What is a bottom in a gay relationship

There are also subcategories, including vers-top and vers-bottom, but for simplicity, I will focus on the most commonly used positions.

Bottom vs. Top or Both in Gay Relationships

As someone who has been both a top and a bottom, I feel that bottoms are totally underappreciated by the gay community — both in terms of the expectations placed on them and the disregard for their effort, comfort and enjoyment. It takes a lot of preparation to engage in anal sex — something a top benefits greatly from, but almost never worries about.

Seriously, Science?

This preparation mostly involves cleaning out the rectum with water, which can be both physically uncomfortable and utterly boring. It can also involve restricting the food we eat that day.


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It should come as no surprise to anyone that anal sex can be very painful at times, and it can take a lot of getting used to before it becomes a fully satisfying sexual experience. Tops were still more gender non-conforming on average than straight men, though.

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This is where things get really interesting: This suggests that gay men's anal sex role preferences are rooted, to some degree, in their biology. In other words, although tops and bottoms both have the same sexual orientation, they may arrive at that orientation via very different biological pathways.

Every Gay Guy Needs to Bottom...

Further, the results also suggested that this difference in handedness between tops and bottoms partially explains why they differed in gender non-conformity. Though fascinating, this study like any study has its limitations, including the fact that the sample wasn't representative among other things, the vast majority of participants were white.

Gay men's preferences for "top" vs. "bottom" can be judged by their face. - Seriously, Science?

In addition, it doesn't answer the why question: There's also just a heck of a lot of individual variability. You can be gay and a bottom, but still be right-handed and extremely masculine. It's easy to point to exceptions to the pattern reported in this study, but that doesn't necessarily undermine it. Remember that this research is still very preliminary and that the handedness part may be just one small piece of the puzzle.


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  • What all of this tells us is that understanding the origin of sexual orientation is a very complicated matter. While there's still a lot we don't know, what the research suggests is that there seem to be different kinds of homosexuality that have different causes.

    It’s Time to Take Your Temperature on Topping and Bottoming

    It also suggests that the search for a simple answer to the question of why some people are gay—like the elusive "gay gene"—is one that's likely to prove futile. J ustin Lehmiller is the director of the social psychology program at Ball State University, a faculty affiliate of the Kinsey Institute, and author of the blog Sex and Psychology. Follow him on Twitter JustinLehmiller. Read This Next: A new study explores the potential origins of male homosexuality.

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