Need Wood? Trouble with ‘who’s the bottom’

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In the ever-present world of some gay men to label themselves and others, the question arises: during oral, who’s the “bottom”? We have an answer, but why waste valuable sex time worrying about it?

imageHey Mike!
Settle a bet. When it comes to oral sex, who is the top and who is the bottom?

I’m a top when it comes to anal, but I love sucking dick. So am I an oral bottom, or am I a versatile top? Is “top” and “bottom” only in reference to anal?

If active is the top and passive is the bottom, then the guy doing the sucking should be the top.

A lot of guys I’ve chatted with don’t see it that way. Who’s right?
–Confused

Dear Confused:
I rarely describe people as tops or bottoms unless I need to make a point quickly. Labels belong on a can, not a man. They encourage people to make whole identities out of sexual positions.

So if you label yourself a “bottom,” it isn’t just that you like being penetrated—it brings up a whole set of stereotyped personality characteristics that have negative associations.

Think about it—when was the last time you heard a joke about a “Top?” But you hear plenty of derogatory comments about “bottoms.” Like, “there’s nothing but bottoms in this town.” Or, “I’m not going to be the bottom in this relationship.”

I mean, when was the last time you heard somebody say, “Oh, him? He’s nothing but a big top.” So, basically you’re asking somebody who hates labels to promote them.

HOWEVER: I’m intrigued by your question. And after doing a lot of thinking, here’s where I come down on it (pun intended):

If you’re doing the sucking, you’re being the bottom.

Here’s why: “Top” and “bottom” are modern labels for masculine and feminine. Ancient Greeks and Romans celebrated homosexuality as long as you were the top. Or rather, as long as you didn’t do what women did in bed.

And what did women do in bed? Receive a penis—in their mouth or between their legs. Therefore, any man who received a penis through oral or anal penetration was considered feminine, woman-like, and put himself in danger of being ridiculed, ostracized and in some cases, physical harm.

A woman does not have a penis, so she has to do something to it or for it. That leaves giving head and getting fucked. So, if as a man, you’re giving head or getting fucked, you’re taking that role. Or if you insist on labels, being a bottom.

Another example: Hyper-macho men who can’t accept their homosexuality rationalize their man-on-man action by saying, “Hey, as long as I’m the one fucking, I’m not gay,” or “As long as I’m not giving head, I’m still hetero.” In other words, as long as I don’t do anything to or for a penis, I’m a top.

So, yes, if you’re into labels, you would be an anal top and an oral bottom. But that takes us back to my original premise: Who cares about labels?

You can go down on a guy, and depending on the situation, feel dominant or submissive. Same with bottoming. You can be a submissive bottom or a dominant one.

My God, have you ever been with “power bottoms?” You are so not in charge. You’re just the human dildo along for the ride.

So stop worrying about labels. When it comes to oral sex, the only thing I’d worry about is teeth.

imageContributing blogger Mike Alvear is an Atlanta-based columnist, author and TV personality. Download his latest ebook, “Meet The Hottie In The Corner: The 21-Day Plan To Overcome Your Fear of Rejection, Master the Art of Icebreakers and Snag Guys You Never Thought You Could Get.” Got a question for Need Wood? Just {encode=”[email protected]” title=”send it in”}.

Need Wood? is sponsored in Atlanta by Brushstrokes and Capulets/Brushstrokes Pleasures.

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