Adele’s Set Fire To The Rain is playing when it hits me: that to be queer is to live in silence, to carry trauma and shame all your life. That however doesn’t have to be so or continue to happen. At some point, we should have to put a stop to the violence and injustice that characterizes our lives, and I cannot think of a better time. At some point in our lives as queer people, we start to feel those sexual and romantic feelings that occur naturally to us, even though those on Mount Heteromanjaro think otherwise. For many of them, we ‘learnt’ queerness after attending the annual Sexuality Selection Festival. At the event, the young ones will all gather round a fire and take turns throwing a chunk of their hair into the fire, and when the smoke comes out in seven different colours, you have chosen a life of harassment, discrimination, rape, anal warts, yeast infection, fasting, douching and even death. Children whose smoke turns brown or gray are immediately taken away from the forest and brought to the camp of heterosexuality, where they are taught to hate and are equipped with everything they need to be violent to the multi-colour smoke people. This is done immediately, because one more second with the multi-colour smoke people will turn them gay, and ain’t nobody got time for that.

But I digress.

Sex generally is a taboo especially in the African society. History would suggest that it was different many years ago, until the white men invaded the continent. The Africa of now is a very different Africa. It’s the kind of society where sex and everything about sex is shrouded in secrecy. It’s the Africa where our penises and vaginas are talked about with euphemisms because only the adults who are sitting down and seeing things the youth standing cannot see are allowed to say “penis” and “vagina”. It’s the Africa where to talk about sex boldly and positively is to be radical. But it shouldn’t be seen as sexual liberation because sex and the feeling of it are natural to us. We do not need to be liberated from it the way one is liberated from colonialism or white supremacy.

Sex is not bad. It should be talked about, encouraged, CONSENSUAL and NOT political.

But what happens when sex for us queer people is viewed through heterosexual lens? You’ll find out as you read further.

Sex occurs and is enjoyed differently. Some queer people enjoy being penetrated (Bottoming), and some others love to penetrate (Topping). Some others love to do both, and thus are playing the sex role of Versatile. And another group would do every other sexual thing but penetrate or be penetrated; this is what it means to play Side. These terms are descriptors of sexual groupings used in the 1950s in the gay leather culture and BDSM culture of the 1960s. These terms (especially top-bottom) usually described sexual positions and power relationships, where the man who plays top is seen as the sexual aggressor, forceful and dominant, while the person who plays bottom is the submissive partner, who is being sexually ‘punished’ by the person playing top. While these terms are commonly used among queer men, it is also used by queer women to describe their sexual dynamics as well. The terms and their meanings remain the same even among queer women.

However, a big problem exists where many queer people forget that these are actions. They’re feelings we develop for sex, which can even change with age, time, person, mood or even experience. Sure, some queer people adopt the “strict top/bottom” status, and they may claim it is what works for them; I’d say they will only know this after they interrogate why they have chosen this for themselves. Is it because their bodies are unable to perform the other sexual role? Is this the only way they’re able to gain sexual satisfaction? Or is this how they cope with the heteronormativity? To play top, bottom, vers or side is to assume a position (pun unintended…or maybe it’s intended). It is to pick what works for you sexually. It is assuming a role in the movie that is the sexual activity you’re shooting. A lot of it starts and ends after the sex. What you take out of that bed is the memory of the sex, your lube and the smell of sex. It is incorrect to interpret what is essentially an act into an identity and begin to interact with people based on how you place them.

This is why we have men who play top assume ‘dominant’ positions and expect their partners to perform labour, much the same way heterosexual men expect this from women, in order to validate their maleness. In a society that dehumanizes them because they are attracted to men, they do this to feel more ‘manly’ because, at least, they’re the ones doing the penetration (the same way heterosexual men mainly perform sex). This is also why many men who play bottom automatically take on submissive roles and strip themselves of their maleness, because they are doing things ‘women do’. This is sexism and we all know how harmful and counterproductive sexism is. Women do not exist to perform for men and take gendered roles. They exist as human beings, in bodies that belong to them and should express however they want to.

These things happen because of the patriarchy: a way of life that only permits you to exist a certain way in order to gain social currency, and when you veer off track, you’re ‘rewarded’ with violence. This is why people aggressively hold onto these ideals, when we should actually throw them away. It is what fuels homophobia, and as queer people, we should vehemently reject it. You’re not more of a man because you play top, neither are you less than because you play bottom. These are things you pick up to enjoy sex and can even change. They do not determine your humanity.

