This seems to be a recurring topic on the bi guy forum and a forum where, thanks to a recent poll, bottoms outnumber both tops and versatile guys – and this includes the guys who haven’t done the nasty with another guy yet. It’s always interesting to see how folks who are adverse to labels want to hang their respective hats on these particular labels, like the one guy who said that we – bisexuals – shouldn’t get hung up over the labels of straight, bi, gay, whatever – but he’s a dyed-in-the-wool bottom.
Again, if you think women are funny…
These roles come with expectations; tops are the male-dominant sexual role, bottoms the female-submissive role, and versatile embodies being able to assume either of the previous roles. The issue isn’t that these roles exist but how we – humans – seem to think that these roles are fixed or, a bit more plainly, a top couldn’t (or isn’t supposed to) change his mind and decide that he wants to be a bottom or the opposite of this – and versatile guys are always expected to switch roles in a single sexual encounter… and I honestly don’t know why we behave like this. Sure, one can argue that this is all about preference but even in this, don’t we act as if once a preference is set, we aren’t to deviate from it? Methinks some of this is because humans are creatures of habit and once we learn how to do something, we will usually do it the same way every time (or as close to that as possible) and even if we learn of a different way to do a thing, we might try that different way but usually default back to the way we’ve always done it.
There’s a great exercise/example that involves crossing your arms. In such an exercise, the instructor had us cross our arms as we normally would, like, left over right – then cross our arms the opposite way – right over left. Some people made the change smoothly… but many others had a moment actually doing it and then they said that it felt weird. Give it a try – I’ll wait.
How’d that go for you? No big deal… or did it feel weird? Did you automatically switch it up or did you have to think about it for a moment?
We often operate under the notion that if it ain’t broke, don’t fuck with it which kinda reflects our seemingly natural aversion to change and even in this, some folks can change without much effort while others struggle with change and go out of their way to resist change even though that change might be necessary. So in the M2M world, once a top, always a top and along with this, tops do/don’t do certain things – let’s call this expected behavior for lack of a better phrase – so a top is required and expected to always be in the dominant role and never even think about assuming the submissive – bottom – role… even if a top has an urge to find out what it’s like to be a bottom.
I recall having this discussion with my protegé who, like a lot of top guys I know of, said that he’s a top and there’s no reason for him to be anything other than a layer of pipe. I laughed and asked him, “So, um, what would you do if you got the urge to be topped? Or if you ran into a guy you resonated with and he wanted bury his bone in your butt?” He said that would never happen (and adamantly so) but I persisted and asked, “Okay, so, what you’re saying is that you’d never have a reason to change your mind?” He said he didn’t think so and, uh, without giving away any details, er, um, he did find reason to change his mind.
I just think it’s pretty funny to see guys writing about their position on this and how very certain they are that they have no reason or desire to deviate from their position/role of choice. Sure, some tops have chimed in on the topic and have allowed that they’ve given some thought about bottoming… but, nah, that’s not likely to happen. Likewise, a few of the bottoms have expressed an interest in topping a guy and have turned right around and dismissed the idea with some saying that they didn’t think they could top a guy… but, as a matter of course, they do screw women. If I recall, someone did ask a bottom why he wouldn’t want to top a guy and that bottom replied, “Because I’m not supposed to – that’s not the way it works.”
Really? There’s no point in wondering where this kind of thinking came from because the notion is probably much older than I am and has become like a standard behavior and one in which deviation either isn’t allowed or not expected to take place; you pick a role and you stay in it no matter what and, perhaps, this is an outgrowth of our resistance to change or just being creatures of habit. I recall a conversation I had with a guy on the hookup site about this and one of the first things he asked me was if I was a top or a bottom and I replied, honestly, “That depends on how I’m feeling.”
He asked, “Oh, okay, does that mean you’re vers (versatile)?”
I replied, “No, that means exactly what I said.”
He didn’t seem to think that made any sense and even said that I had to be one of these things and I asked him, “Where’s it written or who says that I have to be?”
He retorted that this is the way it’s always been and I asked, “So, what, I’m not allowed to change my mind about what I wanna do and/or how I wanna do it?”
He vanished from the conversation so I guess that as far as he was concerned, changing my mind wasn’t part of the deal or something.
Then there are the guys who seem to think that this also applies to having sex with women and one guy said he enjoys bottoming for women in a BDSM way and, I guess, submitting to whatever she wants to do to him but I wonder if the guys who make this distinction understand that if she’s riding his cock, she’s in what’s known as the female-dominant role so even though he’s all up in her coochie, um, he’s really in the male-submission role and simply because of who’s on top? Maybe it’s just me (and it probably is) but I don’t see where being submissive in a BDSM way really equates to the top/bottom/versatile modes of M2M sex – then again, you can take what I know about BDSM and it might fill a tablespoon at best. It at least begs the question of whether any of this is mindset or a matter of who’s doing what to whom and even how it’s being done.
Sound confusing? That’s probably because it is but that kinda brings me back around to the purpose of labels: We have to be able to define our environment and even our actions; otherwise, how do we know what the hell we’re doing when we’re doing it? But when it comes to this thing in particular, why do we just assume that once we pick a role there’s no reason to ever change our minds? True enough: Some guys try topping and bottoming and then decide which thing gives them the most sexual pleasure and, yes, some find that switching between topping and bottoming suits their purposes… but the question remains valid: Who says you can’t change your mind about this and is it really that “impossible” for a top to decide that when he gets with this guy, he wants to be screwed or a bottom to decide that this time around, he wants to be the one laying the pipe? Is it “illegal” for a versatile guy to decide that, for this encounter, he doesn’t want to do the top/bottom interchange and just top or bottom?
That seems to be the case at a high level of thought: Pick a role and stay in it even if it crosses your mind to do something different.