The Bottom Line

Posted: August 14, 2010 in Desire, Identity, Kink, Masculinities
Tags: , , , , ,

‘There are just rather more straight men than gay men – and I find they make much better bottoms….’

I read this sentence on the ‘bottom half of the internet’, that murky underworld that is filled, not quite in equal measure, with a mixture of incomprehensible gibberish, mundanity and real insight into the human condition. It resonated so strongly with me, that I wanted to virtually stand up and point at it, like people on comments sections do sometimes, and scream THIS!  in capitals. I am not that expert in internet memes, but, OMG! Fuck. Yes.

I am a heterosexual woman. I have realised, after demonstrating my capacity for masochism – physical, emotional and psychological- with quite impressive consistency in all my relationships with men, that I too inhabit the  ‘bottom half’, not of the internet (though I do quite like it down there too), but of the psycho-sexual power dynamic, that impacts on all our relationships, whether consciously or otherwise.

I have things to say about this realisation, about the brief, sweet, ecstatic, relief of finally acknowledging that if I have been getting hurt throughout my sexual history, this is in part at least, because I want to get hurt.  And oh it can hurt so good. I also have things to say about the ‘come-down’ from my first S and M high, the ‘drop’. The drop that nobody told me would just keep dropping on my analytical, reflective, ‘feminist’ (and I think that word has some vestiges of  meaning left here) head. Heterosexual M/f  S and M? With no political, psychological, emotional, gendered fall-out? Forget it.

I think two case studies might actually help to describe my experience much better than any attempt at analysis. They speak for themselves. These are two men I met over the course of the last few years. I am calling them Mr Gay and Mr Gayer. And you will see why.

Case Study #1: Mr Gay

I met Mr Gay on a ‘blind date’ via the internet. We had chatted quite a bit online. He was a kinky fucker, and I was drawn to his dominant style of communication. We had amazing phone sex in which we relayed quite intense fantasy scenarios to each other, and I said words out loud I had never uttered before, like ‘yes sir’. and ‘your whore’. Once we came simultaneously, which I think is quite an achievement.

We met in Manchester as I’d got tickets for a gig. He was suitably …intense. He pushed against me in the lift from the car park, making me wonder if he was going to take me right there. But he didn’t.

On the way I had to pick up keys to my mate’s flat where we were staying, from a bar in ‘Gay Village’. As we approached Canal St,  I could sense Mr Gay getting more tentative in his steps. At the entrance to the bar he stopped and refused to enter. I was speechless. So I left him at the canalside, fetched the keys and returned to a pale-faced ghost. Was he actually scared that he would be bummed on the spot by a bunch of poofs drinking cocktails and listening to Kylie? As we walked to the gig I felt my hard-on soften and die in my knickers.

The night never really recovered. He managed to grab me in the corridor back at the flat. He spanked me, naked, over his knee. I tried to make it happen. But deep down I knew it was a lost cause. When it finally came to it, his attempt at fucking me was… adolescent? clumsy? I have blotted it out of my brain. Basically his dick didn’t make it into my cunt. I never saw or heard from him again. I hope he met a big butch boy, who buggered him senseless like he secretly wished.

Case Study #2 Mr Gayer

Mr Gayer is a writer.  He is married, but hey, these are modern times, and modern marriages have to go with the flow. I met him in a bar in London’s Gay East End. The first thing I noticed about him was that he was ‘cute’. Not just in appearance, but in demeanour. He had a bit of a coy look about him. All my usual anxiety about meeting strange dominant men, who might do whatever they wanted with me, completely disappeared. We talked about Foucault, and feminism, and porn, and sex. He agreed to take part in a writing project.

The piece I received back was the one I alluded to earlier, in my post Buggery in the Rain . It was called ‘Flaccid’. I won’t quote it here. I have not received permission. Though I think I have earned the rights… It stated how this (not exclusively but mainly) ‘toppy’ hetero man, who has fucked and fisted and buggered and bitten and bondaged his way through the female kink community of London, or if he is to be believed, the western world, can’t take it up the arse. He described trying strap-on play with women, and every time, losing his wood. No matter how pretty they were, or how big their tool.

