On Tops bottoms and hyper-masculinity ……………..

It’s been a while I have done any posts on lifestyle issues especially to do with hyper masculine types or heaviots as we colloquially call them. Most psychology research that deal with gay men dichotomize the sex roles as Top and Bottom (if they differentiate among gay men at all) – preference for insertive anal intercourse and preference for receptive anal intercourse respectively. I also have found that many gay and bisexual men I talk to feel that there are more Bottoms than Tops. Critics may point out that maybe Bottoms who prefer older partners become Tops who prefer younger partners as they get older, or that Tops in general are older than Bottoms also if we think of Only Tops as preferring feminine traits and Only Bottoms as preferring masculine traits, then we have evidence that the more a gay man prefers the Bottom role, the more he prefers masculine attributes (older, taller, heavier, hairier) in a partner, and the more he prefers the Top role, the more he prefers feminine attributes (younger, shorter, lighter, smoother) in a partner but this incident outlined below may confirm in a sense.

Di role ting deh:

The sticky issue of role play by males in the mainstream seems to be also very pronounced in the  men who have sex with men arena as well but seeing the ever changing tastes in the community one would have thought that the new thinking of versatile postioning in sexual activity and or romantic relations maybe readily welcomed, clearly my thinking was wrong on this end and was proven so by a heated discussion recently on men who play the “top” or strictly dominant roles in same gender affairs. Obviously same gender loving men adopt the relationship role play of the heterosexual community where this is a dominant partner and a passive partner of course stemming from the gender roles so set by society over time.

So strong are these believes that to suggest to some tops that they should perform any sexual or domestic role in their same gender love relationships is a gross insult and an anathema, given the backdrop of our society as well where machismo is so highly valued one dare not even suggest any deviation from those copied gender roles. The discussion came up at a get together recently where several more masculine same gender lovers where present and as it were a clip was shown by someone using a computer of what appeared to be a masculine top and a more smaller in statue “bottom” or passive partner but also masculine none the less. The couple while indulging in foreplay assumed their roles, the passive performing satisfactory gestures to his more dominant mate but when the positions shifted somewhat where the top after performing analingus or rimming on his willing bottom or passive mate also proceeded to lovingly perform oral sex on his well aroused passive partner. This drew some shock and negative responses from the onlookers, the vid was stopped and a discourse ensued with three of the four thug males sharply condemning the oral top while the remaining one who liked the idea said it was a good thing and suggested maybe they were more than just bed buddies. A general perception is also that tops who are very strict about role play may become less demanding with a lover with whom they are romantically involved with and allow or perform acts they would not normally do with just a hookup.

The lone masculine brother’s view was not welcomed at all by his other male counterpart and that’s when the same castigatory lines used in the mainstream to make out men who give in or are too nice to women were thrown in the mix, of course Jamaican men of whatever orientation do not take kindly to when their egos or masculine image are abused or challenged. Words to the effect that the lone supporter “bows” (performs oral sex which is still frowned upon though not so much in the mainstream) or he is a “softy” as one of the other three puts it he is not allowing  no other man to have one over him, as if to suggest the passive partner will also view him as not man enough which is the opposite side to all this as well. The valuing of ones masculine wiehgt is serious business in our world it seems as the men came to near blows before it was quelled by others. It was not ascertained if any of the brothers were bisexual hence putting a link to the strong positions on playing gender roles to the letter in order to remain a credible as a man via societal standards.

Here is a suggested set of sexual roles in the world same gender male lovers I did on my Xrated blog some time ago:

Types of Tops:
1. Total Top—this kind of man is exclusive to PENETRATING during sex (Anally and Orally). He has no sexual desire to be penetrated. Therefore, he does not exchange Oral Sex.
2. Power Top—one who is known for great skill and especially aggressiveness in Topping. He also reciprocates Oral Sex.
3. Service Top—is one who Tops under the direction of an eager Bottom (see “Bottom”)
Dick Frotage (Sword Fighting) is very popular among some Tops
***Note: getting Rimmed/Ate Out (Analingus) is the closest these first 2 Tops will ever come to being penetrated. Tops are also stereotyped as the most masculine of the sexual roles
Types of Bottoms:
1. Total Bottom—the polar-opposite of a Total Top: they have no sexual desire to penetrate Anally or Orally. Think of your average “receiver” in a sexual party.
2. Power Bottom—although they still receive penetration, they maintain an aggressive and especially dominating attitude. Oral Sex is exchanged only at their discretion
3. Dyke-Bottom—these are an acquired taste of Bottoms who are willing to engage in sex with another Bottom. In this case, Oral Sex is primarily exchanged; any penetrating is either done with fingers or Toys. (I.E. in a scene where 2 men are engaging in double-dildo action).
***Note: Orally penetrating/ Fingering/Toying a sexual partner is the closest a true Bottom ever comes to “penetration” in that sense. Bottoms are stereotyped as the least masculine of the sexual roles.
Types of Versatiles:
1. Total Vers—A man who Tops and Bottoms, depending on the sexual situation.
2. Vers Top—Primarily a “Top” who occasionally Bottoms.
3. Vers Bottom—Primarily a “Bottom” who occasionally Tops.
***Note: a true Vers is not concerned with any one specific sexual role.
Clearly as we mature as a community the issues are going continue to come out and the trends may remain constant in some circles unless there is some societal influence to make them go away. Personally many persons know I prefer my boys ruff and thuggy especially when they are willing to explore and experiment in sex and are uninhibited by the gender role mimicking trap and influence.
SEXUAL MOTIVATION

