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#73124 - 02/23/05 09:16 AM Top/Bottom - Acting out ? *Possible Triggers*
ShyBear Offline

Registered: 02/08/05
Posts: 149
Loc: The American South
I am 97% bottom, have only topped in the context of a relationship and then very infrequently.

It took me a very long time to get past the shame - that I'm the "woman", that bottoms are just not really worthy as human beings unless they are getting f**ked, servicing some top, you never hear the put-down "Oh, he's just a big old butch top" - no, what you hear is "Oh, she's just a big old nelly bottom", that I'm less of a man, or just plain LESS because I'm a bottom - other things like that, can't think of any more right now, other than being a bottom is something to be ashamed of.

But I like it !

When I function as a top, I feel like I'm just servicing my partner - there's no soul connection, no love, nothing but humping - and when I orgasm as a top, it's just pressure release.

But when I'm a bottom - wow! Passion, soul connection, love, that sense of sex as an act of love that can connect us to the Divine, release that floods thru me, deep fulfillment, profound relaxation - it just works.

But here, now, facing the 2nd Big Chapter of my recovery from SA, all that I thought I knew is up for question again.

I guess I just wish I wasn't a bottom because tops are just *better*, you know ? More valued, more respected, more popular, more in demand - more in control, more powerful.

Yeah - power - that's where this gets all messed up.

I have to be angry to be a top. Aggressive. I have to reach that place in my head where I don't give a shit about your pleasure, your pain, your orgasm - I'm just gonna GET OFF ! YEAH ! MAN! UGH ! I'm just gonna pound you into the bed, etc - I can't say any more, I feel that barbaric energy rising in me as I write this.

Damn, once again - it's about power, not sex.

Shit ! SHIT ! SHIT !!!!!

It's like I am not ALLOWED to be a "man" - to be a top - to be aggressive, to demand what I want / need / desire.

I thought I had all this figured out ...


Oh, and you know what's really funny / pathetic ? I get mistaken for a top ALL THE TIME. I am indeed a "bear" - 6' 210 pounds, furry, warm brown eyes - ok, sorry, I am NOT writing a personal ad here, so I'm gonna stop. My friends tell me I'm a confident take-charge guy - leadership material - and I go "Huh ? Who ? ME !?!??!"

I do plug into my confidence every now and then - I'm a computer programmer (well, was, but that's another story) databases are my specialty but mostly I'm a generalist with softwware - and there are times when I just know that I know what I know, and I just flat tell management "This is how it is ..." and I've earned real respect for being a straight ( so to speak \:D ) shooter.

Gods, all this crap is all tied together, isn't it ? I'm just thinking about how this post started out and where it ended up. I mean, it's all stuff I'm trying to understand, and I just wish sometimes I could maybe get ONE piece of it down.

#73125 - 02/23/05 04:58 PM Re: Top/Bottom - Acting out ? *Possible Triggers*
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Shybear we are who we are and we do what we like to do. That is it plain and simple. There is no such thing as a more admired person when it comes to sharing your body in such and such a way. What is really important is that it is a mutual sharing. Where there are no winners and losers. I have always suspected people who categorize others in a way that is deemeaning. It is like they are trying to overcome some fear of their own.

Quite frankly I dont give a damn what others think of me anymore. Well that is not quite true I care about what my family thinks. But others. They want to categorize me that is their right but I dont have to care anymore about them. Friends will never do that to friends. If it is done to me they never were my friends in the first place.



#73126 - 02/23/05 06:38 PM Re: Top/Bottom - Acting out ? *Possible Triggers*
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
I have spent a lot of my adult life as a gay man struggling against/with a lot of the stereotypes that I feel have been forced upon me by society.

The whole 'top/bottom' dichotomy is a prime example of that sort of objectifying and dehumanizing characterization of homosexuality.

I'm glad to see more and more gay men asserting their right to be loving and sexual in the ways that they feel comfortable rather than having to categorize themselves into limited and self-defeating models imposed by insecure people.

As for me, I have a third option to propose for gay guys. It's one that I have been trying out and it seems to be working well for me and for the men who come into my life.

The other way of viewing sexuality as opposed to 'top/bottom' is an old-fashioned notion. Here it is.

What I prefer to do sexually in the privacy of my life is pertinent only to me and the men I invite into that part of my life.

My sexual preferences do not have to form a part of my public persona to be given as a part of a gay resume.

In my experience, limiting the kinds of sexual communication to a select privileged few (yes, it is a privelege to have sex with me) adds an incredible amount of mystery and intimacy.

