LGBT Tops or Bottoms: Do We Have to Choose

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by NOVAJock, May 13, 2005.

  1. NOVAJock

    NOVAJock Modded & Underrated

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    An interesting article....


    Speaking of Tops and Bottoms
    by Simon Sheppard

    OK, so who does what to whom?

    That's the basis of the distinction between "tops" and "bottoms," but it's a distinction that can obscure as much as it enlightens. When it comes to good ol' anal sex, the difference between top and bottom is pretty damn clear -- the top is the one who screws, the bottom's the who gets screwed. But when it comes to blowjobs, matters get cloudy. To be consistent, the "top" should be the insertive partner, right? Yet often he's the guy who kicks back, semi-passive except for moans and squirming, while the other guy does the work. It's the difference between "humping face" and "getting sucked," this question of who's "in control."

    S/M defines "top" and "bottom" rather differently -- the "top" is the one who has the power to dish it out, whatever "it" is. But that's when things start to get ambiguous. Experienced players know that submissive bottoms are often the ones who are really in charge of a scene. If a bottom just loves to be spanked and gets a top to spank him till his hand hurts, which one is really in control? And if a top ties a man down and rides the bound guy's erection, who's the bottom then?

    Maybe this really shouldn't matter, but the cliche is that tops are more masculine, bottoms more femme. You'll find guys describing themselves proudly as "total tops," as though there were some sort of superiority involved. And some of the adjectives used to describe bottoms, such as "pushy" or "greedy," are unflattering ways to imply that there's something wrong with trying to get what you want out of sex. It's as though those who want to get screwed should know their (presumably inferior) place; some of this is disturbingly reminiscent of women's traditional roles in bed.

    The frequent disjunctions between what sex looks like and what's really happening have led to some interesting self-definitions. Guys who love to take charge and get screwed describe themselves as "aggressive bottoms," for example, though you'll have to look hard for men calling themselves "passive tops."

    As understandable as mankind's fondness for either/or definitions can be, when it comes to sex, these simple binary distinctions can hurt more than help. There's nothing inferior about enjoying the intense pleasure of getting boned; thinking that there is can be a barrier to enjoying it fully. Neither is there anything wrong with a top, whether vanilla or kinky, feeling tenderness and vulnerability. It doesn't make him less of a man, just as where his organ is going doesn't make him more of one.

    Variety, yes, is the spice of life, whether over the course of a relationship or during a single sex session. "I don't do that because I'm a top (or bottom)," just puts whole big chunks of possible pleasure off limits. It might be better all around to approach the top/bottom thing as a sliding scale, with "total top" and "absolute bottom" as the endpoints -- most of us falling somewhere in the middle -- and with the whole top/bottom dichotomy taken with a grain of salt. After all, those of us who know the pleasure of getting our faces humped hard wouldn't say it's an inferior thing to do, and those of us who have to get it up and keep it there while screwing know the grave responsibilities and hard work taken on by the poor, hardworking top. (Maybe that's why it often seems that there are so many more bottoms than tops out there.)

    So whether top, bottom, both, neither, or some mishmash that defies definition, maybe we should all admit that sex is a complex, wonderful, dirty job, but somebody has to do it.

    About Simon Sheppard

    [​IMG]Simon Sheppard is the co-editor of Rough Stuff: Tales of Gay Men, Sex, and Power (Alyson Books). He can be reached at [email protected]
     
  2. sholnay

    sholnay New Member

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    i've never thought of it in that way - definitely an eye opener. I never like to hear "im only a bottom" cause whenever i do, its almost like a door is shut - it "puts whole big chunks of possible pleasure off limits."


    all these articles you have posted today are great btw :bigthumb:
     
  3. Taylor

    Taylor Guest

    I don't define myself in those terms. No, I haven't had anal sex, but I really think I'd be down for whatever.
     
  4. mamoru

    mamoru New Member

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    I agree...I close doors on people who aren't open to experiencing anything...which in turn makes me kind of closed, eh? I'm closed to closed people...

    Try everything once, and if I plan to be in a LTR, I hope my partner and I are willing to take on all roles in the relationship :)
     
  5. sholnay

    sholnay New Member

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    i doubt an LTR exists where the couple isnt versatile. I couldnt see it happening.
     
  6. Sam Gamgee

    Sam Gamgee Every tool is a weapon if you hold it right. OT Supporter

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    We're not very versatile in our relationship... but mostly becuase my partner really is big and sometimes it just hurts too much to take him... I really have to be in the mood. If he was a bit smaller, I'd be riding him like a welfare mom rides public transit.

    Plus, he LOVES taking it, so we usually end up with me being the top...

    However, we both love to switch off once in a while... we're versatile-minded, I guess.
     
  7. sholnay

    sholnay New Member

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    Thats what i mean - you are both def. willing to "play the other role" and thats what matters.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2005
  8. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

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    Yea, although I'm Pavlov's bottom, I'll top if the mood strikes me. Or, if he asks.
     
  9. NOVAJock

    NOVAJock Modded & Underrated

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    You mean....if he offers you a biscuit. WOOF WOOF :mamoru:
     
  10. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

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    ...hehe, only if I bake it, because his cooking skills are limited.
     

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