Every baby gay looks forward the day he dons his ceremonial sequined jockstrap and swears a sacred oath to the Gods and Goddesses of Gay to only ever fuck or be fucked. Except for the heretic "vers" sect, of course.
Oh?- You don't remember ever hearing about that? That's because it doesn't fucking happen!
Frankly, the idea of nailing yourself to one of two sexual crosses is a bit silly to me...
Few things in life are ever as black and white as "this" or "that", especially in matters of sexuality.
While I admit that these broad categories exist within gay culture, I tend to find anything that pigeonholes a person into one category or another to be unhealthy at best and downright dangerous at worst. The world is divisive enough, especially for sexual and ethnic minorities. We don't need to throw fuel on the fire.
Having said all of that, these categories are a part of our culture and make up a good portion of the turbulence most baby gays experience when they are first coming into their sexuality.
Which is to say, I find the notion of calling yourself a top or a bottom a bit silly, but that doesn't mean figuring out your place in our current culture is any less intimidating for those just learning to navigate the choppy seas of gay dating and sex.
Whether I find it ridiculous or not doesn't change the fact that this is something a lot of guys struggle with early on. Not to mention the fact that dating can be really hard without offering some indication of your preference because stating it fairly early on in a relationship is now common practice.
Hell, gun to my head and forced to choose, I'd have to say I prefer the bottom, even though I am soundly in the vers category.
Sometimes the question itself can feel just like that, like a gun to your head, especially if you're not even sure yourself.
So, I am not going to give you any definitive answers to say that you are this or that. I am going to give you the tools to discover that for yourself because, in reality, you are the only one who can.
So, here are some tips to help you test your sexual waters and discover your preferred role in the bedroom.
Explore Your Fantasies
Even if you're a stone-cold virgin, you probably beat your meat, right? The things that turn you on while you are alone are some of the biggest indicators of what you will want from an encounter with a partner. If you find yourself beating off to the thought of getting pounded in the ass, there's a good chance you are going to like bottoming and vice-versa.
Another way to assess what you like is to pay attention to your porn habits. I'm not just talking about which videos you watch, but more about how you watch them. People tend to project themselves on one person or another in a porn vid. Who and what you focus on in a porn video will give you a good idea of your own inner sexual workings.
If you find yourself paying more attention to the guy on his back getting pounded seven ways to Sunday and you are turned on by the idea of being in his position, it's a pretty clear sign of what you're craving.
That goes both ways, too. If you find yourself identifying with the top in a video and imagining yourself in his position and all of the dirty things you would do to the guy he is fucking, you're probably leaning toward the top.
"If you find yourself paying more attention to the guy on his back getting pounded seven ways to Sunday and you are turned on by the idea of being in his position, it's a pretty clear sign of what you're craving."
Righty, Lefty Or Ambidextrous?
While science is still working out the whole ridiculous "nurture vs. nature" shitshow, it has uncovered some interesting findings that link certain biological features to sexual behavior.
One of the strangest, to me, is the finding that there is an apparent correlation between non-righties and position preference in the bedroom.
Righties tended to fall more into the "strict top" category and displayed more traditionally masculine behavior, whereas lefties and ambidextrous guys tended toward the bottom and displayed higher tendencies toward gender-nonconformity, as seen through the lens of cishet-dominated societal "norms".
While this is far from a conclusive answer, it is one indicator that could help point the way to your happy place.
"...Lefties and ambidextrous guys tended toward the bottom and displayed higher tendencies toward gender-nonconformity.."
Examine Your Relationship With Power Dynamics
There are few aspects of life that aren't affected in some way by power dynamics. While the terrain may shift from time to time, depending on the circumstances, most people tend to lean toward being more dominant or more submissive as a deep-seated personality trait.
It's not a hard and fast rule that tops are always dominant and bottoms submissive, but the overall preponderance of this phenomenon is undeniable. This is another time where self-awareness and self-observation will serve you well.
If you find that you are more inclined toward initiating and guiding sexual activity, there's a good chance you are a top. If you find you like to be told what to do and are generally more submissive, there's a good chance you'd prefer the bottom bunk.
Again, I think it's unhealthy to divide yourself and others into binary categories because divisiveness is generally counterproductive, but there comes a point where it is helpful on some level just to keep things moving along.
As with most of this advice, this is just a possible indicator of what makes you tick, not a smoking gun. Only you can decipher the meaning of your relationship with power dynamics in your relationships.
"It's not a hard and fast rule that tops are always dominant and bottoms submissive, but the overall preponderance of this phenomenon is undeniable."
Ultimately, the best way to find out what you like in bed is to get out there and try new things in bed! Get out there and find partners who offer something new.
If you are young and just starting out, you are free to explore your sexual proclivities by learning from others because you are less likely to be tied down by a long-term partner and haven't fallen into any ruts.
Basically, you're a blank canvas at this point, get out there and splash some paint around and see what you come up with. This is a magical and unique time in your life, an opportunity to be whatever you want to be and discover what that even is in the first place. Don't waste it!
The more work you put into developing your sexuality now, the easier and more bullshit-free your encounters will be further on down the line.
Besides, it's not like going out and fucking around is exactly a chore! Invest the time in yourself and you will see massive dividends down the road in the form of self-knowledge, being comfortable in your own skin, and complete mastery of your own sexual nature.
Those are some pretty good wages for just going out and getting laid in creative ways!
"The more work you put into developing your sexuality now, the easier and more bullshit-free your encounters will be further on down the line."
Remember That Nothing Is Set In Stone
Your tastes and desires will invariably change over time and in response to external factors. Maybe now, in your youth, some part of you craves dominance and you prefer to be on top guiding the action and burying your bone deep into a guy who is completely at your mercy.
Later, your nature might soften and you will start to see the attraction of trusting someone enough to give yourself over to them completely in the bedroom.
Conversely, maybe you are shy about your inexperience early on and as you gain more confidence in the sack you realize you actually have a more dominant nature and start to like topping more.
You will grow and change as you progress through life and your sexual tastes will adapt with you. Don't lock yourself into anything just because you feel like you "should".
Another factor that can lead to changes in preference is the partner or partners you are with. Maybe when you don't have a particularly strong connection with a partner, you feel less emotionally inclined to allow them to take the reigns, but find it easy with someone you love or trust completely.
For instance, maybe you like to top for one-time Grindr hookups but prefer the bottom with committed partners.
The point is, you are an evolving, nuanced personality whose needs and wants will always be in flux. The more you can stay in touch with these shifting needs, the happier your life will be, both in the bedroom and out.
I know I have talked a lot of shit about the notion of separating ourselves and others into such broad categories, but these last four paragraphs should serve as strong evidence for my case.
So, maybe in the end, the best advice I can give you about how to discover whether you are a top or bottom is to say that you are asking the wrong question.
Instead of asking whether you are a top or a bottom, you should be asking whether you are a top or a bottom right now.