“My God, you’re so manly…”

“You look so straight…”

Upon hearing these intended compliments, I respond with a faint smile on my face which somehow gives the impression of me blushing, and they preen, touching my face with adoration. But in reality, I am cringing on the inside. It would seem that in the world of the gays, there is an acceptability that comes with being a masculine bottom. I can understand this, especially when conceptualized in a country like Nigeria. In fact, there was a time I wore that compliment like a badge of honour – until Nigerian men fucked my mind over, until I understand just how fetishized I’d become. It’d be so bad that the whole conversation skirted past on my personality or wanting to get to know me, and rather focused on my manliness; a fascination that appeared to heighten during the actual sexual activity.

On the other hand, I have seen the look of disappointment on the faces of other Bottoms when they realize that I am also Bottom. I smile sadly, because I have tried to be versatile a few times, and it just wasn’t my thing.

I have been told many times that I look too straight. As much as it gladdened my heart to hear such praise, eventually as I matured, it began to take its toll on me. I begin to see just how this is a problem for me. I believe the biggest downer was with my last relationship. To be honest, I knew, but because I thought I saw potential, I overlooked the red signs. He’d keep going on and on about how masculine I am; one time, I could see the joy and pleasure on his face when I could comfortably converse with his heterosexual friends and neighbours. I soon began to feel like a trophy boyfriend. It didn’t matter that he professed love; I could see that he was only in love with the idea of me.

Until he got the shocker of his life when he realized just how emotional and romantically needy I was. Lol. That kind of emotional dependency didn’t fit in with his idea of what a masculine boyfriend should be.

Sometimes, I wish I had a little femme in me. I think I do, but most times, it is misconstrued as an ajebo trait. Sometimes, I wish I had something that hinted at my queerness, but I think I must be pretty stiff because it isn’t working one bit. Don’t even ask about my fashion style, lol. I’m not much of a fashion person as naturally expected of a gay man (gross misconception, I’m sure we can all agree on), but I do alright, just not that playful with colours and such.

It’s a lonely life being a masculine bottom; at least for me, it’s been. And I do not understand the logic behind it. I have dated two somewhat effeminate Tops, and I won’t lie, one of them knew how to lay the pipe down good. I simply wish someone would look at me, and not shoot off with how impressed they are at my masculinity; instead, they’d look past that into the kind of person I am.

I don’t know what this is. A cry for help perhaps, or just me wanting to rant about my predicament, which I’m sure a few folks are rolling their eyes at. But this is a legit problem for me. I don’t want to be alone. I’m afraid of being alone. My privilege is now my curse. Because deep inside this straight-looking, seemingly-hard man, is a scared little boy begging and hoping to find love.

Written by Yusuf

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  1. Williams 3:16
    February 20, 10:41 Reply

    Come and marry me! (Just kidding (not really))

    I’m really sorry about how you feel. It’s sad that that folks can’t really look past the looks. Sure it’s what we see first but common, that alone can’t sustain any meaningful ship!

  2. Michael
    February 20, 11:11 Reply

    I can say that I related to this in some way. People have said similar things to me about my masculinity. Someone recently told me that I force my femininity (lol) after he referenced my masculine body.

    I think you have to embrace your masculinity and hopefully, someone someday will see through this and recognize the emotionally needy boy inside.

  3. Lex
    February 20, 11:44 Reply

    What type of coincidence is this😅? Same name; same predicament.

    Well, back to the post. I think it is a societal/heteronormative construct that is being transposed into the queer culture. It is a really a sad stuff that I have also learnt to live with also. There was even a time that I decided that I would intentionally act feminine just to latently communicate that I play the bottom role. It was not just my thing. With time – as I hope too – you would meet someone that perfectly aligns.

    • TiionJ
      March 01, 05:42 Reply

      het Lex….i will be jus happy to connect with you. I have been craving a masculine manly bottom to no avail. you may wish to inbox me.

      • Lex
        March 01, 08:19 Reply

        Hey TiionJ. Being in touch is not an issue but this your ‘craving’ ehn.

        Anyways, you may ask PP to share my email address with you or you may share yours. Cheers!

        • TiionJ
          March 02, 13:20 Reply

          Lex, i am not sure how hectic it may be going through admin, for obvious reasons of security consciousness…in any case, i take a risk…you may want to reach out to me at cheers

  4. Ugo
    February 20, 12:12 Reply

    I can only imagine his plight. I have heard someone said to his friend who came out to him “you don’t act it”, and further went ahead to use Bobrisky as an example of what he is not. Another person told his friend who came out to him “and you’re this intelligent even with two degrees. It’s not true.” When we see things the way it is rather than the way it should be then, we will have so much peace.
    To flatten the experiences of people is to make them to be untrue.
    Stereotype gives wrong identity to an individual or community, and that wrong or false identity will blindfold another from seeing the human in a person, and on the other hand, deprive the joy, satisfaction and potential of being your truest self.
    And for the subject in this post, you don’t need to be caged or you bottle up your expression because you look masculine. Don’t try to pretend, be your truest self, act and say what will make you feel happy. If you are masculine to the world but soft to your man without pretending, please do it. There is someone out there who will love you, the real you as you are.

