Sir Ari Gold, From Top To Bottom

Sir Ari Gold
Authored by
Sir Ari Gold

July 24, 2013
5:56 p.m.

sir-ari-gold“But if baby I’m the bottom, you’re the top!” said the great songwriter and sage, Cole Porter. Gay men obsess over these roles. I will not attempt to exhaust the very rich power dynamics written implicitly, historically or culturally, into the top/bottom dynamic. I do however, want to explore some recent personal revelations.

My recent epiphany reminded me that my own sexual liberation is not static and should always be in progress. Since coming out when I was 18, I considered myself a top. I was never against the idea of getting fucked and I actually tried it a few times (a couple being fairly successful—at least from my end—pun intended). I still identified to myself and others as a “top,” or as the Internet would have it: “Top/Vers.”

I was having a flirty and nicely charged encounter with a charming 20-something (I’m a seasoned 30-something) on a night on the town (Night on the town? I am seasoned!). The attraction was palpable and we both easily agreed we wanted to hang out outside the club. We decided on my place—or as the Internet would have it, I was “hosting.” Right before we were about to leave, he threw out the disclaimer, “I am a top, though.” He said this as if it were a warning that this might be a deal-breaker. My response to him was, “Does that mean if you’re not fucking me you’re not having a good time?” He said, “No, it doesn’t.” And so we went home, nobody fucked anybody, and we had a fantastic time together, old-school-meet-at-the-club take-em-home-style.

What I recognized though, in this younger man, was me being so “top identified” in my 20s and what that was really about. I was thankfully not victim to the school of thought that being a top made me more of a man (In some cultures only the bottom is considered “gay”). I always identified as a liberated feminist, which means I hold great regard for the feminine and the feminine top as well. And I like to think I’ve embraced my top identity in as gay a way as possible (i.e., with a military hat, a jockstrap, and Swarovski studded riding crop?).

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“But if baby I’m the bottom…” Ari gives us his gold.

But I identified with being a top because, without knowing it, I was being lazy; physically, emotionally, and sexually lazy. I may have even taken advantage of the ego stroke gay guys give you for the perception that being a top means you’re more of the man (even though I myself did not think that). Only after getting spectacularly fucked for the first time in years did it fully dawn on me that it is unquestionably more challenging to be a bottom than a top.

Sure, there are those natural wonders that seem to be born with asses ready to have large things inserted into them at all times, but still I maintain that it’s harder for the bottom.

To give myself some credit, despite my admonition of laziness, I have always been creative at finding ways to have a hot time by giving and receiving pleasure without butt fucking. The emphasis on what sexual position one holds when negotiating a hook-up often belittles the possibilities outside of butt sex. Too many gay men take the top/bottom dichotomy way too literally—as if one couldn’t be bottom- or top-identified within other sexual acts (oral sex, role play). There’s also the reality that, for me, other sex acts that lead to orgasm don’t feel like a lesser version of themselves. But with the necessity for condoms (I wont risk sero-conversion for better sex), butt sex does. For those reasons, I’ve always been more invested in other fetishes and sex acts than butt fucking.

Having gotten more in touch with my inner bottom in my 30s, I have a deeper, yes, deeper, appreciation for the vulnerability of bottoming. Can we go there? A good top will always try to protect the bottom from feeling ashamed if there’s an accident while fucking. But the bottom is at the top’s mercy in that situation. An asshole top will make the bottom feel dirty, wrong, or ashamed. I prefer cleanliness for myself in both roles—no judgments for those who get into getting dirtier—it’s just not my thing. As the top I get to be the good guy if there’s an accident and go and quickly wash up or even get to be the reassuring guy that everything’s nice and tidy down there. As a bottom, after doing whatever I can to get as clean as I can be, I can only hope nobody will make me feel dirty—in the bad way. Once again, harder being a bottom.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned about the power of vulnerability and the multitude of ways the ass and my hole gives me pleasure. I will continue to spread the gospel that Dan Savage confirmed for straight men: that wanting things in and pleasure from your own ass has nothing to do with being gay. Loosen up, my straight brothers. That’s right, I said “loosen!”

My gay brothers?  Loosen up on these roles! That doesn’t mean abandoning them completely or creating more judgmental attitudes towards those who hold tightly to them. Simply recognize that sometimes we think we are or like one thing and don’t yet know we are or like something else too. Sometimes, we want to be and like it all in one moment. There are even times in our sex lives when top/bottom does not even come into play and we may put more focus on touch, or fantasy, or mutuality. RuPaul always says he likes to play with all the crayons in the crayon box. We can do that for our sex lives. Let’s not box-in our own sexuality when homophobia has done that too us for so long. Sexual identity and sexual exploration doesn’t end the moment we come out as wanting sex with other men. On the contrary, it’s only just beginning.

