Is It Wrong To Exclusively Bottom?

In the gay community it often feels like there is a shortage of tops. Often I hear, “There are only bottoms in this city!” At the bar a week ago, I overheard a conversation, “Seems like every guy I try to date is also a bottom!” We hear this so often, it makes us wonder. Is everyone exclusively bottoming? Where are are all the tops? In the gay community we express our sexual desires on a spectrum: bottom, vers bottom, versatile, vers top, top and side. So, is there really a shortage of tops? Is it wrong to exclusively bottom?

Grindr took advantage of their data pool and did the research for us all. They found out that only 4% of folks listed ‘bottom’ on their profiles where as 6% of users marked ‘top’ and 28% stated that they are versatile. This leaves the majority, or 62%, of the users as not having listed any information.

With more success, the gay app Scruff sourced their data and discovered that 35% of users were versatile, 21% bottom and 19% top (this time only leaving 25% of users unidentified). Reasons why people might not put their sexual preferences are myriad. They might not want their sexual preference to be a deciding factor on connection, they might feel bottom-shame, or they might feel that these terms don’t fit their sexual nature. They could also have stated their sexual preferences through means of emojis, such as an arrow pointing up or down – something the data wouldn’t pick up.

Based on this information alone, it seems that most people are versatile. The remaining tops and bottoms seem to be pretty equal! This feels like good news, but why does it feel like there are no tops? And is it ok to exclusively bottom if there really is such a shortage?

The Perception of Bottoms

Unfortunately, there is a lot of bottom-shaming in the gay community. Being a bottom is often unfairly compared to being the feminine ‘role’ in the relationship. We all know the awkward, inappropriate question asked by non-gays, “So who is the woman in the relationship?” Enter eye-roll here. However, this unfair stereotype is also prevalent within the gay community.

An expert from Will Stroude, comedian and self identified power bottom, wrote in an article examples of aggressive ways to describe both tops and bottoms, “Top: dominant, aggressive, hung. Bottom: sloppy, dirty, messy, hungry, greedy, bucket, cum-dump.”

Burly men with beards are often assumed to be the top.

Despite this less-than-kind perception of bottoms, being a bottom is great and it is way harder than topping. It requires total relaxation of and comfortability in order to enjoy it – something a lot of people can’t do! It requires preparation and effort.

Even this idea that one of the sexual partners is actively ‘doing’ and the other is ‘receiving’ in some ways is objectively accurate, but in many ways it is not. These concepts derive from heteronormative thinking. Receiving is just as much as a gift as giving and takes as much energetic effort– all roles are equal.

In any sexual experience, both parties are giving and receiving. The top can be passive if the bottom is riding them, for example. We can also take in mind all the giving and receiving that can occur in just one sexual interaction outside of penetration.

But(t)…. Have You Tried It?

Even though it is totally okay to exclusively bottom, it is important to at least try topping. How often in your life did you find out that you found pleasure in something that you didn’t initially enjoy? For me, the taste of alcohol took some convincing and now, I drink a cocktail or two every week. That being said, don’t force yourself to enjoy something you truly don’t like, but maybe give it a couple tries before writing it off completely.

Personally, I’ve known many people who claimed to be total bottoms only to find out later that they also really enjoy topping. Allow your desires to change with the seasons, check in on those feelings from time to time. In some cases its just about finding the right person with which the energy is good. Everyone’s desires are valid. Enjoy what you enjoy and don’t do things you don’t enjoy doing. Easy.

Top Anxiety, or Not Fitting The Stereotype of a Top

If you do try it and find yourself with mixed feelings, have a good look at where those feelings are coming from. You might suffer from top-anxiety, if so, it might be worth trying to resolve this. When it comes to topping, as mentioned before, there are lots of conceived ideas about how this person must act, feel, or look.

Top-anxiety can be described as the anxiety or performance anxiety that a top needs to be taller, more dominant, and more masculine than the bottom. This is another way in which heteronormative thinking can come into play (in neither a sexy or useful manner). Bottoms can be big or more sexually dominate. Tops can be passive and docile. There is no one right way to top or bottom in terms of performance or demeanour.

If you believe that you need to be any certain way to top, there could be a mental block keeping you from the liberation of freely topping.

Penis Size Influences Tops and Bottoms

If hetero-social norms have made their way into homosexual love, you best believe other beliefs have also infiltrated. Research sees a relation between gay men’s preferential sexual position and the size of their penis. Guys who are comparatively, less endowed are known to bottom more than comparatively guys with larger dicks. Apparently, there are many gay guys who pick their (lifelong) sexual position based on the size of their penis.

While there is no research on why this is, it does feel as if it could be playing into heteronormative ideas around sex and sexuality. Bigger dicks equals a better penetrative sexual partner is a pervasive Hollywood narrative. Penis size and penetration seems to go hand in hand, but (hello) all able-bodied penises can penetrate and all able-bodied holes can be filled. The size of your dong shouldn’t matter and shouldn’t rule what positions make you feel the most pleasure.

Reddit has an ongoing thread on /askgaybros where it seems that gay redditors love the sights of big dicks, but actually prefer an average size dick for anal pleasure. As one redditor said: “big dicks are pretty but keep them away from my bumhole.” And then again, there are other people who have big dicks but only want to bottom. Your dick size suggests nothing of what you want.

Can I Exclusively Bottom in a Relationship?

There is a misconception that you have to be versatile to have a good sex life in a relationship, and while there are certainly pros to having more variety in a sexual relationship, (more options are always more options) this by no means you must be versatile to have a robust, healthy and delicious sex life.

There are no rules or requirements when it comes to having a good, long, and fulfilling sex life with a partner. Let’s say the bottom in the relation is out of commission and the top is not versatile, sex does not have to be penetration all the time there is still plenty to enjoy and sex to be had.

That being said, even if you are not a 100% perfect match sexually with someone, you can still have a fulfilling sex life. If you are a bottom and your partner is a (vers) top and he wants to change things up, don’t be afraid to use toys or let him use toys while you focus on pleasuring him in another way. Be creative.

Similarly, if one of you is vers and the other is stagnant but you want some variety, you can always invite a third person or allow your partner to go get their kicks elsewhere. There are really lots of options. Being in a sexual relationship with someone does not need to be stagnant, even if both partners are fixed in their sexual preferences.

That being said, there is good reason to find someone with compatible sexual preferences, simply because you don’t want be in the habit of trying to always convince someone of something or try to change them as an individual. It’s worth considering at the beginning of a relationship.

For every bottom that never wants to top, there are tops that are looking for exclusive bottoms because they never want their asses touched– on every pot fits a lid.

No matter what it feels like is available in the gay community, you are still free to have your sexual preferences. It is possible that you might have to wait a little bit longer in finding a good sexual match but if you want to exclusively bottom it will be worth the wait!

Essentially, there is someone for everyone. You should not feel shame about being exclusively a bottom. You should also, if given the right encouragement and circumstance, give topping a try before you completely rule it out. Being a bottom is a beautiful thing, as is being a top.

Expand you ideas of sex and yourself to find true liberation. In general, I encourage you to try and deconstruct your body and mind to then really see how you feel in your body: outside of societies norms. Find what feels most honest, right and pleasurable for you in your body and for the love of all that is good and delicious be an exclusive bottom if that’s what you want!

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