Top, bottom, versatile – What are you?
By Jorge Diaz, MSW
Top, bottom or versatile – what are you? Who really cares? Why does the role we play in the bedroom define who we are? Let’s talk about sex and sexual roles with no shame or restrictions. Why are we conflicted or shamed by the role we play in the bedroom? It’s interesting to hear Latino men talk about sex in a discrete yet shameful tone. Let’s start with our “bottoms.” What defines him? Must he be feminine, smooth and submissive? Does being a bottom mean you’re submissive? If you‘re a “masculine” guy that wants to “bottom” but can’t due to shame and guilt of “what it means”, go for it and enjoy it! It means nothing about you. If you’re that “bottom” that’s three steps from the title “power bottom,” enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! Let’s talk about our “tops”? Many continue to say that Los Angeles has a “top drought.” Really? Maybe it’s how we define being a “top.” Is there a shortage of “tops” or do we associate masculinity and femininity to this role? We often hear, “he needs to be a real man!” Aren’t we all men? Do all “tops” need to be muscular, hairy or have tattoos? No… they come in different shapes, sizes and have a variety of gender expression. If he wants to perform oral sex on you or wants you to perform anal oral sex on him, does that de-masculinize him and automatically loses his “top title?” Why? When did we begin to shame our “tops” for enjoying all aspects of their bodies during intimacy? We all know how great anal oral sex feels-let’s share the experience! When did certain sexual activities become classified for “tops or bottoms?” Finally, our “versatile” men. I mean really, are they “versatile?” Yes, they are! Why do we stigmatized and shame or place the “bottom” label on them simply for their versatility? Is it shameful to enjoy both? When did it become the norm or rule that if you “top” you can’t “bottom” or if you “bottom” you can’t “top.”
We must reject the shame and stigma associated with sexuality and sexual activity. Often times we get caught up trying to meet cultural expectations or definition of a Latino “masculine” man; you are the only person that defines your “masculinity“. We should embrace our masculinity and femininity and redefine “masculinity” and de-stigmatize “femininity.” Keep in mind that sexually transmitted infections (STI) and HIV don’t care if you’re a ‘top or bottom.” Continue with routine STI’s screenings and know your HIV status. We live in a time where we shouldn’t be shamed for who we are or love, nor our behaviors during intimacy. Continue to enjoy sex in whatever role you desire but take necessary precaution