Welcome to Discovering the Male Mysteries with Mel Mystery. This blog is a supplement to my podcast is for and about gay and bi pagan men. My podcasts are about what it is to be gay, what it is to be pagan, what it is to be men — sometimes as separate topics and sometimes all meshed together as one. I started this endeavor after seeing that there were few, if any, podcasts out there on this topic. The podcasts are informative, and present topics that challenge conventional thinking.

Posts tagged “Heteronormativity

Tops, Bottoms, and Normativity

It’s pretty much expected that gay men like and are interested in anal sex, right?  But not all gay men are into anal.  The assumption that gay sex is exclusively anal sex affects everything from straight notions that gay sex is “disgusting” to the FDA blood ban on men who’ve had sex with other men.  In the gay community, one of the first things asked when hooking up is “are you a top or a bottom.”  What if you’re neither?

There are some threads online about gay men who aren’t into anal sex. The conversation usually goes something like this: “I’m not into anal sex,”  “Anal sex doesn’t do anything for me,” or “It seems kind of gross.”  Followed by: “You must be a prude,” “Get over your internalized homophobia,” or “If you’ve tried it and didn’t like it, you must not be doing it right.” Gay men who admit they aren’t into anal are met with the same kind of enforcement of social norms that vegetarians experience when they have dinner with a room full of meat eaters and the same kind of judgment that a gay man gets from his family who suggest he just hasn’t “met the right woman yet.”  Those who enforce the social norms feel and react like you’re trying to take something away from them – whether meat, heterosexuality, or anal sex.  Can’t we live in a world where folks can do their own thing without social pressure or stigma?

I’ve been reading a lot lately about homonormativity and I can’t help but feel that the gay male obsession with anal sex is a mirror of heteronormativity.  For straight folks, the missionary position with the man on top and the woman underneath is the expected default for sex.  Anal sex is the gay missionary position.  You have a top and a bottom.  In heterosexual terms, you have to either be the “man” or the “woman” in the relationship.  I don’t buy that and I don’t think that gay sex and gay norms have to mirror straight sex and straight norms either.  I like cock and I’ve never had much of an attraction to assholes, so is it any wonder my own interests are cock centric and not anal centric.  I’ve had anal sex from both roles; I’ve played with anal toys; and sure maybe I just haven’t had the “right” experiences.  But honestly, I like oral and hand jobs, both giving and receiving – not to mention kissing, cuddling, and some kinky stuff too.  I believe in a pluralistic world and I’m not trying to take anal sex away from those who like it.  I am trying to expand what is considered normative, and not restrict views of “normal” gay sex to a single act.

For those who postulate that not liking anal sex is somehow homophobic, what about the egalitarian issues related to anal sex?  Anal sex as a gay norm comes with heterosexist and sexist baggage.  It’s heterosexist because making it the default gay male sex act assumes that mirroring straight sex by sticking a dick in a hole is the “right” way to do sex.  It’s sexist because one person takes the role of dominant male and the other a submissive female. Just because we don’t state our gendered assumptions, doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Bottom shaming is something that’s been with us since the dawn of civilization.  In ancient cultures and even today, being the “top” in anal sex meant you were more of a man and being the “bottom” meant you were submissive or conquered.  It might have been okay between men of different ages, ranks, or social positions, but not among equals.  Today many men who are into anal sex, don’t bottom or at least don’t admit to being bottoms because there’s a still stigma that it makes them less than a man.

Those who argue that guys not into anal sex should give it a chance should take their own advice.  If you claim to be a top you should try bottoming, and vice-versa.  If you don’t like it, you should probably keep trying because you probably just haven’t had the right experience.  You should also probably try expanding your general sexual repertoire too.  By assuming both top and bottom roles, you’d be making anal sex more egalitarian. By trying other things, you’d be expanding the definition of gay male sex beyond a single type of sex act.

I applaud those of you out there who are “versatile,” who take pride in their kinks, or who simply state they like oral in their personal and hook up profiles. Please keep the conversation moving forward.