I’m A Straight Guy Who Is Gay Curious!

Question submitted online

Look, I’ll start this off by saying I’m a straight male and I have a girlfriend. But I really wanna know stuff about gay sex. I’ve asked my friends who’s the top and the bottom cos I’m trying to wrap my head around the whole idea you know, but they kind of just laugh the question off and move on. What’s the deal?”

Answer

I would like to thank you for your question. In answering your question I’d like to point out some of the hesitation as to why people may or may not answer such questions. Outside of the gay community, and even within the gay community – there are numerous stereotypes of bottoms and tops that are harmful to queer identifying people. The idea that there must be a woman and a man within queer relationships doesn’t quite paint a full picture of the relationship and it can be reductive to the idea of two consensual loving and mutually supportive partners. Let’s begin by breaking down the idea of anal sex. Gay men that engage in anal play (remembering that there are significant portions of gay men that do not like anal play and prefer oral stimulation and mutual masturbation) are typically delegated to a dominant and submissive role that allegedly aligns with their sexual role. For example, a man that loves cock up his ass is generally considered to be submissive. This is incorrect. A dominant or submissive personality is in no way related to their sexual preferences within the bedroom.

What's the difference between top and bottom sex
Image: Top and bottom sex

Part of this stigma lies within the perception of the act of intercourse itself and then by comparing that to PiV sex (Penis in Vagina). The penis is an active participant in sex, with the vagina being the receptive participant. The dick penetrates the vagina for pleasure with the dick (masculinity) being active and the vagina (femineity) being passive. Through this understanding of sex, many people automatically assume that one that is penetrated is feminine and that they’re submissive, because it directly relates to their understanding of what they’ve been brought up with when it comes to traditional heterosexual relationships, and sexual intercourse. Thus the idea of labelling one as a top or bottom automatically translates to the idea that there is a male and female within a gay relationship. This is inaccurate, as the fact is, simply put, that there are two (fe)males within a relationship who provide each other with mutual love, support and understanding. As with any relationship this support ebbs and flows based on whatever is going on within their lives, and social power naturally shifts between them over time.

Whilst there are certainly individuals out there who refuse to bottom, or who refuse to top – much of that ideal is surrounded by the idea of shame, embarrassment, or even guilt. Bottoms have traditionally been seen as sub-par within their own community, and to people that identify as heterosexual/heteroflexible. Bottoms take it up the ass, they are often depicted as feminine individuals, men who want to be women, or even considered to be subservient. Combine this with the idea of homophobia and the common insults hurled at gay men and you’ll begin to see why the idea of taking it up the ass might be considered to be negative. There’s shame, there’s hurt, there’s guilt and there’s often embarrassment with taking on a label – which is why many men will only reveal their preferences to someone that they’re in a relationship with, or who they intend to fuck.

Such ideals of restricting a queer couple to a top or bottom role are incorrect and is generally based within a culturally, social sexist understanding of heterosexual relationships – a male and a female in a relationship is usually generalised as the male being dominant and the female being submissive. Any deviation from that is often cast within a negative light. ‘Oh you’re pussy whipped’, ‘She’s the man of the relationship’. Such phrases and utterances directly relate to, and rely on, the perceived differences between a male and a female where the insult is relies on the direct comparison to that of the opposite sex.

Bottoms, or people with a preference to bottoming are simply people who enjoy anal pleasure. They can have submissive personalities, they can be dominant, they can be masculine, they can be feminine and they can be everything and everyone in between. The fact is that the stimulation of the prostate is one of the most sensational kinds of orgasms that a male can experience, and some men are even completely capable of experiencing an orgasm and ejaculation through prostate stimulation without even touching their own dick. As we begin to approach sex with the idea of pleasure in mind, many straight identifying men are slowly realising that anal sex isn’t gay sex (Remember to always practice safe sex and use a condom). The stimulation of the prostate by their girlfriends, their wives, or their fuck buddy doesn’t make them gay. In order to break down this dichotomy it is important to rethink traditional values associated with heterosexual relationships and to refocus on a sex positive idea that any normal relationship will naturally ebb and flow with power between individuals as they traverse through life.

In conclusion

To answer your question would be complex, as well as reductive and could be perceived, by some couples, as an insulting question despite it clearly being driven by curiosity. However let’s flip that around and ask the following question. If they turned around and asked you whether your girlfriend takes charge in the bedroom, whether she ties you up and absolutely dominates you – would you be willing to answer this as their curious eyes bore into your soul? If the answer is no, then it might be attributed to the perception of losing some of your masculinity, and therefore you might consciously or unconsciously feel that the perception of your identity might change. Whilst it’s absolutely essential to talk about sex, talk about how we do it, and talk about gender in the bedroom – sometimes with questions like this as to the specific roles of men within the bedroom, it might be best to simply remain curious.

If there’s anything else that I can assist you with, or you have any questions pertaining to gay sex, anything contained within this article, please do not hesitate to ask as I’d be more than happy to clarify.

Hope this helps!

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Stephen is a cis-gendered gay male who spends far too much time with his two cats and eating tim tams. A self-identified sex-positive advocate he cares deeply about gender equality, disabilities, sexual education and social issues. Opinionated and bold he isn’t afraid to speak his mind and say what others won’t. With a yearning for knowledge and experience in all things relating to sex, he is a prolific writer that has developed the content for a myriad of informative Sexual Health and Wellness websites.

Stephen’s articles and writings tends to focus on social issues, sexual education, queer issues and all things fetish and absurd. He comes qualified with the completion of a double Bachelor degree in Social Sciences and literature, and a Masters in Education.

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