For those navigating the dynamics of same-sex relationships, terms such as ‘top’, ‘bottom’, or ‘vers’ can often be the key to understanding the balance of power in their intimate encounters. These labels aren’t just descriptors, they play an instrumental role in defining roles and expectations within the relationship.
However, a serious and insidious trend that we must address is the phenomenon of ‘bottom shaming’. It’s often trivialized and reduced to comic relief in popular media narratives, but for many in our community, it’s a serious issue that needs acknowledgment and action.
What is bottoming?
Bottoming is a sexual role in same-sex anal sex between gay men. The term derives its name from its definition as the end of the penis meeting the anus; hence its popularity with D/s (dominance and submission). Bottoming can also refer to specific anal sex positions or mindsets where someone takes on a submissive bottom role while another takes control over. However, its usage extends far beyond D/s.
First time bottoming can be slightly uncomfortable. Your body may not be used to being penetrated and may clench up at first; to minimize discomfort it’s advisable to practice beforehand either alone or with another bottom. Use vibrators, fingers, small plugs and/or dilators until you find one you like best; don’t forget to breathe deeply while staying present to the pleasure you are experiencing!
Before your initial bottoming experience, it’s advisable to speak to your partner beforehand about what each expects of the experience and set any boundaries or rules for the encounter. Furthermore, this conversation can provide an excellent chance to address hygiene and comfort as the anal area can be sensitive and cause significant pain if neglected properly.
One of the greatest difficulties for new bottoms is finding something pleasurable to do during anal sex. This process may take time, as you adjust to feeling penetration; some find relief through drinking plenty of fluids or applying warm compresses on their genital area or taking an OTC pain reliever.
How to bottom
Being a bottom can be both pleasurable and satisfying; however, for novices it can be daunting. The first step should be discussing it with your partner to ensure both of you understand what expectations exist for both of you. You should also practice beforehand by watching some porn or purchasing a prostate massager from your local store; just remember to use plenty of lube! Mild discomfort should be bearable but pain should never be an option! Additionally, making sure you’re aroused will enhance the pleasure and comfort factor!
If you plan on bottoming, be sure to eat light before commencing. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables and lean meats such as lean steak can be particularly helpful; avoid foods like fatty, creamy and spicy foods as these will be more difficult for your digestive system to process and can even cause anal wall abrasions. Besides drinking plenty of water throughout the day to prevent dehydration and loosen anal muscles more effectively. Fiber pills are also a great way to stay ready for spontaneous activities.
Cleanliness before bottoming is of utmost importance, particularly if you have long body hair to shave off before bottoming. Many find it helpful to douche prior to bottoming in order to rid themselves of any residual dirt or scum that might exist within their asses and enhance both partners’ pleasure.
Some individuals don’t respond as readily to touch as others do, which makes it vital that bottoms communicate with their partners about what irritates and delights them. Communicating about such matters will enable both partners to experiment with various forms of giving and receiving pleasure.
Gay culture often perpetuates stereotypes that make being a bottom difficult, such as its association with effeminacy; however, that’s far from being the case – many men who appear macho can actually make great bottoms like Oscar Wilde (for instance). He was both homosexual and capable of providing outstanding oral sex sessions.
Learn more about “What To Expect When You’re Expecting To Bottom”.
As a bottom, your sexual needs and desires may differ significantly from that of tops. For example, this might involve preferring passive play during anal sex sessions or more interest in penetration; however it should also be noted that many bottoms also enjoy acting as insertive partners from time to time – this practice is known as versing.
Gay men have taken to using terms such as “top,” “bottom,” and “versatile” to describe their sexual preferences, as you might have observed while browsing Grindr or the queer sections of TikTok recently. While such terminology might seem stereotypical, these phrases provide the LGBTQ community a useful means of communicating their sex and gender identities to others.
“Bottom” has long been associated with feminine gay stereotypes, prompting many people to shy away from using the word. However, it’s important to keep in mind that sodomy has existed in some form or another since civilization began and has always carried some degree of stigma attached.
As such, homosexuals have developed various coping strategies in order to make anal sex as pleasurable as possible. For instance, some may opt to dilate prior to initiating intercourse; this helps lessen pain while making initiating more manageable.
Some individuals choose to wear lube in their underwear during anal intercourse to further decrease discomfort and pain. Furthermore, massage your anus after engaging in sexual relations to promote circulation and relaxation.
Importantly, there’s no right or wrong way to engage in anal sex; people should choose whatever feels most safe and comfortable for them. Though anal sex can still carry some stigma attached, those engaging should nonetheless remain aware of its risks and take appropriate precautions, including getting tested regularly for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as annual tests if multiple partners are involved and once every six months if monogamous relationships exist.
Frequently asked questions about bottoming
I’m a first-timer. How can I ease into bottoming?
It’s normal to find the idea of bottoming daunting at first, but there are steps you can take to make it less so. Start by discussing with your partner about their turn-ons and desired methods of play to avoid any surprises or discomfort. It’s also helpful to practice on your own or with friends to get comfortable with new positions. Be sure to have lube and condoms at the ready before your first session.
What if my first bottoming experience doesn’t go as planned?
Keep in mind that it’s perfectly okay if things don’t go as planned. Everyone is unique and that’s what makes sex so exciting! If you find that bottoming isn’t for you, speak up. Your partner will likely appreciate your honesty and be more accepting.
Is it true that bottoms must be heterosexual men?
This is a common misconception, but it’s not true. Many cisgender and transgender gay men enjoy playing the role of being bottoms, including both doms who prefer this role and vice versa! Your comfort is what truly matters.
Do I always need to have a condom when bottoming?
While many believe that a condom is always necessary when bottoming, that’s not necessarily the case. There are plenty of safe and enjoyable anal sex experiences without needing one. However, if you’re worried about STDs, be sure to ask your partner about their prevention practices prior to your first time.
What should I do if my partner doesn’t appreciate my role as a bottom?
First-time bottoming can be exciting and fulfilling, but not every partner may appreciate this role. It’s important to communicate with your partner about what works and what doesn’t in order to make necessary adjustments. If anything causes discomfort or pain, don’t hesitate to stop and take a break before continuing.