‘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.