Hey, there are plenty of folks out there who don’t like bottoming and even some who don’t like to top. Why? Because gay sex is only legible to straight people in terms of the heterosexual matrix, and if someone’s son is fucking a dude/is a top, well then that’s way preferable than if he was getting plowed by D’s all day long.
This attitude is wholly cultural and deeply rooted in how we think about gender. Like, men are supposed to be men. Like, men don’t take dicks up the ass.
I was talking to a bunch of my gay male friends recently about bottom shaming and one of them pointed out that he always attracts bi or “curious” straight tops because 1) they already know he’s gay and 2) they already assume he’s a bottom because he is slightly effeminate.
The problem with bottom-shaming is when gay sex taps into misogynistic shit around male dominance.
Bottoms are often seen as less than men by society and even by gay men.
There’s more: anyone who has had gay male sex knows that it includes a whole economy of degradation, where bottoms are often called “bitch” or “cocksucker” or “sissy” or “faggot” in the bedroom. There is countless pornography where “sissies” and “faggots” service “real men.” And hey, some people like being called names in the bedroom, but that doesn’t take away from the issue any.
The whole bottom/top debate moves beyond physical traits, things we are born into, and towards flash decisions made based on appearance and gender performance. A hot bottom might X out a Grindr profile of a guy he thinks isn’t “toppy” enough for his needs, and a smoking top might only like “masc” and “straight acting” bottoms. In all cases, effeminacy or feminine traits are a no no, faggotry and sissydom are bad, and all the cultural power belongs to the top.
I’m not sure how much gender performance plays a role when I think about the types of guys I’m attracted to. Sure, I have a preference for tall-ass skinny hipster-y guys who look like they maybe did some coke this morning before they worked on an art project lol, but there are tons of bros my height who could get it. The point is that gay men often read clues like fashion, gender performance and height or body size to try to figure out if a guy is a top, a bottom, or if he’s maybe versatile.
At the end of the day, this whole debate is about protecting manliness. But why does it even matter to be seen as a “man” in the first place? And to whom does it matter? Can’t you just be a body that enjoys having stuff done to it by other people, without the bullshit misogynist industrial complex swooping in? Can’t we just have sex?