Now, I can’t be sure. But a sweet looking, coy, kinky, boyish man, who reads Foucault and Bataille, and, er, Mark Gay Simpson, who falls, flaccid, at the first hurdle when the suggestion of sodomy, by a woman, is made, who didn’t seem to have any interest whatsoever in asserting any dominance over me, who actually seemed a little bit scared of my…. dick.  I still call ‘Mr Gayer’ with some confidence. I hope he too, finds a real cock to sodomise his gay arse as he secretly, or not so secretly desires.

It takes a bottom to know one. And I have encountered quite a few straight bottoms in my time. Whether it was before, or after, I consciously acknowledged my own desire for someone to  slap me on the patio. I’ll take it now. Except I probably won’t. Because the tops are the bottoms and the straights are the gays, and when they refer to  S and M as ‘falling down the rabbit hole’ they couldn’t be more appropriate. For everything is upside-down and back-to-front. It is enough to melt poor Alice’s head. And sometimes, just sometimes, she wants to get the hell out, and find a way back to daylight, back to where power is hidden, and violence is non-consensual, and pain, pain is so very real.

I don’t mean that. Except, some days, like today,  I do.

  1. Kimboosan says:

    I fear going ME ME ME and making this all about ME but at the risk of doing just that…it’s so refreshing to see this take on dominance from a submissive perspective. I can’t say how many doms I’ve met who seemed more focused on proving something about themselves than on the actual power dynamics. It honestly screwed up my thoughts about dominance for a long time.

    In fact, part of that was because of my own uncertainty. Because of my receptivity and ability to read people, I thought I was submissive. For SO. LONG. But I’m not; I’m just a particularly responsive dom who is not into humiliation play. But I thought that humiliation play was crucial to being a top, because so many doms I saw at play seemed to get something out of it that had nothing to do with the actual power dynamics.

    I have seen a few, memorable doms at play where were truly confidant and at peace with themselves. Every single one of them spent serious time as a submissive. I’m beginning to believe that a good buggering is the TRUE start of a dominant’s journey.

  2. KBS:
    ‘I’m beginning to believe that a good buggering is the TRUE start of a dominant’s journey.’

    Or even a bad buggering. But a buggering all the same.

    Alice’s head is still melted, but she will return to this as the gender issues here I think are significant and illuminating.

    • Kimboosan says:

      They really ARE significant. On the flip side, there is this whole mythos in the scene of Dom women being (what I call) the Queen Bitch, which if you look past the stiletto heels and red lipstick motif is a very *masculine* type, for traditional social values of masculine: aggressive, bullying, ruthless, conquering. Which hey, clearly is popular and I’m not criticizing it, but it is basically the ONLY version of female Dom that is allowed, straight or queer. While I’m a bit of a sadist and very controlling, I’m more likely to torture your nipples while in my bunny slippers. Part of my Dom high is taking care of the sub on the trip down, a caretaking role that is traditionally feminine. I even enjoy being fucked by my sub because what do you know, I like sex too! LOL.

      Admittedly, I’ve been out of the scene as my marriage imploded over the past few years, but I’ve not seen much action on the scene (and I live in a small town in South…ack) involving women challenging gendered stereotypes in BDSM. It seems most straight men don’t want to admit they want to be buggared, but if they do, they want it to be by someone who typifies masculine ideals…even if she’s in heels and a corset.

      • Or, they might want to be buggered by a ‘submissive’ woman. Buggered to order so to speak. Which I am sure is possible. Just a little bit of a circuitous way of getting sodomised!

        Come on guys. MAN UP!

      • It’s interesting – I’ve always felt that my Domme persona Lady Rosenthyme, in some ways was much more “masculine” than my everyday self in those ways, and it confused me that I had to crossdress to get to that state! It’s interesting to see you’ve drawn a similar conclusion about the general case.

  3. P.s. If either of my ‘case studies’ reads this: Hello Boys! I do not use the term ‘gay’ in a pejorative sense. I love gay men. Sometimes I even convince myself I am one. And I don’t mean it in a fixed sexuality sense either. As Kim Boo San says, you can get a good buggering and still be a hetero dominant. It might actually help you in that role.

  4. Sessha Batto says:

    Mr. Gayer is a dead ringer for my first husband. Unfortunately it took him twenty-five years to realize what I figured out in six months. For all his aggressive domination of women he was never really happy until the day he realized what he really needed was to be dominated himself.

  5. Sometimes it is easier to see things in others that it takes so much more self-awareness and soul-searching to see in ourselves. I am not a fast learner when it comes to my own development.

    But it is never to late to be the person we can be. As someone famous said.

