co-rainbow blogger, kawadjan inspired this post. the inspiration was his, the ranting is mine alone.
after being off gym for months - with my sudden decision to come back home - i was just getting into to the groove of things with my new ff membership. one day, months ago - i was suppressing a groan of pain in the steam room after a particularly rough work-out. (thanks to my trainer who thinks he is clint eastwood to my hilary swank, recreating scenes from million dollar baby everytime we see each other.) a muscled guy suddenly entered and sat in front of me. his short wet towel hitched up as he sat and his considerable family jewels flopped to the tiled seat. for my viewing pleasure? i'm not sure, until....
"are you bottom or top?" he asked.
"i am asking if you are bottom or top."
"so what are you?"
"top -" i said tentatively not even sure why am i engaging in this conversation, "mostly." - i muttered as an after thought.
"i'm top, too. too bad."
"yeah - too bad." i stood up, left the steam room, showered and dressed in record time and left the gym like it was on fire; chased out by the sheer top-ness of the guy who steamily revealed too much.
don't get me wrong. risqué behaviour can be hot. my prudence in this situation was caused neither by the guilty sensation of being in such a situation when i am in a relationship nor because my trainer from hell made sure that blood will be pumping all over my body but not to my nether regions.
there's something quite off-putting with a question that (1) asks me to reveal information that likewise i'd prefer to be discovered in an intimate situation and (2) acts as a criteria whether further interaction is merited. gay or not, i'd like to think that people will see me as a person.
mostly, i think i felt degraded by the thought of being reduced to either being a turgid appendage or a welcoming orifice.
but then again, one of my wise friends, m, told me once that penetration is domination. i suppose the question begged to ascertain one's dominance over the other. who is alpha male. which is typical animal behaviour in the face of imminent copulation.
in my experience, there's a right place and time and person for any sexual role playing. for a long time i considered myself exclusively top. that is, until i met somebody i wanted to bottom for. and it was not for the cliché that 'i loved him so much i allowed him to pop my cherry' (though i don't see anything wrong with that). frankly, i can't even think of a reason why it was with this particular guy i decided to try it out. so there.
and here's a curved ball, in a number of affairs i had with men who consider themselves 'straight', i'm still quite surprised how i find them quite willing to offer their ass and get-off quite intensely being bottoms.
before i digress hopelessly my point is really this: i always believed that queer culture is all about not putting people in limiting taxonomy. i'd like to believe that gay culture celebrates diversity.
you just have to look at gay social network sites to see how diverse: SA, SL, effem, gym fit, chub, not to mention age, class and race. however, the qualifications that usually accompany these descriptions are - for a lack of a better term - less than celebratory. it pains me that i observe how more and more classifications that function as 'other-ing', meant to define them from us, and ultimately discriminate emerge and gain prominence within the community.
sure, everybody is entitled to his own sexual tastes and preference, but somehow i sense that we have gone beyond asserting our rights and coming quite close to prevalent trampling on the rights of others. others who are gay, too. somehow i suspect that these descriptions lead us to fall into the trap of patriarchal hierarchy and define who's top and bottom beyond the sexual act.
i'll jump the gun and be the first one to acknowledge that: 'for heaven's sake boy, so somebody tried to make a move on you in a not-so-original fashion, must you drag this out to a political discourse?"
as my friend a will put it, "pull yourself towards yourself!"
maybe i insist on making things complicated.
still, one question remains unanswered, in this increasingly fragmented world, within our own gay community,
does anybody have to be on top?