Am I a Bottom or a Top?

Am I a Bottom or a Top?

A young gay guy asks a complicated question!

Image for postThese cuties have their own hilarious ideas about tops and bottoms, but they could sure use a little sensible talk from Aunty Jimothy

Dear Aunty Jimothy,

I?m a 23-year-old effeminate gay man. I don?t even like acting butch. I just came out a few months ago, but lots of people already assumed I was gay. The thing is, other gay guys keep asking me if I?m a ?bottom.? I like all sorts of sexual positions, so I don?t know what the deal is. How do I tell if I?m a top or a bottom?

Puzzled in Poughkeepsie

Dear Puzzled,

Have no fear, Aunty Jimothy gets these sorts of questions all the time. I love the way you asked yours, though, because you really packed a lot in there. Oh, dear. Did I just say ?packed?? Pardon the pun!

First, congratulations on coming out. I hope you had cake and champagne (or at least a nice inexpensive but tasty Prosecco) and treated yourself to a fabulous party. You deserve it!

So, people thought you were gay already because you swish a little? Is that it? Your voice is a teensy bit high pitched? You sway your hips when you walk? Your wrist just won?t stay straight?

It took me a lot of years to figure out that there?s no such thing as a top and no such thing as a bottom. There?s no mysterious, innate property about you that makes you a different kind of person because of what you like or don?t like about anal sex.

However you define effeminate or feminine, child, know that lots of gay men (and some straight men) enjoy gender bending. Some of us are flamboyant about it, some of us are subtle, and lots of us just don?t give a flip one way or the other.

Some gay men are hyper masculine acting. Big ole bears with hairy chests, bulging biceps, gruff voices, cowboy hats, and grungy boots. Oooh, la la, child, you?ve got Aunty Jimothy clutching her pearls and reaching for her smelling salts!

But listen to an old Aunty with decades of lustful living to draw on. The way we gay men present ourselves rarely predicts what we like to do in bed. And the idea that most gay men only take one role in bed is a stereotype that causes needless stress to scads of guys who are just coming out.

First, shall we talk dirty details? Just in case?

Maybe you don?t actually know what it means to be a top or a bottom. Basics first! In the gay male world, a ?top? is supposed to be a guy who pretty much always does the penetrating during anal sex. A ??bottom? is a guy who just about always gets penetrated during anal sex.

Whew! I managed to be clear without being crass!

But honey, this old aunty is here to tell you that the world doesn?t really work that way. First off, did you know that some gay men don?t even LIKE anal sex? Doesn?t make them any less gay! Some gay men only like anal sex once in a while, kind of as an extra special treat.

We gay men are not imitations of straight people, child! We?re not men pretending to be women or couples pretending to be like mixed-gender couples. We?re our own special selves. We like all sorts of sex. Hot, cold, medium, in between. Sometimes it?s really awesome, sometimes it?s just average, and sometimes ? but not always ? it?s anal.

Some guys get off on being ?tops? because they think it makes them more manly. More masculine. More virile. More whatever.

Do you watch Internet porn? Pornhub got you curious about how you?re supposed to behave during sex? Honey, can Aunty Jimothy tell you a secret? Those men are ACTORS. They have camera cutaway tricks to rely on, special lighting, hours to tape to get ten minutes of take. Those films are entertaining, but they aren?t real. If you try to model their behavior, you?re setting yourself up for frustration. Real sex is often slower, clumsier, and less slick than what you see on screen. Don?t worry about it, though. Real sex is way more awesome than porn once you get with a guy you really like and start figuring out how you best fit together with him.

But listen, child. We gay men aren?t tops and bottoms. We?re men who fall for other men and/or have sex with other men. Calling a man a top or a bottom reduces him to a sexual function. And honey, your man ain?t no sex toy. He?s your man. And you?re his!

?But Aunty! I only like one kind of sex!?

I hear some of you objecting already. And? I know some gay men prefer one sexual role or another in bed. That?s OK! If that?s you, then be you, child. This old aunty isn?t telling you no.

I?m just saying that what you like to do in bed right now doesn?t define you. It also doesn?t mean your preferences won?t change. Next week. Next month. Next year. Who knows? Aunty Jimothy has been there and done that!

When I was a callow young thing, just out of the closet, a hot stud threw my legs over his shoulders, squeezed a minimum amount of lube into the necessary parts, and then speared me so fast and hard I almost screamed. ?Get that thing away from me!? I yelled. ?It hurts!?

I labeled myself a ?top? for years because of that incident.

But you know what? The problem wasn?t that I was a ?top,? it was that I had an inexperienced lover who didn?t know what he was doing.

I told myself it hurt so bad because I wasn?t a ?bottom.? So, simple solution, I?d look for boyfriends who only wanted ?tops? in their lives.

And I cut out a HUGE percentage of the dating pool, honey. One day, I found a boyfriend who ended up being my long-term partner. He was experienced and patient in bed, and he taught me that sexual variety can be a wonderful part of a relationship. He also taught me that bottoming doesn?t have to hurt! It can be awesome! Sex is a skill. You have to practice. We aren?t born knowing how to best please our partners.

It took me a lot of years to figure out that there?s no such thing as a top and no such thing as a bottom. There?s no mysterious, innate property about you that makes you a different kind of person because of what you like or don?t like about anal sex.

Speaking of innate properties ?

Whatever you might like about anal sex, don?t ever put up with ?bottom shaming.? Yup, sadly, that?s a thing. Some guys get off on being ?tops? because they think it makes them more manly. More masculine. More virile. More whatever. Aunty Jimothy don?t play dat.

Honey, you?re gay because you like men! Not because of where you put your dangly bits.

Do you! Enjoy being who you are. Enjoy LEARNING who you are and growing and changing all the time. Don?t put yourself in a box, whatever you do. Life is too awesome for that.

Play safe, child, whatever you do. Research condoms, safer sex, PrEP, and other STI safety precautions.

Need to know more? Just ask Aunty! Don?t make me clutch my pearls!

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That?s another Aunty Jimothy column on Medium, guys and girls. Got a question? Post it under this story, and she?ll do her best to crank out some pearlescent balls of wisdom.

By the way, I?ve got a whole bat cave full of lesbians, trans guys and girls, and kinky polyamorous bisexual chicks. So when you ask Aunty Jimothy, you?re tapping into a lot more than just Dame Edna?s cranky nemesis.

Ask anything! Love, sex, dating, hooking up, Tinder and Grindr culture, and HIV/STD concerns. Life with your straight family. Coming out. Or not.

This Old Aunty has the Answers. Somewhere. If I can just remember where I left my purse.

Want more Aunty Jimothy? Read all her columns!

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