Bottom shame

‘I’m top-vers. Don’t meet with guys who declare to be top only. Good kissers, sense of humour and an ability to hold a conversation. Unhurried, slow and tactful sex. Safe only’.

This used to be the opening lines in my Scruff profile a couple of years ago. Yes, I was not happy meeting top guys, I used to fear that they would want to fuck me and I would not be able to fuck them back….. in my head, somehow that did not seem fair.

In one of my previous entries ‘They psychodrama of being a top’ I talked at length about how much I felt being a top had become almost like a caricature of my sexual being. Bottoming was part only of relationships and very rarely I would bottom in casual sex. For me in order to bottom for somebody, I would have needed to be the top first.


When I look back now into the dynamics of what was really happening, I realise I had so many hang ups about bottomming. I secretly had a feeling that being a bottom was being less, there was an edge that made it for me degrading and almost shameful. While being a top was respectful and held the keys of the masculine man I wanted to believe I was. 

There were other issues that would make being a bottom a challenge for me: cleaning the ass was a big one. I used to have a very stupid but real fear to dirt. As it happens, sometimes I would be fucking somebody and the condom would get some shit. I used to stop fucking at that stage. It used to put me off so badly. I said to myself I did not want to be that guy with the ass dirty when I was being fucked. If a partner was fucking me, it would take me a good hour to clean my ass and make sure that I was not dirty. As you can imagine, I ended up making the cleaning of my ass only for special occassions due to pure logistics. I wonder, in reality, how much this really was just an excuse.

Then it was the fear of pain. I used to feel that being fucked just hurted. I could not get relaxed easily when being fucked, I would totally dread that initial ‘getting it in’. Only somebody I really trusted could do it. I could top easily without concerns in any casual sex situation, but being fucked was a total different matter.

There was also a last element that would put me off from being fucked and that was fear of disease. I am from a generation in which HIV still could kill you. I had safe sex with all my partners, the idea of having somebody who may decide to take the condom off while  fucking me used to terrify me. 

In reality, being fucked just made me feel really vulnerable and I did not like it.


Being in long term relationships I could sometimes get a glimpse of the joys of being a bottom. Being held by somebody I totally trusted was key. There was also finding a comfortable relaxed position. With one of my partners we used to go regularly to the local gay sauna and take over the sling room. The sling was the most awesome way to be relaxed while being fucked. There I was suspended in the air, totally exposed, held in this leather nest which felt both cosy and hot.  For me it created an element of fun, hornyness and somehow this made me feel really relaxed. It was there where I felt the potential ecstasy of being a bottom. In there I experienced being held, relaxed, with good access to my dick to wank and with a beautiful partner starting to unlock the joys that my bum could give me.


Since I started deepening my tantric journey I found myself questioning some of my life choices: struggling being a bottom was one of them.

Tantra taught me about the importance of surrendering. I used to think that surrendering meant that you are a loser, that you can not fight for what you want, that you are weak. As I considered myself mostly a ‘top’ surrendering had no place in my life. 

However I was missing that surrendering is more aligned with openness, with receptivity, with the ability to welcome new things with love and kindness. Surrendering offers a quality to fully appreciate new emotions. Surrendering can give you the ability to welcome the range of greys and to move away from just black and white. This is the mindful surrender that tantra was offering.


The real change for me happenned when through a new partner who had mostly been a bottom, I sensed that he had a need for a change. He used to be challenged by the idea of topping. I was in love with this man and as a partner I felt also a real need and duty to support him in this journey. What I did not realise is that I was also setting off in a journey myself.

In sex we would often do a role reversal. I would offer my ass (initially secretly being a bit resentful and wanting it to pass soon) but at the same time totally committed and in love wanting for him to build up his confidence.

Over the months he certainly built his confidence as a top, and I found myself embracing and loving being a bottom. 

Alongside that process, tantra kept opening new doors about my being. I was also removing layers of shame and anger. I kept opening my body to new forms of touch, surrendering to the experiences. The more I surrendered the more fulfilled I would feel. This is when I realised that maybe the ass had the key to that ‘receptivity’. The ass had a yin quality to create a space for new forms of pleasure and change, in contrast with the yang ‘pushy’quality of the energy in my cock. 

I found a real liberation being a bottom. I love it and I realise that I feel so much more complete as a man. I realised how much my attitude towards being a bottom held really unhelpful ideas around masculinity, being gay, power and desire. I realised how much I had connected being a bottom with a sense of being less.

Embracing my ass as an amazing vehicle for pleasure has been revolutionary. I read this lovely paragraph in a great book called The Paradox of Porn:

‘One of the great personal challenges for any mature adult is to cultivate your own personal pleasures free of the pressure to conform to someone else’s standards of behaviour, fantasies, expectations or preferences. The payoff can be measured in self- acceptance and sexual satisfaction’.

‘There is a surrender of what we think masculinity ough to be when we take a man’s dick into us’

I could not agree more.


The journey that I have described here links very much with two of my previous posts about surrendering and identifying myself as a top. Said that, I also have good friends that deeply identify themselves as a bottom, or that only would bottom in sex.

I have no judgement about what one decides to do in bed. We all have our likes and dislikes and there is nothing wrong with that!. Said that I would always suggest to healthily question why is that the case: Why would you choose to do things in that particular way?, did you actually choose to be that way or did you feel pushed by the circumstances?, is there anything in you that wants to explore further?, if that is the case, what may be stopping you?.


  1. Right on bud. I delight in being a 50-50 guy with 50-50 guys. We each are linear and circular in turn and give and receive with joy. Namaste


  2. I can understand many things here. That we see our ass as something dirty has to do with our education to cleanliness. On the one hand you get praised by your parents when you go to the potty and on the other hand they cry out when you reach into your own dirt. This is how we learn that excrements are something disgusting and this haunts us for a whole life.

    My first partnership when I was 18 broke up because his ass wasn’t absolutely clinically clean once. I was so shocked that I was completely blocked by it and I couldn’t talk about it. From today’s perspective absolutely crazy.

    For sure Tantra helped me to overcome blockages. I can remember a workshop about rose bud massage. I had less problems with massaging another man than with him doing the same for me. And I had to realize that neither I nor he found it unpleasant. But the important thing was that we overcame ourselves. Tantra has changed my view on many taboos.


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