Photos, Top and (ahem) Bottom: Edwin Pabon.

Got a question for Sir Ari? Contact him at Ari@Arigold.com.

Sir Ari Gold’s new remixed retrospective, “Play My F**kn,” remix is out now! Visit his Facebook page for more information. You can also follow him on Twitter. 

Comments



Anonymous User
nerddude24 (Guest)
5 years, 4 months ago

Very good article, I used to be top, but have and enjoyed bottoming, so Im verse now

Anonymous User
Brian (Guest)
5 years, 4 months ago

Damn. I’ve waited years to see that ass. LOL!

Anonymous User
J.R. (Guest)
5 years, 4 months ago

I knew it was FINE !!!!

Anonymous User
Wagner (Guest)
5 years, 4 months ago

Esse cara é muito gostoso!!!!

Anonymous User
ZoomFlyer (Guest)
5 years, 4 months ago

Wowww what a wonderful, beautful fancy ass… Ooooooooo I love man..

Anonymous User
chadSF (Guest)
5 years, 4 months ago

What an interesting article and a great reminder for all to basically not to get so stuck on sex ‘roles’. I have always considered myself as a bottom, a bossy bottom actually at times. But it took a very long time for me to accept and feel comfortable emotionally and sexually in being one, maybe because from all the ‘innocent’ teasing from friends and more importantly, I was made to feel dirty by an ex-bf/partner.
Your statement about “A good top will always try to protect the bottom from feeling ashamed”, is correct.
Thank you Ari Gold for this article and more power to your career in both writing and music.

Anonymous User
Carlos Roman (Guest)
5 years, 4 months ago

People do take these labels far too seriously.

I have to remind people (all the time) that “to top” is a verb (an activity) and not an identity. Top or bottom is something one does NOT who one is.

People should strive for mutual pleasure – what brings pleasure to both parties. This does not mean “vers” – it means pleasuring your partner and yourself during sex.

In addition, nothing lazy or hateful about topping or bottoming simply if you don’t enjoy or desire it. Some men simply enjoy receiving. Not everyone likes the same thing.

I know I don’t enjoy bottoming. And thanks to all my partners who insisted that I top, I’ve become quite good at topping. Lord knows, when my partner gets satisfied from my cock inside him – I’m a happy, happy camper.

Anonymous User
marklogan (Guest)
5 years, 4 months ago

I was straight and never thought I’d want a man for anything. I got curious and now have become gay. I have classed myself as a top but I tried bottoming once with a guy it felt ok but not what I was expecting. I stayed top but now I am anal curious and want to become versatile. Maybe it is time to drop the roles as we are genders and just have nice sex. I was topping a guy and he covered my manhood with you know what, I continued to have sex with him before wiping him and me off and continuing clean. No need to embarrass anyone its just a natural issue.

Anonymous User
nerddude24 (Guest)
5 years, 4 months ago

yes im over the top and bottom roles

Anonymous User
bonboyage11 (Guest)
5 years, 4 months ago

hes fine

Anonymous User
R (Guest)
5 years, 4 months ago

All bottom all the time! Even at 40. Yay!

Anonymous User
JB (Guest)
5 years, 4 months ago

I personally have always known I was a “natural born bottom.” It does not make me gay, nor less of a man. What I find interesting in your article is the idea that bottoms are suppose to be like women. That’s what needs to change in the gay world; just because I like being a bottom does not make me a fem, girly, or non-stra8-acting. Lastly, I think there are too many bottoms out there, so I enjoy the fact that when guys tell me they are tops; just means more action for me.

Anonymous User
Ision (Guest)
5 years, 4 months ago

Fantastic article!!… but please don’t feel forced to become bottoms, there are already way too many more bottoms than tops as it is!!!

Having said that, as a bottom, I can say that it is always better when the top has learnt how it feels for the bottom through personal experience.

Anonymous User
Raditia (Guest)
5 years, 4 months ago

waw

Anonymous User
Harmonika Savingsbonds (Guest)
5 years, 4 months ago

Dear God; WHAT was the big idea putting my G Spot in my asshole?

Anonymous User
Daribe (Guest)
4 years, 8 months ago

call 0913787120 to meet in AddisAbaba.I am versatile.

Anonymous User
Italo (Guest)
4 years, 1 month ago

I have no problem with dying sophocated by thoses two buttocks :p

Anonymous User
Alex (Guest)
4 years, 1 month ago

There are so many power bottoms out there, that we really don’t need to bottom the few tops left. Being versatile doesn’t necessary mean you are sexually liberated. Not always.

Anonymous User
Clrdangel (Guest)
3 years, 11 months ago

Instant fan after reading this. And of course the pics helped a little.