Gay and bisexual men's use of the Internet: research from the 1990s through 2013

J Sex Res. 2014;51(4):390-409. doi: 10.1080/00224499.2013.871626.


We document the historical and cultural shifts in how gay and bisexual men have used the Internet for sexuality between the 1990s and 2013-including shifting technology as well as research methods to study gay and bisexual men online. Gay and bisexual men have rapidly taken to using the Internet for sexual purposes: for health information seeking, finding sex partners, dating, cybersex, and pornography. Men have adapted to the ever-evolving technological advances that have been made in connecting users to the Internet-from logging on via dial-up modem on a desktop computer to geo-social-sexual networking via handheld devices. In kind, researchers have adapted to the Internet to study gay and bisexual men. Studies have carefully considered the ethics, feasibility, and acceptability of using the Internet to conduct research and interventions. Much of this work has been grounded in models of disease prevention, largely as a result of the ongoing HIV/AIDS epidemic. The need to reduce HIV in this population has been a driving force to develop innovative research and Internet-based intervention methodologies. The Internet, and specifically mobile technology, is an environment gay and bisexual men are using for sexual purposes. These innovative technologies represent powerful resources for researchers to study and provide outreach.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bisexuality / history*
  • Bisexuality / psychology*
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Homosexuality, Male / history*
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Internet / history*
  • Male
  • Research
  • Sexual Behavior / history*
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology*
  • Social Values
  • United States