Sex markets and sexual opportunity structures of behaviorally bisexual latino men in the urban metropolis of new york city

Arch Sex Behav. 2014 Apr;43(3):597-606. doi: 10.1007/s10508-013-0072-6. Epub 2013 Mar 12.


Sex markets (the spatially and culturally bounded arenas) that shape bisexual behavior among Latino men have been utilized as a deterministic concept without a sufficient focus on the ability of individuals to make autonomous decisions within such arenas. We nuance the theory of sex markets using the concept of sexual opportunity structures to investigate the ways in which behaviorally bisexual Latino men in the urban metropolis of New York City navigate sexual geographies, cultural meaning systems, sexual scripts, and social institutions to configure their bisexual behaviors. Drawing on 60 in-depth interviews with bisexual Latino men in New York City, we first describe and analyze venues that constitute sexual geographies that facilitate and impede sexual interaction. These also allow for a degree of autonomy in decision-making, as men travel throughout the urban sexual landscape and sometimes even manage to reject norms, such as those imposed by Christian religion. We explore some of the cultural meaning systems and social institutions that regulate sex markets and influence individual decision-making. Secrecy and discretion-regulated by the family, masculinity, migration, and religion-only partially shaped sexual behavior and relationships. These factors create a flux in "equilibrium" in bisexual sex markets in which sociocultural-economic structures constantly interplay with human agency. This article contributes to the literature in identifying dynamic spaces for sexual health interventions that draw on individual agency and empowerment.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bisexuality / ethnology*
  • Bisexuality / psychology*
  • Coitus / psychology*
  • Culture
  • Gender Identity
  • Hispanic Americans / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New York City / epidemiology
  • Qualitative Research
  • Religion
  • Risk-Taking
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Social Environment