Further older research indicates that power and intimacy motives are significant components of sexual motivation. In addition to the incentives of pleasure and procreation introduced by other theorists (Freud, 1940/1969; Masters & Johnson, 1966; Murray, 1938), recent researchers have found other socially oriented types of motives to be involved in sexual motivation. Hill and Preston (1996) developed the Affective and Motivational Orientation Related to Erotic Arousal Questionnaire (AMORE) to measure eight sexual motives. The eight motives were: (a) feeling valued by one’s partner, (b) showing value for one’s partner, (c) obtaining relief from stress, (d) providing nurturance to one’s partner, (e) enhancing feelings of personal power, (f) experiencing the power of one’s partner, (g) experiencing pleasure, and (h) procreating. They administered the questionnaire to three separate samples of male and female undergraduates. Factor analyses of responses from all three samples supported a multidimensional formulation of sexual motivation. The distributions of composite scores for the eight motive scales indicated that individual differences existed in the value placed on each type of motive represented by the AMORE scales. Hill and Preston (1996) found convergent and discriminant validity for the AMORE scales, and positive correlations between motive scale scores and self-rated likelihood to engage in sexual behaviour consistent with the motive. Thus, this study provided data supporting the position that a variety of motives exist for engaging in sexual behaviour. Participants were interested in sexual behaviour not only to obtain pleasure or to fulfil reproductive needs, but also to experience particular rewards, including the feelings of power and intimacy. Similarly, Davies et al. (1993) reported that gay men found anal sex motivating for various reasons, including the physical pleasure, intensity of orgasm, as well as the feelings of power and intimacy the act provided. Of their sample of 237 gay men. more men reported power (n = 91) and intimacy (n = 92) aspects of anal sex as important than physical pleasure (n = 63) or orgasm (n = 39) aspects, underscoring the significance of these motives.

A US report in 1993 Davies et al reported that 91 men in their sample (n = 237) described anal sex as important because of power, dominance, or control aspects. Of these 91 men, almost all perceived the insertive partner as being dominant and the receptive partner as being submissive. Responses characterizing the connection between anal sex and power included: “Makes you feel dominant … I like the idea of having dominance, and fucking someone gives me a sense of power,” and

“I just like to feel powerless when being fucked, someone having power over me.” These findings suggest two hypotheses.

Hypothesis #1: Men with an insertive preference will be more likely to prefer having power over their partners during sex than men with a receptive preference.

Hypothesis #2: Men with a receptive preference will be more likely to prefer relinquishing power to their partners during sex than men with an insertive preference.

While there is no research that speaks to the following assertion, it is feasible that the desire to have (or to relinquish) sexual power tends be part of a larger dynamic. That is, individuals who want to have (or to relinquish) sexual power may simply want to have (or to relinquish) power in most domains of their lives. The following hypothesis reflects this line of thought:

Hypothesis #3: Men with an insertive preference will be higher in general power motivation than men with a receptive preference.

In conclusion, instead of the Top and Bottom dichotomy, this brief exchange described above shows that there seems to be a fairly continuous spectrum of sex role preferences among gay men that map fairly consistently onto a continuous spectrum of physical preferences. Of course, the bigger question now is what biological or developmental differences map onto sex role preference, and what leads some gay men to prefer insertive anal intercourse rather than receptive anal intercourse.
Peace and tolerance
H

Author: GLBTQ Jamaica Moderator

Activist and concerned gay man in Jamaica with over 19 years experience in advocacy and HIV/AIDS prevention work, LGBT DJ since 1996.

9 thoughts on “On Tops bottoms and hyper-masculinity ……………..”

  1. OF course this completely ignores the totally versatile guy like me. That is, this type of study attempts to categorize, which has always been impossible. Versatile guys like me do not fit into the categories and that screws up the researchers. I should know as I am a researcher myself…. and hence I can say, yes the societal roles are important, but I firmly believe those who stop that nonsense of dominance and heteroforced genderroles will finally enjoy gay sex as it should be and truly truly feel the joy of lovemaking with their partner in any way they choose. Being a top or bottom no longer is important, but the joy give give to your partner. One day it may be as a top another as a bottom. But in the end it is about love and giving each other the ultimate pleasure of making love in the truest sense.

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  5. “in a partner, and the more he prefers the Top role, the more he prefers feminine attributes (younger, shorter, lighter, smoother) ”

    Maybe 20 years ago when gay men were acting on straight stereotypes. I’m 58 I do not see that today…..and didn’t 20 years ago for that matter! Quite THE OPPOSITE. Very masculine gay men want TOPS. Even if they are tops, they don’t want men who look or act feminine.

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    1. In Jamaica where masculinity is far more prised the old order still applies as in other states where the majority of the population is of African descent, some men take their masculinity very seriously and there have even been serious conflicts between relatively out gay men (usually in the middle to upper classes) versus more thug types as a result

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