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Emerging research supports the notion that sexual compulsivity (SC) and hypersexual disorder (HD) among gay and bisexual men (GBM) might be conceptualized as comprising three groups—Neither SC nor HD; SC only, and Both SC and HD—that capture distinct levels of severity across the SC/HD continuum. We examined data from 370 highly sexually active GBM to assess how the three groups compare across a range of risk factors for HIV infection. Comparisons focused on psychosexual measures—temptation for condomless anal sex (CAS), self-efficacy for avoiding CAS, sexual excitation and inhibition—as well as reports of actual sexual behavior. Nearly half (48.9%) of this highly sexually active sample was classified as Neither SC nor HD, 30% as SC Only, and 21.1% as Both SC and HD. While we found no significant differences between the three groups on reported number of male partners, anal sex acts, or anal sex acts with serodiscordant partners, the Both SC and HD group reported higher numbers of CAS acts and CAS acts with serodiscordant partners and also had a higher proportion of their anal sex acts without condoms compared to the SC Only group. Our findings support the validity of a three-group classification system of SC/HD severity in differentiating psychosexual and HIV-related sexual risk behavior outcomes in a sample of GBM who report similar high levels of sexual activity. Notwithstanding the need for sex positive HIV prevention programs, interventions that attempt to help Both SC and HD men deal with distress and address their psychosexual needs specifically may derive HIV prevention benefits.


This is the accepted manuscript of an article published in AIDS and Behavior.

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