Thursday, October 16, 2008

sexual politics on top, gays on the side

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.

"excuse me?"

"i am asking if you are bottom or top."

"oh."

"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?

20 comments:

Luis Batchoy said...

marxist ba? Buti na lang hind vulgar marxism...hehehe
It is not the labeling I guess
It's the desire to automate sexual contact. Parang namimili ka lang ng gadget. Meron specifications.
Whatever happened to plain old 'getting to know you's?' Nainspire ako...gagawa din ako yata ng blog post...ibang atake... not top or bottom ang issue...check mo ha....hehehehe. Pero in fairness, sometimes, it does help, pero wag naman sana ma reduce tayong parang libro sa library na naka dewey decimal classification sa card catalog...oh well... its human nature perhaps

Luis Batchoy said...

nagawa ko na ang bagong entry, at tungkol pa rin pala sa top and bottom...somehow...hekhekhek

kawadjan said...

"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." -- amen!

ay winner. ang lalim ng pagka-explpore ng topic. talagang tinaas ng lola sa ibang level. :-)

Gibo. said...

bravo!

well said. ang sharp ng analysis.

yun lang.

id said...

this issue on who's top or bottom... it does exist across all genders, doesn't it? or do we just really tend to be more conscious of it, because it's too close to home?

and this drama with diversity, which we forced to end last night, do you think there can ever be a diversity that's void of inequality?

Mugen said...

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.

exactly. that's why I only submit myself to someone who can at least put up an impression that he can stand up to me.

highly analytical ang blog mo ah.

kiel said...

@ luis - 'desire to automate sexual contact' - di sa vibrator o blow up doll na lang dapat? haha. nasan na ang post mo? nakita ko lang yung tungkol sa babuy.

@ kawadjan - buti naman at nagustihan mo dahil ang post mo ang nag-inspire ng rant na ito. 'itinaas ng lola sa ibang level' - ibig bang sabihin nun top na ako? hahahaha.

@ gibo - talaga? mas sharp pa kay mametch?!

@ id - i-blog mo iyang diversity vs. inequality dillema ng masagot ko ng maayos. give me some time to marinate the thought...

@joms - ako, i can stand up to you. chos! may analytical rant pala. gusto ko yan. x-link na nga tayo!

Mr. Scheez said...

Mala Sex and the City. Pinapanood ko ngayon ang Second Season. I love the show. Lalang =)

mrs.j said...

wla akong masabi...

very well said ms. canada..
hehe

i couldnt agree more :P

p.s asan na si bong?

Ate Sienna said...

so talagang within the gay community, meron pa ring alpha war? does it really mean na pagbottom ka, mas submissive ka? akala ko kasi vice-versa ang roles ng couple sa sexual positions eh, depende lang sa mood.

Luis Batchoy said...

check older posts andun lang yun

kiel said...

@mr scheez - halata ba ang pagkarir ko na maging carrie ng rainbow bloggers? hahaha.

@mrs. j - ms. canada?! akala ko ms. venezuela becaus ei was born in valenzuela...

@ate sienna - akala ko rin nga. pero habang tumatagal ako sa buhay bading , i realise there's more to it than meets the brown eye.

@luis - i will. thanks!

PROSETITUTE said...

honestly, the issue on being top or bottom still bothers me. idk. makes me only think that the most essential part of being in a bi/gay relationship wtvr is uh sex, more than the relationship itself and all.

i mean, gay blogs are sprouting everywhere--at an unimaginable speed-- promoting uh gayness, or biness. idk.

wait, i must be joking. this is the philippines, and the people here are sex-minded. lol. :P

kiel said...

@prosetitute - bothered talaga?! in my experience, it's not just the philippines. everywhere i go - sex rules. hahaha

PROSETITUTE said...

@KIEL. ye, it bothers me that the politics of being top or bottom (is the other one 'versa' thing?) has been the talk of the town. cliched, it may seem, its true.

well, generalization sucks.

wanderingcommuter said...

i think this world should start understanding the diversity of sexuality. but on the other hand, it should not be limited among labels. it will always depend on the people, individually.
labels do not really define who we really are...

atleast, for me.

*pinaisip mo ako bigla... sharp points, i can't avoid being cut!

yoshke said...

^^^ not just the diversity but also the fluidity of sexuality.

kaya lang, we always ask for openmindedness from non-gay people but the truth is, WITHIN the gay community, we also tend to discriminate. That's just sad.

"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."

well said.

line of flight said...

the question of top/bottom implicates collective habit, perception and memory (perfect for historical-materialistic analysis, di ba?)

going to the gym serves the same need as perceiving people in terms of "top" and "bottom". the domination, in this situation, preceded the desire to go to the gym. it apparently just wasn't recognized until an unclothed man inquired about making you intelligible to his own dominated-desire.

kiel said...

ang lalim... teka, namnamin ko muna. naligaw na ako sa [going to the gym serves the same need as perceiving people in terms of "top" and "bottom".]...

line of flight said...

while many people believe that going to the gym is for health reasons, if one examines the range of activities that support health and distinguish the gym from those, we see that the gym uses limiting/limited repetitive motion to discipline the body to "look good" (and conform to a particular aesthetic sensibility.)

what kind of aesthetic sensibility derives from limited/limiting repetitive motion? (Or, in other words, what material conditions must exist and support disciplining the body through repetitive motion? The only material produced in going to the gym is an image (your labor is going into supporting a particular aesthetic sensibility based yet produces nothing outside of that itself). This is different than creating a body based upon moving goods from shore to warehouse, farming, etc., although they are all limiting, repetitive motions. The difference, of course, being, the de-linking of that movement from the production of something other than an image.

That aesthetic sensibility is one based upon external imagery reducing everything to a binary surface. The image becomes the consumable itself.

The matrix involving top/bottom is one based upon external imagery reducing everything to a binary surface.

The desire which implicates this particular type of reduction and flattening implicate similar material conditions and repress desire (and produce desires desire for its own repression) in similar ways.

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