    As for Mr Gayer. And many hetero ‘doms’ I have encountered. I don’t know how much they actually are able to really dominate another/control a situation, if they have not come to terms with the conflicts within themselves. There is that annoying phrase ‘topping from the bottom’ or in gayland ‘pushy controlling bottom’ to describe assertive or non-cooperative bottoms. But in my experience, when there is a lack of real confidence and control from the top, the bottom has to do quite a lot of ‘enabling’. I don’t always think that is ‘pushy’ sometimes it is just a way of making the best of a situation. Playing the role of ‘giving in’ when there is not really all that much to ‘give in’ to.

    I am rambling now. This subject fascinates me.

  6. Male Dominant here, and yes – although I have never actually been buggered, I know from experimenting with toys that I love all things anal, hers or mine! I really like the idea of “buggered to order” fetish/concept, and tbh it’s something that (when I actually find myself a partner) I was considering having done!

    By exploring all the dimensions I can of my kink, I know that I am at the roots, Dominant; but submission is something I can enjoy doing (would like to try in r/l as well).

    This passage: “I have things to say about this realisation, about the brief, sweet, ecstatic, relief of finally acknowledging that if I have been getting hurt throughout my sexual history, this is in part at least, because I want to get hurt. And oh it can hurt so good.”

    Made me thing of Patti Rothberg’s ‘Treat Me Like Dirt’.

  7. I think some men, and women, worry that if a man allows himself to be buggered it willl turn him gay, irrevocably. Women are scared of losing their men to ‘the other side’ and men are scared of becoming ‘the other side’. I expect we may lose one or two who are overwhelmed by the feeling of a cock up their arse and never want to see another vag again as a result.

    But the problem is, straight men who deny their interest in sodomy by a man, actually appear much more ‘gay’ than either out and out queers, or bisexual men, or men who have ‘experimented’ with ‘gay’ sex. Honestly, I need a new word like ‘Gaydar’…but for straight men who are scared. ‘Scaredar’….? It is much more sexy to me,a man who is man enough to take it. And it means he knows how to give it too. (There may be a few who just aren’t interested but hmm. I don’t think I have met a man that isn’t interested in cock).

    I think ‘dominant’ straight men feel they have to be uber ‘masculine’ and this means being uber-straight sometimes. But the result can be the opposite…

    • JenniferRuth says:

      This blog post describes far too many of the men I’ve dated. Frustrating. Makes me a little sad.

      • I think Jen we should start calling them on it. Next time my scaredar goes off I might just say, ‘so, how do you feel about sodomy?’ I think our dates my come to a sudden halt sometimes, but it might make these boys think.

        I hope Mr Gayer and Mr Gay DO read this. They might learn summat.

  8. Mark says:

    My ‘Scaredar’ goes off the scale whenever Top Gear is on telly. Jeremy ‘it’s my right not to be bummed’ Clarkson is such a ‘gay’. And I say this as someone who really, really doesn’t want him to be. They should rename that show Repressed Bottom Gear.

    Mind you, as a obsessive top I’m probably a sissy too.

    • All three of them – hey, the whole programme is about three guys who hang out together to compare their metallic penis-extensions and who bicker like the stereotypical married couple.

    • This raises some issues I thought about after posting your (Mark’s) history of sexuality piece on Fauxmos.

      If it is ‘feminine’ to be the one who is fucked – even gay men can fear being positioned in that role, for a whole load of (fucked up) gendered reasons.

      And the top/bottom roles will always have gendered connotations. But one way to subvert them is to actually subvert them physically.

      I would consider having a go at dominating- god knows there are enough men straight bottoms to choose from. But it is probably harder for men tops of any orientation, to take that other role, at the bottom half of the power dynamic.

      It involves letting go. What of I do not know exactly. But whatever it is, it’s not really worth holding onto.

  9. that’s funny about Clarkson: someone else had the same idea:

    Nobody would expect you or any other man to relieve Clarkson of his repression. It’s too much to ask! But, I have to recommend even to you Mark, as I do to everyone: taking one for the team every now and again could be a way to expand our horizons and might make a man out of us all.

  10. Mark says:

    cockupclarkson is a great name for a campaign. I just hope we don’t have to watch.

