The Stigma of Being Labeled a Bottom
As I sat at the kitchen table listening to my grandmother and her friend Melinda discussing a neighbor’s jail house sexual encounter, my young preteen mouth blurted out “I’m confused, so why is he not gay?”
See after a lengthy prison bid, Steve had been out of jail for a couple of weeks and during a drunken conversation with Melinda’s brother, Steve confessed to having sex with another inmate. But according to Steve “I got some head and f–ked the dude. I didn’t get f–ked.”
So as Melinda was relaying the story back to my grandmother, they were both in agreement… Now that Steve was a free man and back with his girlfriend, his manhood was still intact because he did not get penetrated. I blurted out “I’m confused, so why is he not gay?”
As my grandmother explained to me, “Steve was the one acting as the male and the other man getting screwed was the female, so therefore Steve was not funny. If Steve had been the one getting screwed, he would then be a punk.”
The message and perception was clear when it came to homosexual sex…F–king a man is okay, getting F–ked by a man is not okay. Top good – Bottom bad.
Some masculine homosexual and bisexual men have absorbed and re-enforced this negative idea especially in the black homosexual community.
I have witnessed and heard the term “bottom” being hurled at another gay man as an insult and to make him feel less than. I have heard the reply “I don’t get f–ked” and “I aint letting no man f–k me” being used with a tone of nasty disgust.
Why do some put bottom men lesser on the totem pole of gay culture than top men? I find with some there is a coveted “top” badge that is worn as if to say…”I may be gay but at least I am not a bottom”.
Some heterosexual men demean and degrade women and you have some homosexual and bisexual men that mirror their actions by demeaning and degrading bottom men.
Gay culture and society in many ways is no different than general society as a whole. Gay people are still people of course and many of us are bigoted, racists, jerks, bullies and assholes. Some insecure mean people, go out of our way to judge and tear others down to build themselves up and many gay people or no different.
We all know that male sexual assault and rape is a problem in our jail and prison institutions. Of course this is very traumatizing to one having his “manhood” taken away and being made the subservient “bitch” or “boy”.
Unfortunately this has been and currently is a part of our world history and I feel this plays a big part into why some negativity and stigma focuses on a male acting in a “bottom” position. As if to say “what man would willingly be emasculated and voluntarily have his manhood took?”
Let me digress for a minute… I remember looking at porn movies starring Bobby Blake years ago. I remember how he was rough with the guys he would penetrate and how he would call them “bitches” and “punks” as he was performing. Now I know rough sex can be hot at times but I remember thinking “why would anyone find it sexy and appealing to be called a bitch or a punk while Being f–ked?” I used to wonder did anyone else think this was degrading and a turn off besides me…but anyway…
I am not naive as to think the negative stigma of being a bottom in black gay male culture will completely go away. I know we can’t all live in peace and homosexual harmony but when it comes to demeaning and attempting to shame someone due to a sexual position or preference…I think that is just lame. I personally don’t think no masculine man that is secure with himself would do this. I mean why would you insult and possibly sabotage getting a good piece of ass? LOL
When it comes to gay anal intercourse, we have tops, bottoms and the ones in between who are versatile. Let’s be real…Somebody is getting f–ked. No one is less then or better than the other…we all are equal in the bedroom. Bottom men are our brothers too. Wake up people.
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