Again, The Question About Whether Gay Men Have A Problem With Gender Roles

Again, The Question About Whether Gay Men Have A Problem With Gender Roles

Set aside Marriage and Religion, and you’ll have the issue of Labels coming up a close third as a source of contention here on Kito Diaries. Lol. Some gay men are for labels. Some aren’t.

Since the arrival of online dating, many more gay men tend even more to reduce the awe-inspiring limitlessness of queer sexuality to a shopping list of check boxes. Those roles, often broadcast for convenience sake — top, bottom, dom, sub, etc. —, then have a way of coming back around to define more than a primary sexual preference. And that’s when things get weird, because wasn’t the whole idea to shatter gender roles in the first place?

A Reddit thread called I’m a ‘masc, dom, top’ who needs to be held recently called attention to this issue. It begins:

‘This is a bit of a ridiculous confession but maybe others can relate to this issue of mine. The assumption is usually that gay men are more in touch with their feelings and are more relaxed about expressing their emotions because for whatever reasons. I’ve never felt that kind of emotional fluidity or expressivity that some gay men do seem to have in abundance. And you know what? It makes them seem more alive. I’ve always been typically closed and conservative about showing my emotions and I really feel it has stunted me as a man and as a lover.

‘But here’s the catch: the gay guys I find myself getting with love it. I find they interpret my stoicism as a sign of manly strength and self-discipline. To some point I guess it is, and there are no shortage of incidents where having a cool, level head will pay off big time. When we cuddle I am always big spoon and I imagine they feel like they’re behind a stone fort, safe and protected and loved. Sometimes I wish I could be more emotionally vulnerable and open to enjoy being on the receiving end of those kinds of moments.

‘I imagine my predicament is even more prevalent for heterosexual men. Gay relationships appear to have a lot more flexibility as to what kinds of roles are expected from each member. Regardless, I feel that my role in most of the intimate encounters I have is to be a source of protection and courage whenever it is called for, while my partner typically assumes a more receptive role. I wish I could have it both ways and that we could both be the protector and the receiver of protection and so forth, but it rarely if ever works out that way.

‘So, does anyone else feel like they’re emotionally repressed, a big spoon crying out to be little spooned?’

Some commenters offered logistical advice:

“Ask to be the little spoon? Or use your manly stoic persona to your advantage and be like “No! You listen here, I’m the fucking little spoon this time. Am I understood?”

While others shared their own perspective, bringing up how physical size can also feel limiting during intimate encounters:

“I’m in the opposite situation where you are in. I’m 5’5, always the smaller guy, always assumed to bend over and receive pounding (not that I’m complaining, but I wanna do some pounding too), always assumed to be submissive, the little spoon, the “boy”, the less “masc” guy, etc. It’s fun to be the “little” guy and the “receptive” one, but I also wanna hold my “big boy”, let them know I wanna top too.”

At the end of the day, it seems that all anyone wants is to give and receive love in all its varied forms — to create and hold space to nurture, heal, experience ecstasy and feel connection.

So what is it we think we have to prove to ourselves?

Another commenter wrote:

“Getting too into the top/bottom roles is very limiting. It’s just an activity you do in bed. It has nothing to do what you need emotionally…And there’s been many a guy who’s topped me and fell into my arms and needed to be held a while after.”

Do you feel cornered by how others perceive you sexually or even by your own preferences? Sound off in the comments…

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  1. pete
    August 09, 08:15 Reply

    Maybe when I was younger. Now, I go with what makes me happy.

  2. ambivalentone
    August 09, 08:31 Reply

    looool. That 5’5″ uncle sounds whiny.
    Nope. I don’t feel cornered…except that one time someone told me “Dude, u shud be Top”. Prolly cos I wasn’t gonna play along with all dem sex chats (which really disgusts me btw. Have sex not make a hot topic outta it)

    • #Chestnut
      August 09, 09:01 Reply

      “5’5″…d guy small sha o; even for a woman’s height, 5’5 is not tall…

  3. james bruno
    August 09, 10:11 Reply

    i can totally relate to this.

    sometime i want to hold my man, be a rock for him, make him feel safe in my arms. other times, i want to be held, lay my head on his chest and feel like everything is right with the world with his arms around me. if i play a part too many times, i tend to feel cornered and want to express the other side of me.

    i’ve learn to recognise that not everyone wants the same thing as me so i just go with whatever the other party seems to want. when i’m in a relationship though, i definitely would be happier playing both sides.

    same goes with sex roles.

  4. KryxxX
    August 09, 11:20 Reply

    The height/body image ish is a bitch nd I totally relate!!

    Ppl see u for the first time and start to assume nd assign stuffs to you in their head cos of what they see! Sometimes when they realize u r not what they envisioned, they flee.

    Someone actually told me my 6.4 height/frame was a waste on someone who was @ d receiving end in d bedroom. Another told me I should add more “male swagger” to my steps nd quit the straight or catwalk **Rolls eyes from A.Y.A to Abaji**! Seriously?! R u for real! Well, I actually tried it and felt like I was living a lie! I ditched it faster than Kim K’s failed marriage! I just can’t deal! Am even looking for more height nd catwalk tutorials from RuPaul! Nansense!

    We all need to be more openminded in d gaybourhood. We ask the same of d wider society, we should b too nd stop putting ppl in boxes.

  5. Max
    August 09, 12:59 Reply

    I feel his sentiments… Sometimes I wanna give it… I wanna go all crazy on you.. But sometimes I wanna relax in your arm and be held like a Lil boy. 🙂

  6. keljohn
    August 09, 22:43 Reply

    Its only natural to want to give and den receive be it emotionally or otherwise… shows how REAl u r..but I tend to always want to comfort encourage cuddle odas it makes me happy… has to do with ur person nt ur physical attributes….

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