What does it mean to identify as a bottom?
Top? Bottom? Versatile? What do these terms actually mean when it comes to guy-on-guy sex, and how we identify as queer men?
I sat down with my friend Chet to get to the bottom of the issue.
How do you identify, when it comes to sex?
I’m a bottom – Pig bottom, BB bottom, sub bottom, pussy-boy bottom – any of those describe how I feel depending on the top or tops that I’m with, or the mood that I’m in. I’m exclusively bottom – it’s been somewhere less than one percent of all my sexual encounters when I’ve done something other than bottom.
Have you experienced any negative comments or feedback when you tell people that you’re a bottom?
I do occasionally get negativity. Sometimes I get disappointment from other bottoms who are looking for a hook-up. Those comments might be like – “Well, I guess there’s nothing we can do…” or “That’s a shame.” Other negativity comes in the form of invalidation like – “I don’t believe there are total bottoms”. However, I find positive reception when I find someone who sees themselves as a total top and we talk about a bottom’s purpose which, in my mind, is anything the top needs. There is a degree of respectful acknowledgement.
Why do you think that being a bottom is somehow seen as being inferior?
If you have someone willing to please another, that other person has the opportunity to dismiss or walk away from or ignore or ghost you – and that does happen. That sexual power over another may lead to perceptions of inferiority about the bottom from either the top, the bottom, or anyone else.
In terms of porn, are there any ‘bottoms’ who inspire you?
Rob Cryston and Dawson. These men are my personal liberation bottoms. They realised externally the unfiltered sexual appetite I knew was within me.
What does it mean to be a ‘power-bottom?’
I describe a power bottom as an aggressive, dominant insatiable bottom. For me, personally, I can get aggressive and at times I’m definitely insatiable, but I really prefer the top to be control.
What do you say to guys who try and insinuate that there’s something inferior about being a bottom?
At this point in my life, I still get bothered occasionally by the lack of critical thought or empathy about those of us who identify as bottoms. I won’t lump together all men who would make any diminutive comments. However, I’m happy on the bottom. It takes two to fuck and, at least in my case, I’m there for the top’s pleasure. Why would anyone trash that kind of willingness?