Florida Public Health Review

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Background: Sexual hookups via social media dating apps have been understudied among Black men who have sex with men (BMSM). Purpose: The objective of this qualitative study was to explore the role of dating apps on hookup culture and to describe the sexual experiences among BMSM in Florida. Specifically, this research delves into various sexual hookup themes. Methods: Seventeen semi-structured interviews were conducted with BMSM participants aged 18 to 25 in Florida who self-identified as frequent dating app users. A grounded theory approach was applied to thematically analyze the hookup encounters and the factors that drive these perceptions and experiences among BMSM. QSR NVIVO 12 was used to code, categorize, and collect emergent themes. Results: Three major themes emerged depicting the complexities of hookup culture using social media dating applications among BMSM. 1. Positive hookup experiences were linked to feelings of “no strings attached” to some participants, while others associated this positive experience to the use of alcohol and drugs; 2. Negative hookup experiences revolved around miscommunication on sexual roles, catfishing, and disclosure of HIV status; 3. Psychological aspects of hookups were centered on feelings of regret, disbelief, and disgust after a sexual hookup encounter. Discussion: Understanding BMSM hookup culture could aid in the development of prioritized evidence-based interventions for behavioral change to improve safer sexual health encounters among this vulnerable population