Partner-specific sexual practices among heterosexual men and women with multiple partners: results from the French national survey, ACSF. Analyse des Comportements Sexuel en France

Arch Sex Behav. 1996 Jun;25(3):233-47. doi: 10.1007/BF02438163.


Heterosexual men and women with several partners are at risk of acquiring and transmitting sexually transmitted diseases and HIV. Risk depends on parameters such as the sexual practices themselves which may vary according to the type of partner (regular vs. casual). It is therefore important to describe the sexual practices and identify the correlations between the type of partner and these practices among heterosexuals with multiple partners. A subsample of all subjects having had at least two sexual partners during the previous year (n = 1644) was obtained from the ACSF survey (n = 20,055), the French national telephone survey on sexual behavior conducted between September 1991 and February 1992. Questions concerned in particular sexual practices of the last encounter as well as type of partner. Petting and vaginal penetration were almost systematic, mutual manual stimulation and orogenital sex were common, while self-masturbation and anal sex were infrequent. On average, a condom was seldom used. However, it was used more often when the partner was occasional. Nonpenetrative and oral practices were also more frequent with occasional partners. Women tended to report lower frequencies of practices and of condom use than men. A subset of heterosexuals with multiple partners engaged in safe sex. Practices tend to be partner-specific, with safer sex practices more likely to occur with occasional partners, although the magnitude of the difference is moderate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • France
  • HIV Seropositivity / transmission
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk-Taking
  • Sex Factors
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / transmission