June 12, 2012 in General
Top? Bottom? Pitcher? Catcher? Vers? Vers/Top? Vers/Bottom? Pig Bottom? Dom Top? I mean, do you prefer to fuck or get fucked? Or do you really enjoy both? Or are you desperate and will do anything?
For gay men, these words matter. You see them scattered all over internet hookup sites, used as ways of signalling just what we like to do in bed.
That’s not that new really. In the old days we used to use a bunch of keys on a belt-hook, or a bandanna. If you wore it on the right, you were a bottom, if on the left, you were a top. You still see it a bit in the leather world, but as a common code among gay men it seems to have pretty much gone. And I remember reading that back in the 50s and early 60s, a lot of gay men said they only fucked, part of not taking on a femme identity. That’s changed now.
And it talks pretty openly about arse-fucking too, when you use those words. That’s a subject that a lot of people don’t like to talk about, but it’s a core part of gay sex, so this is a way of saying it without really saying it.
Fucking is wonderful – it’s an intensely powerful thing to do, whichever way round you do it. You are physically putting your body into another man, or taking his body into yours.¬†We try and rise above our essential isolation and join to another.¬†That is an incredibly intimate and powerful thing to do. And it feels so good! Or it should.
For a lot of guys it’s more than just a sexual signal, they see it as reflecting something about who they are as a man. It becomes part of our identity. Does getting fucked mean you are less of a man? It does for some.
After all, if you model yourself on the straight world, then “real” men fuck, and women get fucked, so for some gay guys, who in my experience anyway, aren’t all that comfortable with being gay, being a top is really important for them. “Yeah, I’m into guys but hey, I fuck them, so I’m not girly or anything – I’m nearly straight!”
Right – cause kissing and touching and then fucking and orgasming with another guy is such a straight thing to do…
But these categories don’t work that well – I know drag queens who are power-tops – I know big butch hairy gym-bunnies who roll over and spread their legs at the first touch. And I’ve been to bed with straight guys who say “I really want you to fuck me” – they’re curious, it turns them on.
There are all sorts of motives though for how we fuck. One friend of mine who is happily versatile said he ended up being the top in his last relationship, because it brought out the feeling he had of protecting his partner. For him topping was part of looking after him, sheltering and caring for his lover, it wasn’t about dominance or being insecure in his masculinity – it was about loving his man and making him feel safe.
Another friend says it’s his size, he’s very tall and solid, so when he hooks up guys just expect him to top, even though he’s vers. I have a preference for short slim tops myself – they are more maneuverable somehow.
For some guys it is simply physical – they really don’t like getting fucked, it doesn’t feel good erotically, sometimes they put up with it for a partner’s sake but it doesn’t excite them. Another friend was raped as young gay man and has never let anyone top him ever since. Understandable really. And fucking can be about power – we all know that.
Bottoms really enjoy their work, for some it is the best feeling ever, better than getting blown, better than fucking a guy. Apparently it’s the way getting fucked well stimulates our prostate gland. And that does feel good. The joke is once you get the hang of bottoming you’ll never stop. You get helium-heels, wear your ankles for earrings, or turn into a black hole. Are bottoms just lazy? The starfish bottom who just lies there and doesn’t do anything isn’t that popular it seems. You gotta give a little bit back. Move those hips!¬†Pushy bottoms go to the other extreme, trying to control, issuing instructions, making the top wish he’d put a ball-gag in his pocket.
For some bottoms it’s also about how safe-sex affects them. A lot of guys simply can’t keep an erection when they have to use condoms. So they end up bottoming. And a lot of HIV+ guys feel like we are keeping our partners safer if we bottom rather than fuck them. Biologically there is not much to that argument, but psychologically it’s a strong one. It is one thing that no safe-sex programme I’ve seen anywhere has ever really addressed well. Condoms really are passion killers for a lot of guys. And passion, fun, the thrill, is core. So if you bottom instead, problem solved.
And as much fun as toys can be, they aren’t the same as getting a real cock inside you. Strap-ons, dildos etc are great, but never as good as the real thing in my experience.
Pig-bottoms of course are insatiable – happily lining up for the erotic thrill of getting pounded by man after man. And why not? A lot of bottoms are very assertive in the rest of their lives – it’s like getting fucked adds some balance to how they live.
Of course, bottoms always say there aren’t enough tops around. But then I meet guys in relationships who are both tops. Why? Because as much as we love sex, love is more important I guess – so if you’re a top who falls for another top, or a bottom who falls for another bottom, then the relationship wins out over how you fuck.
That’s not saying it can’t cause some tension: I was chatting with a vers guy recently who was complaining his boyfriend isn’t really vers and prefers fucking him to getting fucked. He felt like he was doing more than his share of the work I guess, or missing out on some fun – cause let’s face it – ¬†fucking another guy is a lot of fun.
Is being versatile the ideal? I guess it doubles your chances of fun. A lot of guys are happily versatile, just going with the flow, being in the moment, switching and playing along the way. And you’d have to think it makes life easier in a relationship.
Yeah I know, fucking is only one part of gay sex, and some guys never like it in either role. They like to jerk off or suck or get sucked. But in my years of experience and hands-on research, I think fucking is still the sex-act that matters the most.
Fucking carries so many different ideas and meanings, and it can change with the same guy from one day to the next.
But when you look at the ads on Grindr, Manhunt, NZdating, wherever, you see these terms used a lot, so they matter to us. They form part of how we see ourselves. So long as you’re happy doing what you’re you’re doing, then why not?