Bradley Birkholz feels liberated as a side and wants you to banish the ‘butthole binary’ with him.
In today’s world, it still feels like there are binaries everywhere.
And in the gay male community, no binary is so worshipped as the distinction between the anal sex loving – tops and bottoms.
Like many young gay guys, when I first came out, I wondered where I fit into the ‘anal sex spectrum.’ Butt sex seemed glamorous, easy and enticing. But that’s probably because the only way I saw this magical act was through gay porn.
I was told that the only way to lose your gay virginity was through penetrating or being penetrated.
Indeed, according to some, I had to do both!
So freshly out of the closet, I was eager to lose my butthole v-card. But as many fresh faces into the world of sex have to learn the hard way, anal sex wasn’t as fun or simplistic as it had appeared on Pornhub. I learned it could be painful, awkward, and messy.
When you’re a sexually active gay man, there’s an expectation that you (and every other gay guy) must enjoy and have loads of anal sex. Going into encounters, most guys just sort of expect anal sex to happen.
And yet every time I get asked which position I prefer, I find that saying “I’m versatile” just doesn’t cut it.
After all, the truth is, I’ve never much liked anal sex.
But, whilst exploring my sexuality, I began discovering a world of sex far beyond the realm of butt sex. And it turns out, I wasn’t alone in seeing non-penetrative intercourse as sex – and I actually prefer it.
I found out from a sex-positive blog that these individuals are called Sides. These men either don’t have anal sex at all or are just not bothered by it. I immediately resonated with the latter.
Forget Top or Bottom. I’m a liberated Side.
If you haven’t already decided for yourself whether you’re active or passive in the bedroom, somebody has probably decided it for you. Popular opinion will have you believe that if you’re effeminate, you’re a Bottom, and if you’re masculine, you’re a Top.
But beyond the world of shallow stereotyping and simplistic views of a complex, beautiful sexuality exists those like me – the Sides. And of course, all of those who don’t conform to the stereotypes.
For me, it was like all of a sudden, the anxiety of whether or not you’re compatible with that cute boy from the club isn’t relevant anymore. When you’re a Side, you get to have fun no matter what.
And I’m not shaming butthole sex. If you love it, great.
But my message is that you don’t need to feel pressured into conforming to the expectations of gay sex fed to us through porn and popularised media.
Our world today is still very hostile towards LGBTI sex education, which is why I write and share my stories about it all the time. So why not share your side stories in the comments too.
Come banish the butthole binary with me.