It’s Time to Stop Pigeonholing Gay Men as Tops and Bottoms


I find it exhausting that 'top or bottom?' is the first question you're asked

In GQ magazine, writer Nick Levine questions why all relationship rule books seem to be written by straight people. The BB Team tends to agree…and we also concur with Levine that “it doesn’t hurt to be a little more open-minded about what we think we’re into.”

Levine writes, “Some fans are so keen to pigeonhole male idols as tops and bottoms that even cishet celebrities, such as Shawn Mendes, Timothée Chalamet, and the members of One Direction, have these sexual roles (which are most readily associated with gay men) applied to them. But the desire to categorize guys based on what they might do in bed isn’t just part of stan culture; it’s a reductive part of gay culture—especially on dating apps.”

“On Grindr, I find it exhausting that ‘top or bottom?’ is the first question you’re asked if you haven’t specified a role on your profile,” 31-year-old London resident Jon says. “I find explaining that I’m not really one or the other, or strictly vers [versatile] either, a lot of effort to make straight away. After all, this is someone I may not even want to chat to beyond that initial small talk, let alone sleep with.”

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Featured image by Volodymyr Tverdokhlib | Shutterstock

Thursday September 30, 2021


He/Him | Music, pop culture and LGBTQ writer for Time Out London, NME, Refinery29UK, Anglophenia, Gay Times, Vice UK and i newspaper

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