Masculinity, sexual power and stereotypes.

I was recently asked, in the Gay world do we perceive the Bottom as less masculine than the Top?

This is a good question. Gender roles and sexual preferences ( in the context of tops and bottoms ) are an interesting topic. There are so many variables, that to cover everything would be almost impossible. I can however speak from my own experience and hopefully be able to give some insight in to just how complex and dynamic this subject is. Firstly I would make the point that the idea that the “Top” is more masculine than the “Bottom” is based on a broader cultural expectation that the “Male” partner is more dominant that the “Female” partner. Gay Culture has adopted this perception of role identity and adapted it to mean the receptive partner is taking on the female role and is therefore the less masculine partner. This is not true. It also makes the assumption that to be Masculine you need be dominant which is also not true.

Firstly I am versatile, but whether I Top or Bottom depends very much on the dynamic of the relationship I have with my partner or partners. Generally speaking if a guy is younger or physically smaller than me then I prefer to Top. If a guy is Taller, physically stronger or older than me then I tend to prefer to bottom. The sexual dynamic is very much dependant on whether I feel like the dominant or submissive partner ( a whole other can of worms ), this however does not mean that I feel any less masculine. Just because I am going to bottom doesn’t mean I throw on a pair of Woman’s knickers, nor does being the Top mean I will start snorting and growing a beard.

I know muscle boys who love getting pounded by Twinks, this has nothing to do with how masculine they are.

Masculinity in the GLBTI community is something that has become a fetish as much as anything else. Body hair, tattoos ripped bods and a rough nature have all been adopted by Gay men as signs of masculinity. But this superficial sense of what masculinity is does not reflect their preference for being a Top or Bottom. Indeed how would you even know from looking at them? You only need to look around to see how many rugged bottoms are out there who would be judged “Masculine” by these standards.

Lets be less worried about being masculine and be more worried about being genuine.


  • Andrew

    You are pretty well on the mark. There really aren’t rules. You might pick up the hottest macho guy, and his legs are straight up in the air, whereas the girlie young guy wants nothing more than to ‘get into you’.

  • Coop

    How masculinity (and also feminity I guess) is depicted was one of the things that used to freak me out. Emotionally, at one point, I fely aliented from the gay community. I know a lot of gay men who have moved past that, but many have not. Speaking of snorting, rough nature and growing a beard, there are things on x-tube I wish I never saw. LOL

  • mark0159nz

    to me the idea of a top being more masculine is really a narrow ideal which is more based on the idea that just because we are guys we have to be total butch and be a “man”

    But it’s all just ideas that are pushed thru the greater society in which we live in. And these really are old fashion and don’t mean anything based on the individual.

    I think if your honest with the person your having sex with then you should be open to the idea of being both a top and bottom. Well that’s my view anyway 🙂

  • Mattyo

    Love this. I consider myself mostly top, being a relatively fit & tall guy and a general preference, but if I’m with a hot twink, I secretly will admit I love him to top me 🙂

  • diego416

    Great answer….frankly, I love both and see myself as simply ‘me’…neither more masculine or less masculine whether I give or take ! I am married to a younger guy and we just go with the flow. What happens, happens and we try not to over-think it…!!

  • toby

    Another very good perspective & well addressed. Fully agree with being genuine.

  • your point is right on….

  • Johannes Winqvist

    It’s a very good point, but I do think that you should bring up that some people, and this is very much true for myself, like these sort of roles. I see myself as very conservative when it comes to roles, and if I’m bottom, it sorta feels right that I should act feminine. I can’t really justify all of this, it’s just what comes natural.

    I think it’s important to point out that some people remain true to some of these roles, and that they’re not sexist assholes for doing this!