    Conveniently, I like to blame the gays for my obsessive toppery. That homosexual libidinal economy I told you about before is the one that insists on ‘tops’ and ‘bottoms’ (and ‘versatiles’ that everyone thinks are ‘really’ bottoms). Although straight men do tend to make the best bottoms it’s probably because they don’t really know about ‘tops’ and ‘bottoms’….

  11. Well I will just have to tell them then! I’m not standing for this prescriptive typology nonsense, no matter how convenient it is…

    Also, there are plenty of obsessive straight tops, who know all about topping and bottoming, domination and submission.

    I think straight men would find it easier to ‘bottom’ with a man, because it suggests they did not instigate the ‘gay’ encounter. They were ‘taken’ by surprise. It was not of their doing. It would take a lot more conscious and deliberate deviancy to go out and bugger another man.

  12. Mark says:

    I suppose I mean that straight men – and a lot of bi men – don’t really watch much gay porn. So they’re not jaded Jeff Stryker impersonators like me.

    You may be right that being a cock jockey rather than a cock IN jockeys means less responsibility for the deviant, queer, gay homosexual act, but I’m not sure that many are terribly surprised, judging by the way they push back.

    Men have a lot invested in the idea of sluttiness. Straight men especially so. I suspect that this is the main reason why they are often so keen to bottom. They want to see how it feels – and perhaps to show how it really should be done.

    • That makes sense. I would want to see how it feels after being expected to always be the cock in jockeys. I would not want to be on top all the time. I don’t quite see why anyone would.

      Post script.Because, really, nobody is ‘on top’ all the time. Power shifts and moves. that is why it is called ‘power exchange’. But as a bottom, I have a feeling the ‘exchange’ could be more empowering because you start at a position of powerlessness. But being a top, and particularly only being a top, means all you can do really is lose power. Not that that is a bad thing but still, another thought about this neverending charade.

  13. QRG, you crack me the fuck up! OMG. I can’t stop laughing and just when I thought I could, I read the comments and started all over again.

    *wipes eyes*

    Thank you, dear 🙂

    I find all of this really interesting to read. I look, dress, sound, mostly act like what we Americans call a “Soccer Mom.” A basically plain vanilla, straight-laced kind of gal. Notice I did *NOT* say I speak that way. I definitely do NOT try to hide my true self in my words. I definitely do not write that way either. In “BDSM” terms, I’m a Switch. That is D/s is about 65/35 though I seem to try to Top from the Bottom whenever I even attempt to play the submissive for some guy who claims to be a Dom. It takes a fairly strong Alpha Male to be a Dom for me, and I don’t just mean big, muscular and grunting type; I mean seriously focused on doing somethign I am unlikely to comply with failling constant–incessant–persuasion. As I said, I like to Top from the Bottom. Give me a 30-second window and I’ll have you compeltely out-of-Scene 😉

    I can’t understand the submissive mind, the appeal of it. I do get the release of bottoming but as much as I enjoy control, I can’t wrap my brain around surrendering it, though I sure do want to try. Oddly enough, in my “self-service” I can definitely enjoy a good submissive fantasy. I just can’t seem to get it to work out in real life with a real live man. LeSigh.

    You are correct that there are a LOT of straight men who are looking to play the Bottom or looking for a good Domme to “make” them submissive but….only one “T” on that butt 😉 Half the time, they’ve PLAYED and not really “gone there” the way you seem to have done mentally. It’s important to surrender or it’s not really going to get you the emotional release that’s possible. I think the strap-ons and such (I am *CRAVING* a “Fleshlight” toy for my birthday this November!!) are only fun toys to use with men who really know their bodies. I dont’ think many really know their own bodies. Much like most women couldn’t get themselves off in under 5 min if their life depended on it (so to speak … or not *heh heh heh*)

    I recently posted to my Facebook Wall about how much I was craving a Fleshlight and got the confused comment, “Sarah, don’t you realize that’s for a MALE to use” as though the only purpose of toys is to use them alone. Ugh. Pedestrians sometimes, though honestly, the commenter guy is sweet, married and happily so, so he and his wife don’t need toys and that’s probably why it never occurred to him to use such a thing with a PARTNER. I can’t imagine using any toys alone. My mind and Five-Fingered-Rosie do such a better job without the interference *grin*

    Thanks for such delightful posts and threads, QRG. Glad I “met” you on YZW,

    • well at least you are aware you like to top from the bottom. these guys I met didnt realise they had any interest in bottoming, or men’s bottoms, though it was obvious to me.

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