Bear. Twink. Daddy. Jock. Guy Next Door. The gay dating scene is loaded with labels but Dick Richards thinks categorising ourselves according to body-type and sexual preference is a dangerous and damaging stereotype.
When it comes to labels, us gays know what’s hot and what’s not. Usually, you can trust a gay man to know the latest brands, gadgets, and fads. However, when it comes to labelling ourselves, it’s important to question the motivation, and the relevance.
There are a lot of labels in gay culture we’ve created to help us make sense of who we are: daddy, bear, twink, jock, etc. These are the ‘look’ based ones. Then you have the labels based on sexual preference: vers, top, bottom, dom, sub, dom top, power bottom, etc.
While labels can be helpful, usually they are based on generalisations that aren’t progressive but more limiting. A dom top isn’t necessarily mean aggressive, just like a power bottom isn’t necessarily a bitch.
We aren’t characters in a porno!
Not every bottom whimpers when getting plowed, and not every top growls when he thrusts. The characters we see in porn nowadays are based on outdated stereotypes that subconsciously we adhere to. Interestingly I see a more realistic portrayal of an everyday gay bedroom in vintage porn – excluding the fantasy scenarios of course.
It’s also good to remember these labels are fluid and aren’t concrete. It’s not one or the other. One day you can be this, and another day you can be that. And it’s okay, as long as what you’re doing is consensual.
But some of us pride ourselves on being able to assume someone’s sexual preference. “Oh, that guy is definitely a bottom” or “There’s something about him that screams dom top.”
Yet what are these assumptions really based on? What we’ve been led to believe defines masculinity and what’s classed as feminine. For example, tops having a bigger build than the bottom, or being more ‘masc’, than a bottom.
It’s total rubbish.
Why can’t we just be guys who like guys and have a preference on how we like to have sex? If there’s no rule of thumb that defines someone’s preference, then there shouldn’t be a blanket generalisation of what it means to have a ‘preference’. At the end of the day, we’re all gay.
As a proud bottom, it’s astounding there’s such a thing as bottom shaming. It’s not easy being a bottom. What we have to do to be ready… is no easy task. You tops should be grateful, what would you be fucking without us?! Your hand or a cold Fleshlight, that’s what. Bottoms should be held in high regard. We aren’t lesser than tops and we deserve a ton of respect.
Sometimes labels can be helpful, but in the case of our community they can often be harmful.
At the end of day, we are more than our sexual preference or our looks. We are both feminine and masculine – it’s a fact. It’s nothing to be ashamed of and it definitely doesn’t define someone’s preference in the bedroom.
Let’s drop the label bashing and the name calling. If we’re out of the closet and finally learning to love ourselves, maybe we could be a bit more loving towards each other. We deserve that don’t you think?!