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If you have ever been around a group of gay men or yourself are a gay/bi-sexual man you’ve probably read, heard, or uttered the phrase “Top or Bottom”. Over the past several decades gay sex and the language pertaining to it has become much more than what its language pertains to. The language of gay sex has in of itself become the fabric of the identity of many gay men. Sex for many gay men is not just sex; it’s a way of life and the language within gay sex, is today very much a part of the social norm of the community. As the LGBT community has been able to rise up against oppressive views and political stereotypes, they still today seem to lump their own population into identifying groups.
Need a little education on what a Top or Bottom is? Basically the Top is the man penetrating the booty the Bottom is the man receiving the beautiful penis. “Versatile” means he loves to do both. Lets not get into the variables within these words because thats another article. So Top and Bottom; if you think those words mean one man plays the role of the “man” and the other the “woman” in the relationship, you are so absolutely wrong! Gay men are “Men” and you’d be surprised by the type of men who are Tops and Bottoms.
Many gay men, society would consider to be effeminate men, are in fact Tops and that notion can be contradictory in application to Bottoms. Many men who walk, talk and act like the biggest bad-asses are in fact super-nelly-bottoms in the sack. Does that mean that one man is more masculine than the other? Nope, not at all! So the question “are you a top or bottom” can actually become a very sensitive subject for many men. Because they feel like the word “Bottom” allocates the de-masculinization of the “MAN”. In fact Bottoms are more tough, more in touch with who they are and go though a hell of a lot more work to have good sex! They are also the ones who run the most risk in contracting STDs. Bottoms are tough ass men! No pun intended.
With all that said man gay men wear the word “Top” or the word “Bottom” as a badge of honor. Bottoms and Tops are anything but two categories though it is a melting pot of gayness. Let’s be honest most of the time the Top or Bottom question is used with the intent to hook up for “right now”, “this weekend” or whenever, but I’ve found that many men ask this casually in conversation, in public, when no immediate intent to have sex is present.
I recently went on a date with a very sweet handsome man. He stated to me on our drive through the Malibu Hills, that in the gay community of Los Angeles the words Top and Bottom are used in conversation far more than in any other city in America. He also told to me, that in earlier years, conversations gay men had with one another had far less to do with the fact if they were a Top or a Bottom. I asked him, “do you think gay men in Los Angeles are really identified by those words?” His response, “I absolutely believe so!” I asked, “is that a bad thing?” He said, “not all the time but it can be.” And I agree with him. I’ll be honest many gay men will ask you if you are a “Top or a Bottom” before even asking your name. That question has allowed this quick process of being able cut to the chase of sexual roles and the answer to the question can open the door to more conversation or can completely end it.
There is a GOOD and BAD to this notion both when asked and when not asked.
-The GOOD when asked;
You already know what you both somewhat like in bed. You can go on a few dates, get to know a person, finally get to the bed and see if the sparks fly.
-The BAD when asked;
You both are Bottoms and say “awe what a shame you’re so cute” this can close conversation and both miss out on the opportunity to actually make a new connection. The sexual appetite overshadows the ability to learn of the potential the man, in front of you or on the other end of the screen/Grindr app, can bring to your life.
-The GOOD when not asked;
You actually get to know something about the person. For instance, his name! LOL. What he does for a living. What he does for fun. What if this is the business partner you dreamt was out there to begin your new start-up with? Or your new Friday night bestie to go to a Drag Queen Karaoke with?
-The BAD of not asking;
You start off with similar interests go on a few dates only to discover that you both do not like to take it in the booty. And let’s be honest many gay relationships do not work out because of that reason. Sex is important to men and for gay men it’s not just important its Muy-Importanté!
I love my sexual role and I do identify a part of myself in conversation on plenty of occasions with the notion. But I in no way let that be the lead-in or starter with regard to my social or sexual conversations and connections.
So the long and short of this is; While many gay men love their gayness, love to identify with their Topness or Bottomness, there still is this stigma of what those roles are and what kind of man that man is. By self-identifying to those words immediately, many gay men are marginalizing themselves to its stigma. Do they knowingly accept it? Some do, but many don’t and get upset when someone sees them as just another Bottom or just another Top. And I say to that; You can’t get upset when that’s what you lead with! Are you a Bottom? Are you a Top? Are you a Masculine Man? Are you a Feminine Man? Are you a Really-Really Gay Man? No I’m a person…get to know me!
So Are You A Top or Bottom | Kyle Marchand