It’s time to gently get to the bottom of all this Gay patriarchy (hehe…bottom).
So, I’ve been at this thot life for over a decade, now. And as someone who’s officially a fossil in “Gay Years” (i.e. 30 years old), I’ve amassed a good, collective idea of how men in “the scene” tend to carry out sexuality.
As anyone who’s followed my work knows, I’m all about relating everyday, “minor” shit to the systems that directly contribute to keeping folks oppressed. So, I wanna touch on the gender binary & patriarchy and how they’re internalized among Gay/Queer/SGL men.
Many of us homos are familiar with this persistent need to designate “The Man” and “The Woman” in any kind of pairing between two people of the same gender. With regards to men, the Bottom (the party who engages in the receptive position during intercourse) is considered “The Woman.” The Top (the party who engages in the penetrative position) is considered “The Man.” This patriarchal mentality has materialized itself in many different ways that are impossible to cover in one piece, by one person. But I’m gonna go over just some of the ways this tends to affect us sexually, since, again, I’ve got well over a decade of experience in that area.
Bottoms come first (HA! Yeah, right!)
In particular, I wanna discuss the bottoms in denial, who call themselves versatile. Now, look, I’m not one to police how people can, or should, identify themselves. I also wanna be clear that this isn’t a denial of the existence of actual versatile men. I just feel like, if you go out of your way to exclude bottoms from your sex life (if I had a dollar for every profile where a guy, who identifies as vers, says “NO BOTTOMS!”), but not also tops? It’s a pretty safe bet that you ain’t vers. Just my opinion, but a versatile person is someone who’s comfortable in either position, or specifically wants both. At least select “vers bottom.”
There’s a stigma on bottoming that we’ve all long been familiar with, even if we don’t acknowledge it. As mentioned, bottoming, and the men who enjoy it, are looked down upon, because it’s associated with womanhood (i.e. weakness). A lot of Gay men internalize this, so they’ll call themselves versatile as a form of denial, even though it’s clear that they heavily prefer bottoming. By calling yourself versatile, it helps you feel like you’re still in some proximity of “manhood.” Even if topping is something you’re only seldom, if at all, interested in. Many bottoms HATE claiming themselves as such because they think it’s an admittance of being less of a man.
Ultimately, manhood can only be defined on an individual level. If you ID as a man, no amount of blossoming your rosebud** will change that. Never mind that there’s nothing wrong or weak about womanhood, anyway. Being a bottom is not inherently indicative of submission or passivity. It’s simply a sexual position and has no bearing on your personality. Learn this, digest this, and get real with yourself. Stop being afraid to say that you’re a bottom if you know that’s what you primarily (or exclusively) enjoy.
And frankly, getting to the promise land of enjoying anal is among the strongest things one can do. The stories I could tell…
Now, for the tops…
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that versatile men are often much better tops than total tops. Access to manhood is often denied for men who ID as anything other than cisgender & heterosexual. However, total tops tend to be granted the closest proximity to the manhood, despite being Gay. Because of this, tops tend to (more blatantly than others) exhibit the trash behavior that we routinely see women calling out in cishet men.
One thing I find interesting is tops who proclaim they’re only checking for total bottoms, deliberately excluding versatile men. Even being a total bottom, this raises all of the red flags. From what I’ve observed, tops who don’t do versatile guys are invested in the aforementioned gender binary. They buy into that idea of our pairings designating a “man” and a “woman.” And since the bottom is “the woman,” we’re expected to be the docile, passive, submissive party. Versatile guys break up that fantasy because they’re harder to put in a box. You might actually have to engage them as people to figure out where they stand, and…can’t have that!
Even though I’m a bottom, I’m not inherently passive or submissive (unless chemistry compels me to go that route). But in my experience, many total tops have the expectation that I should be playing that role, off-top, and…I’m good.
Decolonize Our Bedrooms…and Sex Parties…and Bathhouses…and…
First of all, gender roles are oppressive trash, even as they relate to cishet men and women. We need to stop internalizing it within our spaces. We also need to collectively unlearn this idea that topping and bottoming (with regards to intercourse) are anything more than activities. They have absolutely no bearing on the kind of person that you are or what “role” you should be taking on.
I’ve talked before about how these limitations on sexuality and manhood are directly harmful to Queer men, and that still remains. As Gay/Queer/SGL men, we need to be doing the internal work of liberating ourselves and our spaces of these mentalities. They only serve to feed into social norms that ultimately keep us oppressed.
I know plenty of tops who are submissive and bottoms who are dominant. And those are just two aspects of a whole, messy, thotty spectrum. We need to learn to just take people in as individuals and honor their full identity. That can extend well beyond the bedroom.
Things we need to deconstruct in our spaces: Internalized Homophobia, Misogyny, Patriarchy. Let it all go and prosper.
**Fair warning: If you don’t know what a “rosebud” is…don’t Google it. Just stay in the dark on that one. You’re welcome.