Imagining interventions for collective sex environments

Flowers, Paul and Frankis, Jamie (2019) Imagining interventions for collective sex environments. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 48 (1). pp. 35-39. ISSN 1573-2800 (

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Frank’s (2018) article provides an excellent summary of transdisciplinary research concerned with collective sex environments, synthesizing highly diverse studies spanning five decades. The contributing papers utilize a broad range of methods and reflect many key sexual health risks across several diverse and distinct populations. For many readers, such as ourselves, with a particular interest in a single population, Frank’s synthesis provides a much needed and entirely fascinating wider perspective. This overarching vantage point can teach us about similarities and differences across populations, while simultaneously illuminating the populations and research we know so well through a different lens. As such, the paper provides an essential contribution to the literature. However, rather than champion the paper’s many strengths, within this Commentary we wish to grapple with what could be seen as its potential shortcomings. Our aim here is not be critical for the sake of it, but to somewhat playfully push debates further about many issues addressed within the paper. In this way, we wish to initiate more dialogue concerning collective sex, concomitant risks, and imaginative ways to ameliorate such risks.