UBC Theses and Dissertations
HIV negative gay men’s experiences of barebacking in casual sexual relationships Bayzand, Laurence John
The purpose of this study was to examine the phenomenon of unprotected anal intercourse, or barebacking, among HIV negative gay men. There currently exists scant literature, particularly that of a qualitative nature, relative to barebacking behaviour. A qualitative phenomenological methodology was chosen to explore the meaning and experience of gay men who bareback so that the voices of these men could come forth and be heard. The research consisted of interviews with 6 participants: four Caucasian men, and two Asian men. The men ranged in age between 24 and 55 years. All six of the men acknowledged that they barebacked in casual, non-primary, relationships. The main question the participants were asked to consider was: What is the meaning and experience for you, of barebacking in your casual sexual relationships? The participants were invited to discuss their experiences as i f they were telling a story, with a beginning, a middle, and an end. The interviews were transcribed and analyzed in accordance with an abbreviated version of Colaizzi's (1978) model of phenomenological data analysis. This model served as a guideline for the identification of the five themes that emerged through the analysis. In no particular order, the themes that were experienced were: (a) Sense of Increased Intimacy/Connection; (b) Burden of safer Sex; (c) Sense of Enhanced Sexual Pleasure, Excitement, and Empowerment; (d) Sense of Powerlessness; and (e) Awareness of Responsibility to Self. These themes are discussed in terms of their implications for future research and counselling.
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