sexual position for example, both of them prefer to preform insertive anal sexsome participants would forgo having an encounter but some would commit to non-penetrative sex i.
A threesome was also possible if the person possessed favorable physical characteristics, such as being muscular. Interviewee 21, 28 years old, had used dating apps for over six months. Some dating apps allow users to disclose their HIV status on their profiles.
However, this was rarely practiced or observed by our participants, as disclosing their STI status by sending pictures of recent test before setting up a casual sexual encounter was more common. Interviewee 10, 30 years old, had used dating apps for more than one year. Interviewee 15, 19 years old, had used dating apps for over six months. Interviewee 28, 38 years old, had used dating apps for less than one month. Although places to meet up could be easily arranged, some interviewees did not mind having sex in public or semi-public areas, such as public toilets. For some of the participants, it would be favorable if a venue could be offered by the match, especially for younger individuals.
Interviewee 20, 23 years old, had used dating apps for more than one year. Homes and hotels were considered secure and, hence, were the most preferred, while motels were often avoided due to the perceived risk of embarrassment and uncertainty regarding their LGBT friendliness. Interviewee 27, 31 years old, had used dating apps for more than one year.Sex Dating Impact
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