Who's the Man? How Being Versatile in Bed Is a Way of Life

Rich Juzwiak
Original Article:  bit.ly/1Kf7Qzx

A few weekends ago, a straight male friend and I were discussing the straight world’s squeamishness about gay sex. I told him something I find myself saying a lot these days: hearing about sex that differs from the kind you have shouldn’t be a traumatic experience and furthermore, such information is not a threat to your sexuality (a generation of gay guys who grew up watching depictions of sex through the hetero-male gaze of Cinemax can confirm this).

He was more or less on board. But he did express something like disdain for gay guys "who talk about gay sex like it’s the best sex in the world—as though they are superlative!"

I understand why that’s annoying (as expressions of superiority tend to be). I think everyone should think that he or she is having the absolute best sex possible. And yet, I am one of those people my friend was decrying. Belief in the implicit supremacy of man-on-man sex is the closest thing I have to faith.

The reason I believe this is simple: versatility.

Gay sexual roles are roughly divided into three categories, specifically pertaining to anal sex: tops (those who do the fucking or, speaking clinically, provide "insertive anal intercourse"), bottoms (those who get fucked or experience "receptive anal intercourse"), and versatiles (those who do both).

Every study I’ve read that asks men who sleep with men to self-label their role finds that the majority of respondents identify as versatile. This has also been true in my personal experience. It is, in my opinion, the way to be. It is the way to take advantage of the breadth of pleasure that you are offered as a man who sleeps with men.

Versatility, as the term is used here, is what sets gay sex apart from the rest of the world. We can debate differences and similarities between heteros and queers until all of us are wiped off the planet, but the objective fact is that men who sleep with me are the only kind of lovers who can both genitally penetrate and be penetrated without outside assistance like non-erogenous body parts (fingers, toes), sex toys, or a third partner. Variable mutual pleasure is our gift. That is our X-Men power.

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