I’m A Straight Guy Who Is Gay Curious!

Am I a top or a bottom?

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!

Dr. Stacy, I’m Happily Married With Children But Am I Gay?

Gay curious man who is happily married

This week Dr. Stacy Friedman a clinical sexologist and certified sex coach has partnered up with the sexual wellness store Adultsmart to answer some of your deepest and most intimate anonymous questions which were emailed in to askasexologist@gmail.com.

Question

I have been married over 30 years and I am a 58 year old male. My upbringing was staunch catholic and prior to meeting my wife I had 3 very clumsy sexual encounters with girls. Growing up I was always more comfortable around boys, particularly my best friend (I will call him Ray) whom I had feeling for but never acted on them. After I got married, we had kids.  I was happy with my wife’s companionship but always used to dream what it would have been like to be with Ray. Our kids have now grown up and we are empty nesters now but I feel there is something missing – I find myself looking more at other men and wondering what it would be like to have a relationship with another man. I have told no one but my wife knows there is something wrong and troubling me. I feel guilty and wonder whether my whole life has been led as a lie. Am I gay? Should I act on my desires and find out?

Dr. Stacy Friedman’s Answer

This kind of soul searching and defining your orientation cannot be completely answered by responding to one question but I can say this… Having an affair and acting on your desires to find out how you feel about being with men can have damaging affects on your current relationship and may not be the best action to take.  I do understand that since you haven’t been with a man before you may want to act on it to see if it is something that you are truly interested in so it is a tricky situation to be in.

Many times having a religious upbringing can keep people from truly being able to explore their sexuality as they grow up for fear of judgment or what your religious beliefs may tell you but the fact that you have always had a feeling for your friend Ray, may shed some light as to who you prefer and have truly desired to spend your intimate and emotional time with.  Being gay isn’t just being physically attracted to someone of the same sex but can involve being with someone that you truly want to connect and be close to on an emotional level.  Sexuality is fluid so you can be attracted to both men and women but desire a relationship with just one gender.

Man who is sexually fluid
Image: Sexually Fluid

As you get older you start to blossom into who you are meant to be because you have lived your life as to what society has told you is acceptable and you get to a stage where you just want to be happy.  I am sure you love your wife but you should never feel guilty for something that you are not doing on purpose.  It is not your “fault” who you are attracted to or desire to be with and being attracted or interested in another man may just be who you are and what your needs are.  Don’t look back at your life as being a lie because you may not have known the full truth until now.

I can’t answer the question “Are you gay?“, as that is something that only you can truly know.  I can say that you may want to discuss this with your wife if you feel you have an open line of communication and express your concern. You can mention this to her since she already knows something is troubling you and maybe you can work this out together to do what is right for the both of you.  Don’t forget if you feel that you have been living your life as a lie and feel that you desire to be in a relationship with a man or unsure where you stand with your wife, it is only fair to her to let her know how you feel or to allow her to be with someone who truly wants to be there with her.  If you need extra coaching or counseling through your soul searching, please let me know if you would like to have a phone or video session so I can help guide you through your discovery.

Best wishes,

Dr. Stacy

Would You Like To Ask Dr. Stacy Friedman Your Own Question?

If you have an sexual lifestyle, wellness and health issue or question that you have always wanted to know about be sure to send through an anonymous email to askasexologist@gmail.com. Dr. Stacy Friedman may answer your question in an article that will be published anonymously on Adultsmart’s Blog!