Factors associated with group sex in heterosexual males and females attending a sexual health clinic in Melbourne

F

Constantinou Heidi, Fairley Christopher K., Bradshaw Catriona S., Choi Edmond P. H., Maddaford Kate, Phillips Tiffany R., Chow Eric P. F. (2022) Factors associated with group sex in heterosexual males and females attending a sexual health clinic in Melbourne, Australia: a cross-sectional survey. Sexual Health 19, 39-45. https://doi.org/10.1071/SH21224

Abstract:

BackgroundThere have been limited studies of group sex among heterosexual individuals. This study aimed to explore the factors associated with group sex among heterosexual males and females to improve risk assessment guidelines and inform sexually transmitted infection (STI) screening requirements.

MethodsA cross-sectional survey was conducted among heterosexual males and females aged ≥16 years attending the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre between March and April 2019. The survey asked about group sex participation, methods used to meet sexual partners, number of casual and/or regular partners, and injection drug use (IDU) in the previous 3 months. HIV and STI (chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis) diagnoses were extracted. A multivariable logistic regression was conducted to identify the factors associated with group sex participation.

ResultsA total of 698 participants (325 males, 373 females) were included and 4.7% (33/698) had participated in group sex in the previous 3 months. The proportion who participated in group sex increased with age (2.1% in 16–24 years, 5.5% in 25–34 years, 7.8% in ≥35 years, ptrend = 0.010). Meeting partners at sex venues (e.g. brothels) was associated with the highest odds of participating in group sex (aOR = 5.74, 95% CI: 1.20–27.44), followed by dating apps (aOR = 2.99, 95% CI: 1.36–6.58), friends/family (aOR = 2.99, 95% CI: 1.34–6.69) and social venues (e.g. bar) (aOR = 2.73, 95% CI: 1.18–6.30). Group sex was strongly associated with STI positivity (aOR = 6.24, 95% CI: 2.41–16.13). There was no association between group sex and sex, casual and/or regular partners, HIV positivity or IDU.

ConclusionHeterosexual individuals participating in group sex had a six-fold risk of testing positive for STIs. Including group sex in a sexual history is useful to determine STI risk and inform testing practices. Safe sex messages on group sex that are delivered through multiple methods (e.g. at sex venues, social venues and dating apps simultaneously) would be beneficial.

By J Pope

Welcome to SASHA

SASHA is a current awareness service with news and views on various aspects of sexual health and sexuality, from a wide range of sources. These range from credible sources of sexual health and related information, to relevant opinion pieces in the media.

Categories