It’s not uncommon for LGBTI people to have a preference with topping or bottoming.
But some may only want to do one or the other and they’re called ‘total tops’ or ‘total bottoms’.
There can be a multitude of reasons why LGBTI people have these binary preferences. From sexual gratification and power play to medical reasons, the possibilities are endless.
To add even more complication to the equation, there can also be a spectrum of different types of bottoms. These include passive, submissive, oral and power bottoms, just to name a few.
So we asked some total bottoms why topping’s just not for them:
Alex, 22, gay, from Milan
I tried [topping] once and it’s not that I didn’t like it, I just feel much better if I’m bottoming. It feels like an overall better experience for me.
Could it be because the bottom wasn’t that cooperative? Yes. But for now, that’s how I feel.
Grace, 19, demisexual, from Minnesota
I would say I’m a complete bottom for sure, but kind of in a ‘fight me’ type of way and I prefer it because I like the feeling of not being in control of the situation.
I have tried topping and I didn’t like it because I was nervous the whole time. When you bottom, you don’t have to worry about controlling things. I have anxiety about trying to control everything else in my life so sex is the one thing I don’t feel like I have to, and I don’t want to.
Jordan, 25, gay, from London
I would probably say that I just stuck with the position I began my sex life with. I then had little experience as a top, so I was always wary of being a top and I didn’t want to be a disappointing one.
Whenever I have topped, it’s generally quite a task for me and I have to be really quite horny for it. So being a total bottom is just easier I’ve found, especially if you are a bit more submissive like I am, and it’s what I do better at.
People always assume I’m a top as I’m told I have an above average-sized dick, but while I get hard and horny, I generally go soft pretty easily. If I am fucking someone – even if I am enjoying myself – I’m awkward with positions or getting a good flow so I tend to then get soft. Then I feel awkward, especially if they are really enjoying it.
So generally, while I could top, it’s a lot of pressure on me to maintain stamina and energy. I’m not a natural dominant in bed and that is generally the position for the top.
I think it’s probably more a mentality thing, if I spent lots of time topping as most guys seem to assume I do, I’d probably get better and get over it. I think it’s mainly down to that, which stems from lack of topping experience.
Jack, 19, gay, from Colorado
I would say I’m a total bottom, because my boyfriend is a total top. I sometimes want to top but I never have with him. I’ve tried topping with my last boyfriend and it was nice, but I had always wanted to bottom with him, which didn’t happen that often cause he didn’t want to ever top.
I do enjoy bottoming because I love pleasing someone else but it is because that’s the only choice I have!
Shannon*, 27, from Scotland
I’ve tried topping a couple of times (over five years ago) but for some reason it just didn’t bring the same amount of pleasure for me.
I never came when I topped. The orgasms I experience as a bottom are really intense and I think that’s only possible when I bottom. I’m lucky that my partner is a total top, so we’re a nice fit.
I would say it’s more physical. I don’t get as much stimulation when I top.
Joao, 26, gay, from London
For me it’s a dominance/submission play. At times I do wonder if it’s a size thing because I’m short and skinny and the guys I’m generally attracted to are the direct opposite of me and a part of me feels strange topping.
I’ve dated a body builder before and they asked me to top them and it felt so alien to me. I’ve tried topping before I set on being total bottom (funnily enough it was how I lost my virginity) and it’s just developed into a preference now.
I wouldn’t say I would be totally against it in the future as I appreciate that sex is about having fun, experimenting and experiencing different things with different people but I’m not rushing to change my Grindr preferences any time soon.
I also think that generally I’m not a dominant person so I think that would also be a factor.
Lucas, 30, bisexual, from Atlanta
I prefer to bottom because, frankly, it feels better. The prostate is the g-spot for males, so it makes sense to like having it hit during sex. It causes me to orgasm and makes my orgasms more intense.
I’ve topped a handful of times in my life, but it just has never done anything for me, and it’s primarily been when I’ve been in a relationship as a concession to them.
I’m admittedly a terrible top, though, because, even though I can fuck a guy in terms of keeping a boner, it does nothing for me sexually.
Taylor*, 33, gay, from Manchester
I’ve just developed my tastes as I’ve gotten older. I used to be top, then versatile and now bottom – I prefer it and it’s been ages since I topped.
I just wasn’t massively comfortable with [bottoming] in the early days – mix of wrong guys etc – but as I’ve gotten older, I’m much more comfortable with who I am, and what my preferences are.
It’s much more enjoyable that way. There isn’t any particular reason why I’ve changed. Maybe back then I just didn’t enjoy it.