Characteristics and allowed behaviors of gay male couples sexual agreements

Jason W. Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Research has shown that gay male couples sexual agreements may affect their risk for HIV. Few U.S. studies have collected dyadic data nationally from gay male couples to assess what sexual behaviors they allow to occur by agreement type and the sequence of when certain behaviors occur within their relationships. In our cross-sectional study, dyadic data from a convenience sample of 361 male couples were collected electronically throughout the United States by using paid Facebook ads. Findings revealed that couples discussed their HIV status before having unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) but established their agreement some time after having UAI. About half of the couples (N = 207) concurred about having an agreement. Among these couples, 58% concurred about explicitly discussing their agreement, 84% concurred about having the same type of agreement, and 54% had both men adhering to it. A variety of sexual behaviors were endorsed and varied by agreement type. Concordance about aspects of couples agreements varied, suggesting the need to engage couples to be more explicit and detailed when establishing and communicating about their agreements. The allowed behaviors and primary reasons for establishing and breaking sexual agreements further highlight the need to bolster HIV prevention for gay male couples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)316-328
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Sex Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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