Why ‘Bottom’?

10 12 2008

Several folks have been linking to us and pushing over a sizable chunk of web traffic! Very exciting stuff. Thanks to everyone who’s helping spread the word about The Bottom Monologues!

I’ve noticed a few folks wondering what’s up with the title — and noting that vagina does not equal Bottom for gay men. First, this isn’t about recreating The Vagina Monologues, so that’s quite alright that it’s not a direct translation. But one reader notes that the word vagina makes people “feel generally awkward, threatened, scared,” while bottom just “makes people giggle.” Well… I’m not sold, actually. In the queer community, identifying as a bottom comes loaded with a heaping serving of stigma. How many boys do we know who desperately try to convince others that they are, in fact, a “top” — not a bottom. This need to present socially as top is all about that stigma. The Bottom Monologues is about destroying that stigma, about queer men proudly proclaiming their decidedly threatening desires.

And it will be funny. And dramatic. And liberating. That’s the point :) Hope you’ll join in the fun by submitting a story!


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5 responses

11 12 2008
J.P.

I’m a bottom. For the longest time the only way I felt close to someone was when I was bottoming. I’m a very good bottom. Though being too much of a bottom, I’m now HIV+. But I still love to bottom.

12 12 2008
Sunshine

Hey there! Vagina means bottom to SOME gay men!

Love, vagina-having bottom gay man.

12 12 2008
elibey

Hey Sunshine—That is a VERY fair point….thanks for chiming in!!

xo,
Erik

30 12 2008
paulito

I’ve always found top/bottom distinction a little ho hum in practice and almost always have more fun with the versatile. Although it looks better in print than it sounds, a found word I sometimes use captures the essence: bottop. This can refer to a bottom who occasionally tops or simply a bottom who’s in charge. other favorites: the versatop and the manpussy.

3 01 2009
Robert

I am a Front.

This isn’t the first time I thought about this, but I’ve thought about it more clearly now.

The whole idea of “bottom” and “top” is actually demeaning, and it is an overt admission to a system of prejudice within the gay community.

The words “bottom” and “top” have meanings. They infer a system of oppression, not because one type of sex is necessarily more demeaning and oppressive than another, but because the words necessarily denote a hierarchy. It is, after all, perfectly fine to stigmatize the bottom of the hierarchy, particularly when they willfully describe themselves as such. And using the terms “bottom” and “top” can only be for the sake of justifying that hierarchy because they are, when one thinks about it, sexually irrelevant.

Let’s go through several anal sex positions to see why it is faulty to use the words “bottom” and “top.”

Here are several of the positions:

The very famous doggy style: in reality, there is no top or bottom in doggy style sex. When I am fucked in doggy style, my lover isn’t on top of me. He is in the back of me. I am in the front.

Then there is standing up: when I am standing up and getting fucked, I am most certainly not on the bottom. Neither is my lover on the top. He is in the back, and I am in the front.

Ankle grabbing. Again, no top or bottom here. He is in the back, I am in the front.

Bent over a piece of furniture. No top, no bottom. He is in the back. I am in the front.

Laying on my back: Okay here I am on the bottom. He is on the top.

Laying on my stomach: Okay. Me bottom. Him top.

Me riding him: me top. him bottom.

Me doing reverse “cowboy”: me top. him bottom.

Laying on our sides: me front. him back.

So, of the nine positions I listed, two are of me on the bottom, two are of him on the bottom. That cancels each other out so neither can be top or bottom.

The other five all have me in the front, him in the back.

The proper terms are front (the fuckee) and back (the fucker).

In other words, in this train, I am the engine, he is the caboose. I run this fucking train. And thus I am no longer to be stigmatized or oppressed because I am no longer at the bottom of the hierarchy.

I am a front. Fuck me, baby.

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