An ongoing scientific and cultural debate has questioned whether using the internet has changed users in relevant ways. We investigated whether men who have sex with men and who use the internet to meet sexual partners consequently perceived any changes in themselves and in others. We interviewed 36 men and conducted a thematic analysis of the interview transcripts. Results suggest that many men perceived both sexual and non-sexual self-changes, such as a greater acceptance of their sexuality, the exploration of new sexual possibilities, more assertive communication styles and, for a few, the occurrence of an excessive online behavior and diminished emotional availability towards others. Some also tended to be more suspicious of others both on- and offline. We believe our results help build a strong case for the existence of a subjectively perceived internet-related impact on these men’s selves and their perception of others.
- sexual behavior