Thank you to the 295 people who participated in the 2021 Bug Chasing Survey between September 20, 2021 and December 31, 2021. Without you, the final survey results would not have been possible. The short timespan for the first survey is because Curious Chaser was only launched on September 20, 2021, but has quickly been embraced by those who share an interest in bug chasing and gift giving. This survey is not scientific or designed for any particular reason, other than to help us better understand ourselves.
The purpose of the annual surveys is to obtain insights into bug chasing to help us appreciate that we are not alone and there are other people around the world who are likeminded. When you are on the bug chasing path, it can seem like a lonely road and you start wondering whether anyone else thinks the same way you do. By seeing the survey results, it helps you appreciate that you are not alone on this journey and there are other people exploring or experiencing this path as well.
As we are all at different parts along this journey, the survey results will mean different things to everyone. Some people are currently contemplating bug chasing and haven’t taken the step yet; myself included, whereas some people are already on the path and others have already achieved their desired goal. That’s why this survey analysis will only be brief and I’ll just highlight some aspects of the survey, as we each might take different things out of the results.
Waiting for the final results is kind of like waiting for your HIV test results to come back. I will consider publishing the data more frequently, but at the same time I don’t want people to see the partial results and try to skew the data by adding responses that might not reflect the true situation, so I will have to think about this. I just want you to know that every response is important and helps us to better understand ourselves as bug chasers, whether active, curious, inactive or passive.
BUG CHASING DATA INSIGHTS
Out of the 295 responses received, the top five countries in order of the most responses were United States of America, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and Germany, which is natural based on the population saturation. It’s also important to consider that some countries have people who do not speak English or being gay might be illegal, so this will have some impact on the location of the respondents. The highest number of responses based on age is those between 22 ad 40 years of age. It does seems as though some people are more comfortable exploring bug chasing the older they get, and perhaps this is because they feel more confident about their sexuality and want to explore sex on a deeper level, or try something they have been thinking about for a while.
Most bug chasers are bottoms or versatile bottoms, which makes it easier for them to contract the virus if they are actively chasing. The majority of people get tested for HIV fairly regularly, with many sticking with the 3 month testing recommendation. It was also interesting to see a massive number of respondents who are HIV-negative and not taking PrEP, so this indicates a high number of people who are open to being infected with HIV. The age when people first started having bug chasing thoughts correlates to the same age people started bug chasing, so it seems making the decision fits into a similar timeframe.
The number of active chasers was the highest at 142, compared with 113 who are curious about chasing and 35 who are inactive chasers, which indicates the two highest number of responses are active chasers, followed by those who are curious about chasing. Most people have been having sex with HIV-positive people for between 3 and 10 years, but the 1 to 3 month response came in at third place, indicating some people have only recently started bug chasing.
Most people said they would only start taking HIV medication when they had to, which indicates that want to experience what it’s like to have HIV within their bodies at detectable levels, with the second response indicating no medication would be considered. Most respondents also indicated they would like to become gift givers after they become infected, but they only wanted to infect those who are bug chasers, although the second highest response was from people who would infect anyone.
The reason that resonates with those interested in bug chasing was varied, with most responses indicating desire, followed closely by the level of risk associated with bug chasing. The increased level of sexual energy came in at third and the fourth highest response was from those who consider bug chasing just to be a fantasy for them. A high number also associated the feeling of freedom with bug chasing and an equal number of responses for community and reproduction adds interesting elements for those who wanted to feel like they are part of a community or feel as those bug chasing is associated with pregnancy and creating a new life.
Excitement was the emotion option most participants selected, but the second highest response of struggling indicates bug chasers often find themselves questioning why they feel this way. A fairly high number of respondents felt ashamed and this could be to do with the way people in society view us and this is something I will be discussing in upcoming articles. Many people feel proud to be themselves, which is fantastic, but I’m hoping the ashamed, struggling and neutral responses will decrease if we can talk more about bug chasing and better understand ourselves, even if we don’t become active bug chasers.
Because bug chasing can be secretive and underground, you can’t go telling everyone you’re a bug chaser, so most respondents chose the online option, because it’s a way you can communicate with others about your desire, whilst still maintaining a level of anonymity. Tattoo artists around the world might need to ensure they have some interesting biohazard designs available, because a massive 166 respondents said they wanted to get a biohazard tattoo if they become HIV-positive, which is more than half of the respondents surveyed.
Most people do not seem worried about getting the “fuck flu”, as this is part of becoming HIV-positive, but the intensity of the symptoms still worries almost one-third of the respondents. The different STI’s participants are wanting to collect surprised me, with HIV-1 being the most popular STI, followed by HIV-2, but I was fascinated to see how many people also wanted to contract Gonorrhoea, Chlamydia and Syphilis, with over 60 responses for each. It was also interesting to see that 31 participants want to contract Hepatitis C, but only 18 people want to contract Hepatitis B and 17 people want to contract Hepatitis A.
The highest percentage of people who wanted a cure for HIV said they did want it, but not right away and the second most popular response was that they didn’t want the cure and they wanted to live with HIV for the rest of their life. Most people’s perceptions about bug chasing is that it’s a reality at 168 responses, compared with 124 responses believing that it is more about fantasy only. The last question about whether former chasers have any regrets may have been misunderstood, as 97 responses said they are happy with their decision, which was more than the number of HIV-positive or unknown status responses received. Only a very small number (2 for each category) had regrets when it came to financial, health, social and other issues, which is very small in comparison to the 53 people who said they are HIV-positive.
Thank you again to everyone who participated in this survey and also to you for being interested in these results. If you would like to view the full survey results, please click here so you can see exactly how each question was answered. The survey will be held annually, so please continue participating in the surveys each year, as the data will change and new question and answer sets will also be added or enhanced. Please click here if you would like to be taken to the main survey page, which also includes information about the latest survey.
Featured Photo: iAmMrRob from Pixabay.
Article ID: CC022
Version Control: 1.0 – January 2, 2022: Original article published.