Sexual use of the Internet: Perceived impact on MSM’s views of self and others

Nuno Nodin, Alex Carballo-Dieguez, Isabel MP Leal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)719–736
Number of pages17
JournalNew Media and Society
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • change
  • Internet
  • MEN
  • MSM
  • Self-perceptions
  • sexual behavior

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