Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 247–256

Sexual Behaviors and Experiences Among Behaviorally Bisexual Men in the Midwestern United States

  • Brian Dodge
  • Phillip W. Schnarrs
  • Michael Reece
  • Omar Martinez
  • Gabriel Goncalves
  • David Malebranche
  • Barbara Van Der Pol
  • Ryan Nix
  • J. Dennis Fortenberry
Original Paper

Abstract

Research examining the sexual behaviors and experiences of behaviorally bisexual men is limited. Most studies focus primarily on highlighting sexual risk behaviors among groups of “men who have sex with men (MSM)” or “gay and bisexual men,” which may not be appropriate in terms of behaviorally bisexual men’s sexual repertoires with both men and women. This study aimed to assess a broad range of sexual behaviors and associated experiences among bisexual men living in the midwestern United States. An interviewer-administered questionnaire containing items from the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior assessed lifetime and recent (i.e., past 6 months and last event) sexual behaviors and experiences with both male and female partners among a diverse sample of 75 behaviorally bisexual men. Responses were quantified and analyzed using descriptive and multivariate statistics. A wide range of sexual behaviors with partners of both genders was found. Vaginal intercourse and oral sex with both men and women were the most commonly reported behaviors. Subjective reports of pleasure, arousal, and sexual function during sexual activity were similar with both male and female sexual partners. Many participants reported using condoms during insertive sexual behaviors with male and female partners, but less during oral sex. Unprotected receptive anal sex was less commonly reported. Overall, participants reported a variety of sexual behaviors and experiences; however, unlike other populations, they shared these with partners of both genders. Results have implications for interventions targeting the sexual behaviors and associated issues among behaviorally bisexual men.

Keywords

Bisexual Sexual behavior Sexual experience Men who have sex with both men and women (MSMW) 

