Exploring Sexual Networks: A Pilot Study of Swingers' Sexual Behaviour and Health-Care-Seeking Practices

Patrick O'Byrne, Jessica A. Watts

Abstract


Very little scientific research exists about swingers. For sexual health nurses, this dearth of information may be problematic, particularly as the rates of many STIs are increasing across Canada. A pilot study was undertaken to explore the subculture of men and women who visit swingers' clubs. Data were collected through a survey distributed at 1 swingers' club on 2 separate occasions and through direct observation of the clubs on the same 2 occasions. The researchers engaged in 8 hours of direct observation and 72 individuals (32 men and 40 women) completed the survey. The respondents reported engaging in unprotected sex, whether oral (80.3%), vaginal (15.5%), or anal (30.8%), and rarely accessing STI health services (< 40.8%). The authors conclude that further research is needed to investigate the possible design and implementation of STI health services for swingers.

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