In 2017, the Kinsey Institute, in a study with a population of 53,000, published that 86% of queer women orgasm from sex, compared to their heterosexual counterparts who registered 65% (many of whom orgasm from masturbation and not sexual intercourse). This is because of the attitude and ignorance of heterosexual men. For many of them, sex is a conquest. It is something you do for validation. It’s all about you, and your goal is your orgasm. There seems to be queer men who believe this too.

I’m a firm believer that men who play bottom during sex should call the shots. Doing this lowers the chances of bad sex for the both of you, as well as the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases/infections. Sexual satisfaction is almost always guaranteed for the man playing top, but not always the case for whoever is playing bottom. This looks a lot like what happens when a man and woman come to have sex. We should care about each other’s orgasm in this community and that’s on period!!!

Remember that words matter and words mean things, so the next time that guy asks, “What’s your role?”, respond with an enthusiastic “I PLAY [insert role]”.

Written by Big Bad Judy

Next LOVE . . . Or Something Like It

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  1. Ken
    January 05, 08:03 Reply

    This is why we have men who play top assume ‘dominant’ positions and expect their partners to perform labour, much the same way heterosexual men expect this from women, in order to validate their maleness.

    I don’t think this is correct. At least not always. Men usually don’t need women to validate maleness except they are broken or desperately try to make up for some shortcoming. The truth is the sex have different attributes that are peculiar to them. The submissive role played by women is not a disadvantage. Eve was submissive and yet was able to control adam even to the point of disobeying God. Submission isn’t slavery. It’s not like women are forced into anything. Most women were happy being wives and mother’s until the west cameand told us to ditch traditional lifestyles. Question is to whose benefit?

    In the same way there are very masculine men who are strictly bottom and still submissive. To each his own.

    • Delle
      January 05, 11:50 Reply

      Oh please. This heteronormative leaning is putrid and tired. You clearly are one of those who feel playing a role should either exalt or relegate. You tried to cloak it, but it showed. Stink will always smell.

      That there are those comfortable being submissive IS NOT THE POINT! The point is no one, NO ONE, should think one’s preferred role in bed should be used to address his persona. The exceptions exist but do not matter in this case. Your straw-manning was not needed.

      • ken
        January 07, 12:47 Reply

        Youre just being overly dramatic for nothing. You clearly didnt get my point or maybe you are confusing my post with something you read elsewhere. For the avoidance of doubt, my point is being submissive is in no way lesser than being dominant. both need each other to exist and flourish. This idea that a woman or bottom or even top is less because they are submissive is manifestly wrong and ridiculously unhelpful.

  2. Mandy
    January 05, 11:39 Reply

    That entire Mount Heteromanjaro paragraph though… 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

  3. Delle
    January 05, 11:46 Reply

    OH EM GEE!!!

    He said all I have been saying??? All! Even down to ‘I PLAY (insert role)’

    Ahhh!!!! I haven’t stopped doing cartwheels. Today is going to be a good day! Amazing piece.

    Everything you said. All of it! Every. Single. Morpheme! 👏👏👏

    • Pink Panther
      January 05, 12:58 Reply

      Lmao. I could see you in those lines about “I play Top” instead of “I am Top”. You like to preach that sermon in your church of Hoely Saviours Ministry.

    • Flexsterous
      January 10, 17:04 Reply

      Hallelujah, I thought I was the one who hated that “play top” phrasing. sex isn’t a game people

  4. David
    January 06, 12:55 Reply

    Good day guys

    for one I hardly comment here due to certain personal reasons but this topic have always been and will always be a major issue that has always bugged me

    as a queer man I uncovered by queerness in boarding house there all I knew was that in everyday sex you are both penetrated and you penetrate only when one reach orgasm during a certain position

    let me explain this if I bottom and I reach an orgasm during it then I can relax and be like hey I don’t want to top but if I don’t then I have to top the previous Mr top to get my orgams

    but on entering Grindr and the large queer world I heard a different story and the bullshit of body physiology in either topping or bottoming, I’m a doctor and I will tell you bluntly that no one is born a top nor a bottom it’s just what we decide to do, not born to , all men have a prostrate gland as their g-spot and can enjoy the sensation that comes with it both gay and straight and my last issues (for the record I have a thousand and one issues with the role thing) is the stupidity of two bottoms can’t date and two tops cant date, can remember how a man scoffed at the notion of two tops having fun like it was a taboo it gave me the vibe my straight friends get when I talk about two men getting it on

  5. Saucebutton
    January 07, 23:06 Reply

    Nice write up. We can talk about this stuff enough 👏👏👏👏

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