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It's 2016: Gay Men Need To Stop Being So Basic About Male Sexuality

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Should anyone peruse my Instagram account, they'd find mostly a narcissistic ode to me. It's mostly selfies, often shirtless or in underwear, with good lighting and filters. Judge me if you want, but it's my social media and I can do whatever I want with it. Another thing one would see from time to time is selfies accentuating my backside, which a few people have commented is nicely shaped over the years, more so since I started working out more regularly and gained about ten pounds. There's a few reasons I would post, for lack of better terminology, let's call them "ass pics." First of all, as is the case with most people, sometimes I like attention and posting salacious pictures online has developed into a pretty surefire way to get it these days. Y'all should see my DMs after I post one of these photos. Secondly, censorship rules being what they are on several social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, pictures of naked butts have been deemed more or less "acceptable." Women's breasts, and explicit pictures of penises, soft or hard, are not. Even photos that accentuate a bulge or show too much detail on penises through underwear are often flagged and removed. So in essence, it's easier for me to get away with posting pictures of my butt than it is to post pictures that accentuate my penis, which to be honest, has also gotten a few compliments over the years as well. Thirdly, we all decide how much we want to buy into social conventions of "decency" or "appropriateness" and for whatever reason I've decided that pictures of my butt are less "trashy" or "inappropriate" than say, posting a picture of my erect penis in underwear, as some have been known to do on Instagram in particular. The Game, we're looking at you. It's all pretty arbitrary but hey, it is what it is.

Which brings me to the essential point of this article. Having already mentioned that these kinds of pictures incite a certain amount of activity in my DMs, I'll state more specifically that activity is gay men (who are my predominant social media followers) complimenting my butt or expressing their interest in it, etc. etc. Sometimes I engage in some flirting or sexting through my DMs, I won't bother to explain why since I think it's a pretty common thing for people to do these days. So when I reveal to a lot of these butt interested men that my preferred sexual role is actually that of the Top, I'm often met with several different reactions, all of which are basic as hell, totally ignorant and rooted in misogynistic heteronormativity.

The most common response is, "But you have such a nice ass..." as if the fact that I was born with a certain body type or worked to make it look a certain way through diet and exercise should determine my sexual role. If I choose to engage further and let men know that I have, in fact, tried different sexual roles in my life and determined that I prefer being a Top and have no interest in being a Bottom, the other most common response is that I just "haven't met the right Top," as if allowing a man to perform a sex act on me that I've stated I'm not interested in and specifically DO NOT WANT TO DO is something that I should be open to. That thinking is bordering on rape culture if it isn't rape culture flat out, and it is rooted in nothing more than that man's desire to use my body in a manner against my wishes to satisfy his desires, regardless of my own. The fact that his desire is also to play the role of penetrator, thus according to heternormative models of sexuality positioning himself as the Male and myself as the penetrated Female is also a reification and proliferation of misogynistic modes of thinking.

The third most common response is incredulity. Recently I had an exchange on a gay hook up app with a man in his thirties, attractive and muscular, who presented in photos as stereotypically "masculine," where he accused me of secretly being a Bottom. As ridiculous as it sounds for a total stranger to question my stated preferences, I don't think this idea is all that uncommon. I think most gay men at some point in their lives have heard other gay men lament that "there just aren't any tops left out there" or some iteration of that concept, which is most likely based on some mixture of disappointment in meeting men that don't live up to a socially fabricated stereotype of masculinity and meeting men who are perhaps more open to versatility and don't want to limit themselves to binary categories of sexual activity. This man in particular cited my smaller stature and build as one of the reasons he wouldn't want to Bottom for me, again a reifying of heteronormative notions that the Male penetrator must be physically larger than the penetrated Female. He also cited my Instagram photos where I had presented my butt for social media consumption as evidence of my secret Bottom desires. LOL indeed. Gay men, we need to do better than this moron, but unfortunately I think this sort of regressive and unbelievably ridiculous thinking is more of the norm than it is the exception within our community.

Tops do not have to be masculine muscle gods who hide their butts from the world lest someone think they might want to be penetrated. Bottoms don't have to be feminine, passive objects who show off their backsides all the time and wouldn't dream of asking anyone to pleasure their dicks. How many times have we as gay men snickered to one another that some super masculine presenting muscle queen is actually just a big old power bottom, as if that's some sort of shameful secret to be laughed at? Why do we still cling to these ridiculous notions and standards of appearance and behavior in predetermining one another's sexual desires? Why would any of us want to convince someone else that what they claim they desire is incorrect, if only we could be the one to show them what they truly want and need against their objections? What kind of gross rapey bullshit is that??? These ideas of machismo and toxic masculinity and applying heteronormative models of behavior and appearance to our lives is not progressing our community. It is not encouraging us to accept and love and support one another. It's divisive and detrimental and above all else it's just fucking stupid. We need to actively encourage one another not to buy into this nonsense. It's time that gay men finally leave all that foolishness to the annals of misguided history.