So top or bottom or both or none of the above is mine to share as I wish or if I wish. I find that men who approach sex in that all or nothing, this or that way, also approach the rest of life in a detached, impersonal manner.

I also find that they are not the men I wish to be with. It is a struggle to resist the demands of the gay stereotype. But it is really worth it.

Now I get to be a whole person. Not just a sum of genitalia, top/bottom, physical features and fetishes.

When was the last time you read a gay personal ad starting with, "Seeking a kind man with a loving heart......"?

I have written mine just like that and have been amazed at how many guys respond, saying how sick they are of the hyper-sexualization of gay culture.

Perhaps we as male survivors, who have particularly suffered from others misguided sexual obsessions, could be in the forefront of resisting and breaking these unhealthy and demeaning self-definitions.

How about not top, not bottom, but a loving man hoping to connect with another?

I'm not saying to pretend we like one thing or another in bed, but how about keeping that information private and sharing it with someone we love enough to have sex with?

The idea that gay men must be satisfied in a particular way in order to love one another is one that I think should be discarded in favor of a love that embraces the individual as a whole.

It will be lots harder and a lot more scary; but I imagine it will be incredibly fulfilling.
Great topic, shybear. Looking forward to hearing more.


"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

#73127 - 02/23/05 07:35 PM Re: Top/Bottom - Acting out ? *Possible Triggers*
Stephen_5 Offline
BoD Emeritus
Registered: 09/12/00
Posts: 667
Loc: Northern California Foothills

The external labels that people (gay or straight) want to put on anyone are just ways to marginalize others. When I finally decided to acknowledge who I am and who I always was I knew that I wanted someone like me, caring and compassionate, with a wicked sense of humor. I found that someone over ten months ago and he and I have been together ever since. It's not about "top" or "bottom", it's about two people who love each other and care for each other and want to make each other happy. It's passion and compassion, comfort and contentment. I believe that those sexual stereotypes are just that, stereotypes, they don't reflect my reality.

ShyBear, I hope that you find the answers that you're looking for. I've decided for me that there are some questions that just don't have suitable answers and I've accepted that. My favorite quotation is "Acceptance is abandoning all hope of ever having a better past." I live for today, not foolishly but fully.

Take good care of yourself my friend and bother,


I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.
Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007)

#73128 - 02/28/05 08:41 AM Re: Top/Bottom - Acting out ? *Possible Triggers*
Morning Star Offline

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 1124
Loc: Home
when I was acting out, I was an agressive bottom at times I wanted to give myself, completely, find soul connection. I felt like a woman, who opens her up to receive a man. So I took him in every night.
But then finally one night I had to say to myself I am doing it because I like the thought giving, the thought of my lover inside me. Or do I actually enjoy being a woman, sexually. And it was the former.

That day I discovered I wasnt gay. I was acting just out.

~ It's over!...Let go of Thy Past, Remember Thy Self ~

Why Don't People Heal, by Caroline Myss; 30 days to clean up your vibrations - Abraham-Hicks

#73129 - 03/01/05 04:48 AM Re: Top/Bottom - Acting out ? *Possible Triggers*
bda Offline

Registered: 10/18/04
Posts: 26
Loc: North Carolina
Thanks for the honesty in your post, ShyBear.

I get frustrated as well about how easily sex and power get mixed up for me. The whole top/bottom, butch/fem paradigm frustrates the hell out of me. When I was first coming out I was so excited that I was going to finally find a community that wasn't so caught up in how well I performed mesculinity. I was disappointed to find that the same stuff was going on in the queer world.

Ironically, I found more interesting conversations and challenges to the top=butch=real man vs. bottom=fem=pansy in the bear world (where I'm mostly just a thankful and appreciative visitor) than anywhere else in the gay male community. The whole bear thing of "masculinity without the trappings" was incredibly liberating for me. Somehow big butch guys taking it up the ass called into question all of the assumptions I still carried from playground bullies and SA wounds.

Categorizing who we are and how we relate by what we do sometimes works and sometimes doesn't work. If you can feel safe and whole as a bottom, good for you! If you're concerned that it's about repeating the abuse and looking for a happier ending, figure out what that means for you and then integrate into your sexual identity.

Look, they took this sacred and magical thing called sex and beat us over the head with it. We chopped ourselves up into pieces to survive, and the adult game is learning to reclaim all the pieces and figure out what we want to do with them. Living fully into who we are is the new way for us to survive...and go way beyond just surviving.

So be a big butch bottom bear if that's who you are. Or if who you are right now is seeking and exploring other ways to live out your that. But however it works out, or evolves, or whatever, love your body and the amazing ways you can open up to and connect with other men!


Unbind him, and let him go.


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