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Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. This study examined three broad research questions: 1 How common is felching? The data were from a content analysis study of one of the largest Internet websites specifically targeting MSM looking for partners for unprotected sex.
Men who wanted to find felching partners were ificantly more likely than those not searching for felching partners to seek other types of risky sex, including unprotected oral and unprotected anal sex, and various enhanced risk preferences e. Felching is a sexual practice, fairly common among men who have sex with other men MSM but not limited to this population, about which little has been written and, scientifically, about which little is known.
Sometimes, this process is taken one step farther by then feeding the semen back to the original recipient by drooling it onto or into his mouth or exchanging it back and forth with him orally with a series of deep kisses i. It is the part that conveys the greatest interpersonal intimacy through the semen exchange, and it is also a behavior that enhances the chances for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections STIs to be transmitted from define felching man to the other. In terms of health risk, felching may involve several types of risk. First, if the anal insertive partner is HIV-positive, the snowballing component of the felching act increases the chances that the receptive partner will become infected because he is being double exposed to the HIV-infected semen first through receiving it anally, second by accepting it orally.
Second, if the person performing the unprotected anal sex has other sexually transmitted infections, such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, or syphilis, these, too, can be transmitted to the person receiving the semen both through the unprotected anal sex act and through the felching act Emerson et al.
Yet, despite these health risks attendant with felching, little, if anything, has been documented in the scientific literature regarding this behavior. Little is known about how common this practice is among men who have sex with other men or about how common it is for them to report define felching desire to engage in felching Little is known about the types of men who like to engage in felching or if there are differences between those who do and those who do not practice this behavior.
Little is known about how involvement in this particular sexual practice is related to involvement in other risky sexual behaviors. The main purpose of the present study was to examine these particular issues in a sample of men who use the Internet specifically to find sex partners with whom they can engage in unprotected sex.
Five research questions were examined: 1 How prevalent is felching among the sexual practices being sought by men who use the Internet to identify potential partners for unprotected sex? The sample approximated the American population fairly well in terms of its racial composition U. Census Bureau,with The large majority A small of men said that they were heterosexual 0. One-third of the men The sample, like the Define felching population in general, tended to be skewed toward people residing in more densely populated areas U.
Census Bureau, Define felching At the other end of the spectrum, The data were collected between September and January using one of the largest MSM-oriented bareback-focused websites currently available on the Internet. This website allows members to post profiles including photographs describing themselves, and there are no length restrictions placed on profiles posted. All were double-coded once at the beginning of the study and then again at the end of the study to ensure data quality, and code-recode reliability coefficients were computed to assess the quality of the data.
Kappa coefficients were 0. Men residing outside of the United States were excluded from this research, so as to keep it a U. Each profile coded initially was visited at the end of the data collection period to ensure this. This led to the exclusion of 67 cases 4. In all, 1, valid profiles comprise the study sample. All of the research done in conjunction with this article was undertaken as part of a larger study known colloquially as The Bareback Project.
The research protocols for this study were reviewed and subsequently approved by the Institutional Review Board at Morgan State University. Approximately 1 man in 6 Men who were looking for felching partners were younger, on average, than those who did not post profiles expressing such an interest There was no difference in profiles mentioning or not mentioning felching based on the population density of the area where the men resided or on their sexual orientation. Felching was more commonly sought by men who self-identified as sexual bottoms or versatile bottoms than it was among those who self-identified as being versatile, versatile tops, or tops Men who said that they were HIV-negative were ificantly less likely than those who were HIV-positive or unsure about their HIV serostatus to post profiles saying that they wanted to find partners for felching Finally, men who had paid for a site membership, which gave them access to additional features and allowed them more comprehensive usage of the site than those without such a membership, were more likely than those who had not paid for a site membership to say that they were looking for partners for felching For the two sexual practices examined that entailed receiving no semen—that is, having someone perform unprotected oral sex on the person, and being the insertive partner in unprotected anal sex—no ificant differences were found between men who did and men who did not want to define felching felching partners When the sexual practice in question involved receiving semen, however, men whose profiles indicated an interest in felching were far more likely to want to engage in the risk practice than were those whose profiles indicated no such interest.
Where receiving semen during oral sex was concerned, men seeking felching were more than three times as likely as those who were not seeking felching to want to engage in this behavior This differential was nearly as large when receiving semen from unprotected anal sex was concerned as well Men whose profiles expressed a desire for finding felching partners were about twice as likely as those whose profiles did not to say that they wanted to identify men with whom they could engage in all four of these sexual practices i.
On almost all dimensions of risk preference examined, men whose profiles indicated a desire for felching were also seeking to engage in other sexual behaviors that are considered to be high risk. For example, they were more likely to want to have sexual relations while high As another example, they were more than three times as likely to state overtly in their profiles that they would not withdraw their penis prior to internal ejaculation or to allow their partners to do so As a third example, men seeking felching were about five times as likely as those not seeking felching to want multiple-partner sex They were more likely to want rough sex Consistent with the preceding, men searching online for felching were more than three times as likely as those define felching were not to be bug chasers—that is, men whose profiles specifically indicated a desire to become HIV-positive Also consistent with this, men who were looking for felching partners were more likely than those who were not to say that they did not care about the HIV serostatus of potential sex partners The former were also about half as likely as the latter to insist on identifying sex partners who were HIV-negative The only risk preferences measure examined that did not demonstrate a ificant difference between the men who did and the men who did not advertise for felching online was a stated preference for having long-lasting sexual encounters Table 1 presents the findings obtained in this part of the analysis.