References

  1. Carballo-Diéguez, A., Dolezal, C., Nieves, L., Díaz, F., Decena, C., & Balan, I. (2004). Looking for a tall, dark, macho man: Sexual-role behaviour variations in Latino gay and bisexual men. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 6, 159–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Chu, S. Y., Peterman, T. A., Doll, L. S., Buehler, J. W., & Curran, J. W. (1992). AIDS in bisexual men in the United States: Epidemiology and transmission to women. American Journal of Public Health, 82, 220–224.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Dodge, B., Jeffries, W. L., & Sandfort, T. G. M. (2008a). Beyond the Down Low: Sexual risk, protection, and disclosure among at-risk Black men who have sex with both men and women (MSMW). Archives of Sexual Behavior, 37, 683–696.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dodge, B., Reece, M., Herbenick, D., Fisher, C., Satinsky, S., & Stupiansky, N. (2008b). Relations between sexually transmitted infection diagnosis and sexual compulsivity in a community-based sample of men who have sex with men. Sexually Transmitted Infections, 84, 324–327.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dodge, B., Van Der Pol, B., Reece, M., Malebranche, D. J., Martinez, O., Goncalves, G., et al. (in press). Rectal self-sampling in non-clinical venues for the detection of rectal sexually transmitted infections (STI) among behaviorally bisexual men. Sexual Health.Google Scholar
  6. Dodge, B., Van Der Pol, B., Rosenberger, J. G., Reece, M., Roth, A. M., Herbenick, D., et al. (2010). Field collection of rectal samples for sexually transmitted infection diagnostics among men who have sex with men. International Journal of STD and AIDS, 21, 260–264.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Doll, L. S., & Beeker, C. (1996). Male bisexual behavior and HIV risk in the United States: Synthesis of research and implications for interventions. AIDS Education and Prevention, 8, 205–225.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Doll, L. S., Myers, T., Kennedy, M., & Allman, D. (1997). Bisexuality and HIV risk: Experiences in Canada and the United States. Annual Review of Sex Research, 8, 102–147.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Doll, L. S., Peterson, L. R., White, C. R., Johnson, E. S., Ward, J. W., & The Blood Donor Study Group. (1992). Homosexually and nonhomosexually identified men who have sex with men: A behavioral comparison. Journal of Sex Research, 29, 1–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Goodenow, C., Netherland, J., & Szalacha, L. (2002). AIDS-related risk among adolescent males who have sex with males, females, or both: Evidence from a statewide study. American Journal of Public Health, 92, 203–210.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Heckman, T. G., Kelly, J. A., Sikkema, K. J., Roffman, R. R., Solomon, L. J., Winett, R. A., et al. (1995). Differences in HIV risk between bisexual and exclusively gay men. AIDS Education and Prevention, 7, 504–512.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Herbenick, D., Reece, M., Schick, V., Sanders, S. A., Dodge, B., & Fortenberry, J. D. (2010). An event-level analysis of sexual characteristics and composition among adults ages 10 to 59: Results from a national probability sample in the United States. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 7(5 suppl.), 346–361.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hollander, D. (2009). Heterosexual Latino men’s same-sex behavior may put their partners at risk. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 41, 131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Jeffries, W. L., & Dodge, B. (2007). Male bisexuality and condom use at last sexual encounters: Results from a national survey. Journal of Sex Research, 44, 278–289.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. King, J. L. (2004). On the down low: A journey into the lives of “straight” Black men who sleep with men. New York: Broadway Books.Google Scholar
  16. Lansky, A., Thomas, J. C., & Earp, J. A. (1998). Partner-specific sexual behaviors among persons with both main and other partners. Family Planning Perspectives, 30, 93–99.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Malebranche, D. (2003). Black men who have sex with men and the HIV epidemic: Next steps for public health. American Journal of Public Health, 93, 862–865.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Malebranche, D. J. (2008). Bisexually active Black men in the United States and HIV: Acknowledging more than the “down low”. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 37, 810–816.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Martinez, O., Dodge, B., Reece, M., Schnarrs, P. W., Rhodes, S. D., Goncalves, G., et al. (2011). Sexual health and life experiences: Voices from behaviourally bisexual Latino men in the Midwestern USA. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 13, 1073–1089.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. McPhillips, K., Braun, V., & Gavey, N. (2001). Defining (hetero)sex: How imperative is the “coital imperative?”. Women Studies International Forum, 24, 229–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mercer, C. H., Hart, G. J., Johnson, A. M., & Cassell, J. A. (2009). Behaviourally bisexual men as a bridge population for HIV and sexually transmitted infections? Evidence from a national probability survey. International Journal of STD and AIDS, 20, 87–94.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Millett, G., Malebranche, D., Mason, B., & Spikes, P. (2005). Focusing “down low”: Bisexual black men, HIV risk and heterosexual transmission. Journal of the National Medical Association, 97(7 Suppl.), 52S–59S.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Muñoz-Laboy, M. (2004). MSM: Sexual desire among bisexually-active Latino men in New York City. Sexualities, 7, 55–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Muñoz-Laboy, M., & Dodge, B. (2005). Bisexual practices: Patterns, meanings, and implications for HIV/STI prevention among bisexually-active Latino men and their partners. Journal of Bisexuality, 5, 81–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Muñoz-Laboy, M., & Dodge, B. (2007). Bisexual Latino men and HIV and sexually transmitted infections risk: An exploratory analysis. American Journal of Public Health, 97, 1102–1106.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Reece, M., Herbenick, D., Schick, V., Sanders, S. A., Dodge, B., & Fortenberry, J. D. (2010). Background and considerations on the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior (NSSHB) from the investigators. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 7(Suppl. 5), 243–245.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Rieger, G., Chivers, M. L., & Bailey, J. M. (2005). Sexual arousal patterns of bisexual men. Psychological Science, 16, 579–584.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Rosenberger, J. G., Dodge, B., Van Der Pol, B., Reece, M., Herbenick, D., & Fortenberry, J. D. (2011). Reactions to self-sampling for ano-rectal sexually transmitted infections among men who have sex with men: A qualitative study. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40, 281–288.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Sandfort, T. G. M., & Dodge, B. (2008). “And then there was the down low”: Introduction to Black and Latino male bisexualities. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 37, 675–682.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Sandfort, T. G. M., & Dodge, B. (2009). Homosexual and bisexual labels and behaviors among men: The need for clear conceptualizations, accurate operationalizations, and appropriate methodological designs. In V. Reddy, T. G. M. Sandfort, & R. Rispel (Eds.), Perspectives on same-sex sexuality, gender and HIV/AIDS in South Africa: From social silence to social science (pp. 51–57). Pretoria, South Africa: Human Sciences Research Council.Google Scholar
  31. Satinsky, S., Fisher, C., Stupiansky, N., Dodge, B., Alexander, A., Herbenick, D., et al. (2008). Sexual compulsivity among men in a decentralized MSM community of the midwestern United States. AIDS Patient Care STDS, 22, 553–560.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Schnarrs, P. W., Rosenberger, J. G., Schick, V., Novak, D. S., Herbenick, D., Reece, M. (in press). Gay and bisexual Latino men’s health and behaviors: A national online sample. International Journal of Men’s Health.Google Scholar
  33. Thomas, S. G., & Hodges, B. (1991). Assessing AIDS knowledge, attributes, and risk behaviors among Black and Hispanic homosexual and bisexual men: Results of a feasibility study. Journal of Sex Education and Therapy, 17, 116–124.Google Scholar
  34. Zule, W., Bobashev, G., Wechsberg, W., Costenbader, E., & Coomes, C. (2009). Behaviorally bisexual men and their risk behaviors with men and women. Journal of Urban Health, 86, 48–62.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian Dodge
    • 1
  • Phillip W. Schnarrs
    • 1
  • Michael Reece
    • 1
  • Omar Martinez
    • 1
  • Gabriel Goncalves
    • 1
  • David Malebranche
    • 2
  • Barbara Van Der Pol
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
  • Ryan Nix
    • 5
  • J. Dennis Fortenberry
    • 1
    • 6
  1. 1.Center for Sexual Health PromotionIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of General MedicineEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Department of KinesiologyIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  4. 4.Division of Infectious DiseasesIndiana UniversityIndianapolisUSA
  5. 5.Step Up, Inc.IndianapolisUSA
  6. 6.Division of Adolescent MedicineIndiana UniversityIndianapolisUSA

Personalised recommendations