Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 48, Issue 4, pp 1191–1201 | Cite as

Bareback Sexually Explicit Media Consumption and Men Who Have Sex with Men’s Responses to Sexual Partners Who Prefer Anal Intercourse With or Without Condoms

  • Michael ThaiEmail author
  • Fiona Kate Barlow
Original Paper


This study investigated whether “bareback” (i.e., condomless) sexually explicit media (SEM) consumption is differentially associated with men who have sex with men’s (MSM) concerns about, and willingness to have, condomless anal intercourse (CAI) versus anal intercourse with condoms. Participants were 659 Australian MSM who all reported their bareback SEM consumption and read a vignette in which they were propositioned for sex by a hypothetical male target. Participants were randomly assigned to one of four vignettes, in which the target exclusively preferred either CAI or anal intercourse with condoms, and either did or did not disclose that they took pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Perceived partner attractiveness was also measured as a potential moderator. Greater bareback SEM consumption was associated with reduced concerns about, and intentions to have, sex with a target who exclusively preferred CAI. Bareback SEM consumption, however, was not related to concerns about, or intentions to have, sex with a target who exclusively preferred anal intercourse with condoms. PrEP disclosure was not causally related to either concern about having, or intentions to have, sex with the target, nor did it moderate the relationship between bareback SEM consumption and these outcomes. Perceived partner attractiveness moderated the effect of bareback SEM consumption on general sexual intentions, such that bareback SEM was only associated with greater intentions to have sex when the partner was perceived to be highly attractive.


Sexually explicit media Condomless anal intercourse Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) Men who have sex with men (MSM) Sexual orientation 



The authors wish to thank Brendan Farrugia for agreeing to be photographed as the male target in the present study.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution at which the studies were conducted.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

10508_2018_1182_MOESM1_ESM.docx (29 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 28 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Applied PsychologyGriffith UniversityMt GravattAustralia
  2. 2.School of PsychologyThe University of QueenslandSt LuciaAustralia

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