Dear Fagony Aunt,
I’m fairly new to the gay world, and still trying to figure out where I fit in. I spend a lot of time chatting on the apps, and everyone is always asking me if I’m a “top, bottom, or versatile.”
The embarrassing truth is, I don’t know. I haven’t had that many sexual experiences to figure it out, and some were totally awkward, so I don’t know if I should judge anything based on those.
The worst part is I feel a pressure to pick an identity. When I leave that blank in my profile, it’s the first question I get from potential hook-ups, and it’s been hard to dance around that issue. Even in my social groups, I don’t really know what to say when my friends make jokes.
How should I answer people when I’m cornered about my sexual preferences, and how do I even begin to know what I like?
First as foremost, don’t let other people’s needs for labels become something that you feel like you need to adopt. I mean, you wouldn’t wear a fake Fendi just ’cause your friend did, right?
Labels – especially ones regarding a gay man’s bedroom preference – can ultimately, be really limiting and reductive.
For example; a gay man might enjoy bottoming, and then give himself that label to which he now feels he must identify, and suddenly putting it in a man’s bum becomes a bush-tucker trial.
A quick-route into deciding, would be to pick who’s shit you’d rather put up with for the rest of your life: the desperation of an emotionally co-dependant bottom, or the cold heart of a top that’ll cheat on you?
J/k, Miss Thing! They’re not really (all) like that.
And reminder: there’s nothing embarrassing about being unsure.
The best scenario in a situation like this, would be for a relationship (even if that is short-term or casual) with someone that you have a connection and will allow you to explore both roles of the bedroom without fear of judgement. Unfortunately, for many of us, these don’t fall out of thin air.
If your main approach to meeting men is with Grindr, then you’d probably be best off with a versatile guy, and I’d just be honest and upfront in explaining that you’re recently out and your preference is still something you’re exploring. Hopefully, you’ll meet someone that proves to be beneficial in aiding your discovery.
You can also pay more attention when you watch porn; which parts – specifically – turn you on? If this scenario was real, which role do you see yourself in?
Finally, sexual preferences is definitely something you should be able to talk about with your friends. To feel concerned about judgement or being laughed at in a social circle, isn’t a friendship, it’s a clique.
Good luck Chuck! Xoxo