HOW TO KNOW IF YOU'RE A TOP OR A BOTTOM

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Legend would have you believe sầu that once you’ve sầu earned your gay card, a Harry Potter–lượt thích ceremony occurs where, instead of the Sorting Hat, a giant magical butt plug divides all gay men inlớn two houses: tops or bottoms.

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This is clearly not the case, especially for those people who consider themselves versatile (HIYA). But often, penetrative sex can feel divided inlớn rigid binaries that make being a top or a bottom seem like a cult you’ve signed up to lớn for life, và one that you have sầu to declare as soon as two (or more) consenting men decide lớn take their clothes off and rub up against each other. These two subdivisions have sầu their own rules, stereotypes, và in-jokes, và can sometimes seem as if they’re at war with each other, rather than both working together for mutual sexual pleasure.

All of this can make trying different things daunting, especially if you’re a baby gay venturing inlớn this world for the first time. But it ought not to be impossible lớn sexually switch things up. Sure, people have a preference, but now could be the perfect time to escape the top or bottom prison you live sầu in. So, with the help of some experts, let’s take a moment to lớn dismantle what you think you know about topping and bottoming. It could open up a world of possibilities.


Human beings are very good at trying something once và deciding indefinitely that we don’t like it. In the case of anal sex, this is usually because of an experience from when we were young and hadn’t quite realized the importance of lube (USE LOTS OF LUBE). So how vì you go about testing new waters?


“I believe sầu in what I Điện thoại tư vấn taking your erotic temperature,” explains Woody Miller, the author of the books How lớn Bottom Like a Porn Star & How khổng lồ Top Like a Stud, “which is basically having a conversation with yourself about what it is you lượt thích.”


Miller argues that gay men should examine their relationship with power. Where bởi vì you align when it comes to lớn being dominant or submissive? One way lớn question this, he posits, is khổng lồ approach something other than penetrative sex.


“Look at kissing,” he says. “If you initiated the kiss, you're the dominant one. If you received the kiss, you're the submissive one. There is no aspect of sex that doesn't have, at its core, an aspect of power. So part of the thing that you have sầu lớn ask yourself is, 'What am I comfortable with? Do I like initiating sex? Do I lượt thích telling my partner what to lớn bởi, or vày I lượt thích being told what to lớn do?’ ”


What’s important is that there might not be a right or wrong answer khổng lồ this. You might lượt thích taking your oto for a service just as much as servicing it yourself. That’s part of the fun, right?


Clearly, if you’ve tried topping & bottoming a few times và figured out which of them is for you, that’s great. But I believe that many gay men pichồng one side, stick to lớn it, & that some of those individuals choose topping—you’ll have sầu seen their profiles marking them as “masc dom tops” on the apps—because of its ties lớn traditional masculinity.

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As Miller explains, there are outside forces that, dating bachồng khổng lồ the ancient Greeks, have prevented gay men from truly digging into what sexual behaviors we might actually enjoy. “What I mean by that,” he says, “is that cultural forces within the gay community prize topping over bottoming.”


The ongoing fetishization of masculinity means that the traditionally submissive sầu role of the bottom is associated with effeminacy. “With bottoming there is the perception that you're giving up your masculinity because receiving a penis is something that women bởi vì,” Miller adds.

Dr. Chris White, an expert in health promotion và the director and principal investigator of the Safe and Supportive sầu Schools Project at the Gay-Straight Alliance Network in San Francisteo, takes this one step further. “If you're a bottom, you’re sometimes seen as a slut,” he says. “You don't ever hear tops being called sluts, just bottoms. So there's some shaming there. And it's feminine type shaming, as well. Not only are you saying that it's more masculine to be a top, but you're saying that you should be ashamed to be a bottom.”

Basically, it could be time lớn seriously check yourself and ask exactly why you don’t like bottoming (or topping, TBH). If you believe sầu that topping is preferable because it doesn’t threaten your masculinity, then have sầu a svào word with yourself. Similarly, if you’re a bottom-only queen, ask yourself why. Not getting fucked doesn’t make you any less gay.


Let’s call bullshit on the concept that if two people are tops they’re incompatible, because the positions that you enjoy don’t define who you are. “I think that's part of the problem. We've literally made identities out of sexual positions,” Miller says. “It’s a sexual thought prison.”

Of course, if someone knows that they only really enjoy one aspect of penetration, then let’s not discount that. But as with everything sexual, these things are usually on a spectrum that is often contextual. “It can change depending on where you are in your life, how old you are, how fit you're feeling, và what you're in the mood for,” White says. “If you think about people's everyday behaviors, I don't know if there's a difference between someone who acts or comes across as more masculine & the role that they play in sex. We lượt thích lớn pretkết thúc that there are, but they're not necessarily true.”


Sure, declaring a preference if you’re on the hunt for a quickie will save sầu time và energy, but don’t get all caught up in labels. There’s really not an eternal sparkling scarlet letter marking you with a “T” or a “B.”


According khổng lồ a 2011 study by The Journal of Sexual Medicine that surveyed 25,000 gay men in America about their last sexual encounters, only 36 percent said they had bottomed & 34 percent said they had topped.

So, in reality, we’re not actually fucking all that much. It makes turning someone down if they don’t match your preference, especially if it’s just for a one-off, even more preposterous. “We seem khổng lồ place more psychological importance on anal sex than physical importance, because we're not doing it that often,” Miller says. “So why are we making such a big khuyễn mãi giảm giá out of it?”


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