The last column of this table provides standardized coefficients, so that readers can compare the relative effects sizes of the items in the final equation. As shown, eight items were found to contribute uniquely and ificantly to the determination of whether or not men sought felching partners in their online profiles. The next strongest define felching in the equation was eroticizing ejaculatory fluids.
Multivariate findings for the factors associated with whether or not men seek felching partners in their online profiles. All remaining items in the multivariate model contributed approximately equally to one another. Moreover, men who were actively trying to become HIV-infected i. The pseudo- R 2 associated with this model suggested that the equation presented in Table 1 explained approximately This study has shown that felching is not an uncommon risk practice sought by men who use the Internet to find partners for bareback sex, appearing as a sought-after behavior in approximately 1 online profile in 6.
Future community-based research and HIV intervention efforts would be well-advised to ask their project participants specific questions about their involvement in felching, so that more accurate prevalence estimates of this behavior can be obtained. Given the potential HIV and STI-related risks inherent in the practice of felching, it is critical that intervention projects identify men who enjoy this practice and work with define felching individuals to try to find acceptable ways to reduce their sexual risk.
The present research found that age was associated with a desire for felching, such that younger men—particularly those in their later teens and twenties—were more likely than their older counterparts to want to find partners with whom they could engage in this behavior. The multivariate analysis revealed that African American men were far less likely than their non-Black counterparts to seek felching partners online.
One possible explanation of this may define felching to the fact that the African American men in this sample were ificantly more likely than other men to self-identify as sexual tops data not presented and, as noted, it was the sexual bottoms, not the tops, who were most likely to want to find partners for felching.
Another possible explanation is that this race-based difference is attributable, at least in part, to cultural differences in how men of different races define masculinity for themselves. Interventionists working with MSM may wish to consider define felching intervention curricula that take into issues pertaining to masculinity, particularly as it applies to risk-taking practices.
Working with men to define felching partner communication skills is likely to be one effective way of attaining this goal. A strong link between sexual compulsivity and HIV risk practices has been demonstrated as well Grov et al. Individually tailored intervention efforts are needed to work with MSM who seek risky sex partners online. Finally, the present study also found that approximately 1 man in 6 eroticized ejaculatory fluids.
Desired i. One potential solution to this problem would be to encourage men who eroticize semen to allow their partners to ejaculate on them rather than inside of them, or to ejaculate onto their partners externally rather than internally. It is a textbook example of the value of advocating a harm reduction approach, particularly when extinction of a particular behavior in this instance, the risky behavior of felching is not a feasible or realistic goal. Before concluding, a few potential limitations of the research will be noted.
First, this content analysis research was conducted using one specific website and, therefore, there is no way to know whether users of this particular site are similar to or different from those who frequent other sites. Nonetheless, the website chosen as the focus of this research represented an excellent sampling of men who were using the Internet specifically to locate other men with whom they can have unprotected sex. This may prevent non-English speakers from utilizing the website and this may limit the generalizability of the findings somewhat.
As a content analysis project, this research was unable to assess the extent to which the behaviors advertised for in the represent the behaviors practiced when people meet in person. It is not possible without interview data from the men themselves who place the profiles to know whether their profiles were a true reflection of their sexual behaviors and risk preferences or, alternatively, whether their profiles were more of an expression of sexual fantasy that is, actual preferences vs.
Findings from that study recently completed by the present author suggest that the profiles posted online are an accurate indication of what the men using MSM barebacking sites are looking for sexually. Nevertheless, this needs to be established with additional research.
Additionally, this study was limited to men who seek unprotected sex via the Internet. The findings cannot be generalized to MSM overall, because many of them do not overtly search for partners for unprotected sex and not all of them use the Internet to locate potential sex partners. In conclusion, the present study found that felching is a not uncommon practice sought by many men who use the Internet to find partners for unprotected sex. It was listed as a sought-after practice by approximately one-sixth of the men studied.
An interest in engaging in this practice was found to be associated closely with an interest in engaging in a variety of other HIV risk practices and risk preferences. This highlights the need to under-stand the factors that are related to a tendency to want to engage in the practice of felching.
These findings require further examination and replication in future studies, because they are among very few reported in define felching scientific literature. But evidence from the present study suggests that 1 MSM who wish to engage in felching comprise a ificant minority of the Internet-using barebacking population, 2 felching is part of an overall behavioral pattern involving great levels of sexual risk, and 3 there are specific steps that might be taken to try to reduce felching among men who use the Internet to find other men for unprotected sex. This e-offprint is for personal use only and shall not be self-archived in electronic repositories.
National Center for Biotechnology InformationU. Arch Sex Behav. Author manuscript; available in Define felching Sep 5. Hugh Klein. Author information Copyright and information Disclaimer. Corresponding author. Copyright notice. The publisher's final edited version of this article is available at Arch Sex Behav.
See other articles in PMC that cite the published article. Introduction Felching is a sexual practice, fairly common among men who have sex with other men MSM but not limited to this population, about which little has been written and, scientifically, about which little is known. Procedure The data were collected between September and January using one of the largest MSM-oriented bareback-focused websites currently available on the Internet.
Table 1 Multivariate findings for the factors associated with whether or not men seek felching partners in their online profiles. Open in a separate window.
Discussion This study has shown that felching is not an uncommon risk practice sought by men who use the Internet to find partners for bareback sex, appearing as a sought-after behavior in approximately 1 online profile in 6. Evaluation of a social network HIV prevention intervention program for young men who have sex with men in Russia and Bulgaria. Barebacking among MSM internet users.
AIDS and Behavior12—Define felching
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Felching Among Men Who Engage in Barebacking (Unprotected Anal Sex)