Lubricant use at last sexual encounter with a male partner: Findings from a nationally representative sample of self-identified gay and bisexual men in the United States

Brian Dodge, Randolph D. Hubach, Vanessa Schick, Debby Herbenick, Michael Reece, Stephanie A. Sanders, J. Dennis Fortenberry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Background There is a lack of research that examines event-level lubricant use and outcomes among gay and bisexual men, with the majority of current research addressing lubricant use within the context of sexual risk. Most studies examining sexual health among gay and bisexual men have relied on convenience sampling strategies for participant recruitment. Methods: Data were collected from the 2012 wave of the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behaviour (NSSHB), which involved the administration of an online questionnaire to a nationally representative probability sample of women and men in the United States aged 18 years and older, including an oversampling of self-identified gay and bisexual men and women. The findings from gay (n≤307) and bisexual (n≤25) participants who reported sexual behaviours with other male partners during their last sexual encounter are included in this paper. Post-stratification data weights were applied to the data to maximise the generalisability of the findings. Results: Men who reported lubricant use during their last sexual event with a male partner (n≤163) were significantly more likely to be non-White, Hispanic and between 30 and 39 years old. Bisexual men had lower odds of using lubricant than gay-identified men. The majority of men reported using lubricant during anal intercourse, along with lower numbers with a range of other sexual behaviours. Conclusion: Public health promotion specialists should consider recommending continued lubricant use as a part of comprehensive sexual health promotion efforts for gay and bisexual men, including that it reduces pain and maximises pleasure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-307
Number of pages8
JournalSexual Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015



  • men who have sex with men
  • probability sample
  • sexual behaviour
  • sexual health

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