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The Ultimate High: Sexual Addiction and the Bug Chasing Phenomenon

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This study sought to explain the existence of a controversial subculture of gay men, a group whose main attribute is an active desire to voluntarily contract HIV. The following research reasons "bug chasing" as being symptomatic of sexual addiction. A quasi-randomized survey of personal advertisements of HIV-negative bug chasers and barebackers - gay men who intentionally eschew condom use without the desire to seroconvert - revealed that chasers were: (a) considerably different from their barebacker counterparts regarding paraphiliac activities, and (b) significantly more likely than barebackers to rank higher on behavioral and psychological measures of sexual addiction.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Communication Studies, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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