Am I a top or a bottom?

Illustration: Nadia Snopek

@AskPeaches: I’m 21 years old, gay and don’t have a lot of sexual experience. How do I know if I’m a top or a bottom?

@Phil: The sexual world as we’ve known it is evolving. Many young, queer people your age have been doing away with rules and labels, so it’s very interesting to hear you consider a binary choice. Among hetero couples, a small number of straight men enjoy being “pegged” by their wives and girlfriends. And in some queer relationships, where both partners fulfil a primary sexual role, couples sometimes flip to keep it interesting.

The short answer is that you won’t know until you try. But if you’ve tried and you’re still unsure, perhaps you could be versatile. What should matter most is what feels comfortable for you.

I say have an open mind, and see what works for you. If you’re not yet ready to be intimate with others, you can explore on your own with toys and learn your likes and dislikes. But be careful to not draw a conclusion based on one bad experience. You may not know fully until you try it with an actual person. Sex is more than a just the role you play in the bed. Instead, it’s guided by a certain dynamicism with another person’s energy, chemistry, skill and touch. It’s also debatable whether there is such a thing as a “total-top” these days, since almost every top will bottom for the right guy if it gets their juices flowing. At least, that’s been my experience. Check out this post for tips on how to prepare for bottoming, if this is also new territory for you.


The @AskPeacheas column is prepared by committee but written from one person’s experience. Send emails to askpeaches [at] freshfruitinc [dot] com with “@AskPeaches” in the subject line. Be sure to give enough background, so the advice can be more specific and relevant.

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