  5. Lopez
    February 20, 14:02 Reply

    What a read. All these results from heteronormativity. As an effeminate top, people ( I mean community members) have looked me in the eye and asked how am I top. I have dated someone who is very masculine and will tell people, including in my presence, that I’m the bottom in the relationship. For me, as long as the sex is good dude, can say whatever he wants. Yusuf, where you get this wrong was saying your privilege was your curse. There was no privelege in being whatever. I know it’s a difficult situation you’re in, but understand you’re not alone. Find your support group, I mean people like you. You’ll be fine.

  6. Bamidele
    February 20, 17:51 Reply

    Dear Yusuf,
    Wow I can relate from another perspectives: I have been tagged too intelligent to be a bottom, since I can carry out intelligible conversation in different fields of life, beyond sex, and I am terrible at gossiping and in vague discussions.

    I would have say “sorry for your predicament” but you are not facing any, neither are you cursed. You seem to derive your mood (happiness/sadness) from the way people describe you. I advice you to reduce such feelings. Indeed, as humans–social animals–it is normal to tune your mood in accordance with how people regard you. However, it is important for yourto be at the centre of your world. Be aware that that stereotyping is not limited to Nigeria. It is a worldwide thing. The world constructs and reconstruct people. You are the one that needs to be strong and look beyond what people feels. I am sure you will find someone who appreciates your soul, rather than fetishes your body. But until then, you need to strengthen yourself from within.

  7. Çhãmps
    February 20, 18:21 Reply

    Omo gimme ur email nah let’s plan on hw to get married cuz u have already stolen mah heart ❤️
    Cuz mah love for masculine dudes is not frm dis planet🙈🙈
    Nd de dude being a bottom is definitely an icing on the cake 😋😋😋

    • Yusuf
      February 20, 21:35 Reply

      LMAO 😂 bruh!!! Can’t post it on here. Maybe if you’re serious, you could ask Pink panther to give it to you. Heads up though…. I’m a handful.

      • Çhãmps
        February 27, 23:03 Reply

        Omo ahv tried getting ur email buh getting it is proving to be an herculean task 😞😞😭
        Buh u can always message me here👉👉
        I know posting mah email here is risky buh wants to show u dat I will go to any extend in marrying you 😉😉😘🙈🙈😂

  8. Yusuf
    February 20, 21:31 Reply

    Gee! Guys I don’t know what to say. Honestly, I expected some form of backlash considering most wouldn’t see this as an issue. Your responses have been like light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks guys, and best believe I’ll be taking your advice. Much appreciated.

    • Sayyed
      February 22, 13:44 Reply

      Hello Yusuf pls holla me

  9. Rayne
    February 21, 02:59 Reply

    I’m an effeminate bottom. Reading this, I’m surprised Masc bottoms also cry. So they also have their own problems and here I was bitterly hating them for enjoying the so-called straight privilege.

    Now do not get me wrong, I have been let down by both Masc tops and bottoms that anything Masc4Masc irritates my spirit.

    “Ahh you are too feminine, tone it down a little bit”
    “Nobody wants to be with a wannabe woman”
    “You want to grow a vagina so bad, not my spec”

    What have I not heard from these bunch of Masculine cowards?

    So it’s really pleasing to read this perspective of transgressions from a Masc bottom. Atleast I can relate to your pains. – You are being boxed for looking too masculine and I am getting burnt for being too feminine.

    Meanwhile, to all these Masc guys that feel like they are superior just because of the peanut sized validations dey get for looking straight, until you folks walk in our shoe for a day, remain the cursed miserable cowards that you’ll are.

    • Yusuf
      February 21, 15:56 Reply

      I can somewhat understand the struggle of being considered too effeminate. I’ve a dear friend whom from first glance you can tell he’s not so straight 😀. Most people rather not deal with him in public but would go crazy over him in private. I find it particularly annoying cos most times, he’d offer understanding to their stance and make excuses for their actions. It’s more saddening especially when he puts up a brave front when I know it’s gotta hurt inside.

  10. Miles
    February 21, 16:39 Reply

    Hey Yusuf
    I’d really like to be friends with you. Can I get your email from Pink panther?

  11. Uzor
    February 22, 20:44 Reply

    Not all these people trying to contact Yusuf because of the fetishisation of the masc-bottom spec. The one thing Yusuf is crying about in this article. Tsk Tsk

  12. TiionJ
    March 02, 13:30 Reply

    such a dilemma in life! The poor want to be rich, while the rich want to do away with some of the pressures wealth brought on them; black covet whites, whites crave the features of black; those in Nigeria want to flee abroad, those abroad are homesick; those in villages detest living there, urban dwellers long for the serenity in villages, fem bottoms like to be masculine, mask bottoms feel being fem would have helped; on and on we go ….seriously? I think the secret to being happy lies in being content with whatever you have and seeking to be the best you can make out of it!

  13. Sami
    March 06, 15:50 Reply

    Felt like I was reading my story told by someone else.

    Dear Yusuf, you’re not alone.

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