The Piece About The Power Of Being A Bottom In Sex

The Piece About The Power Of Being A Bottom In Sex

Written by George M. Johnson and originally published on

The black LGBTQIA community is nothing new, but it is now beginning to write its own narrative in a way that is unapologetic and revolutionary. In a culture fighting so hard to prove its identity outside the heterosexual spectrum (and in which HIV is still very much a pressing concern), there are still many areas where conformity can be problematic and dangerous. One of the unfortunate stereotypes we assimilate is the belief that our lived experiences and identity navigation should have a direct correlation with our sexual positions.

In a land of “tops,” “verses” and “bottoms,” there is truly a hierarchy of respect and shaming. For a bottom, there is no respect within the community and a poorly drawn correlation to being more submissive and effeminate. Since there is no blueprint for the navigation of relationships within our community, there is also an expectation that bottoms are the “women” in relationships, thus falling into a framework of heteronormative policy. The problem with this is that we have created another space where one marginalized group oppresses another to gain acceptance of a majority that they were never meant to fit in with.


A bottom is more than just a sexual position. Sexual games and preferences of domination versus submission should never be taken out of context and become the way a person’s entire existence is viewed.

Bottoms have done nothing that they should feel ashamed about or shamed for doing. It’s almost as if we have taken the narrative about “all these women looking for a good man” and turned it into “all these bottoms fighting for a good top.” In both cases, it is wrong.


Being a bottom is not something everyone can do; it is truly a statement of power and never should be correlated with weakness. Yet, this position is treated as the weak one in the relationship.

I want to talk about the work that the receiver must go through to prepare for anal intercourse. There are instances in which some people restrict their diet for an entire day in preparation for sex later in the evening. And the process known as “fleeting,” which has become the biggest joke, is actually a lot more serious than the “meme” would let you know.

With each use of “fleet,” bottoms are flushing out good bacteria and creating chemical imbalances that could potentially be dangerous. A substitute for this has been a rubber-tipped syringe with warm water to clean out as best as possible before intercourse. A bottom does all of this in consideration of a top, at times in detriment to his own health.

As if that is not enough, there is also an after-sex process. As the anus is an exit, it is going to try to push out anything that is in the cavity, such as ejaculates or lube. Although anal sex can have its pleasures, it can also come with some pain due to stretching of the walls and dryness. This can then lead to anal fissures, which are tears in the anal cavity that can cause bleeding, pain and even require surgery. Walking, as well as having a bowel movement, can be uncomfortable for several days depending on soreness.

Furthermore, a bottom has more concerns about anal health care and treatment than a person who tops. Bottoms are more prone than tops to contracting HIV due to having more blood and tissue exposed during sexual intercourse. (It was even at one time believed within the community that “tops” couldn’t get HIV. Fortunately, that statement has been debunked as science and data have proven that no sexual position is absolved from contracting the virus.)

A person who bottoms regularly should at minimum be getting yearly anal testing for anal cancer, hepatitis C, warts, etc. If you are a bottom who engages in condomless sex, this screening will also include chlamydia and gonorrhea. These tests can be invasive and quite costly depending on the type of insurance coverage.


Being a bottom is a statement that displays dominance, control, power and, most importantly, consideration of others that may never be given in return. Shaming of this position – equal to verbal abuse – only increases negative stereotypes around sex and gender. Consideration must be taken into account when engaging with a bottom.

For instance, the topic of “painting” needs to become null and void. “Painting” is a term used when a bottom releases fecal matter during sexual intercourse. I’ve heard horror stories of people being kicked out, cussed out, hit and more because of this. To those who have a problem with being painted on, there are some things you should remember:

The rectum is an exit. Anytime you make an entrance out of an exit, you are taking the risk of running into something.

The body is the body. No matter how much cleaning is done, the body has natural processes that will continue. That cannot be controlled.

With that said, it is 2016 and the shaming needs to stop. We are all sexual beings and, as such, we all deserve respect when it comes to sexual interactions and lived experiences. All in all, we need to have better conversations around sex and identity expression outside of the bedroom. To all the people who bottom, stay powerful.

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  1. Rapum
    June 04, 07:09 Reply

    I am so-so familiar with the diet-control one. Sometimes after all the wahala – shaving, douching, dieting – the person fails to show up. Kai!

    But, warts? Anal cancer? I think I have to transition into a top.

    And there’s nothing as irritating as a top complimenting you for being ‘clean’, and adding, “Ah, there are some bottoms…”

    • Pink Panther
      June 04, 07:26 Reply

      Tbh, I didn’t realize how patronising that ‘compliment’ is until I read this piece.

      • pete
        June 04, 07:39 Reply

        If you weren’t finding it patronising before, don’t let an opinion piece make you change.

  2. lluvmua
    June 04, 07:28 Reply

    who run d world guys???? bottoms lol

  3. Delle
    June 04, 08:49 Reply

    It’s unhidden fact that the bottoms are as indispensable as the tops and as such shouldn’t be faced with ridicule and shaming. In Nigeria, most guys believe since you raise ur legs in the air to take dicks then you’ve emasculated yourself. You become putty for being the one on your fours during sex. Well, that’s bull crap. Like the article said, someone has got to do it.
    It’s a vital aspect of the copulation. Deal with it. I believe we should even be accorded more respect seeing as we are the ones that deal with lots before, during and even after intercourse.
    The douching, the diet control, the fact that most bottoms are more inclined to wanting safe sex than tops (#fact), the energy in converting the pain of thrusting to pleasure during sex and so on.
    People have to understand that being bottom doesn’t mean you are all sprawled out on the bed like a dry log doing nothing. No, those are RECEIVERS. A bottom does as much work as the tops and should be accorded deserved reverence.

    OAN, no matter the system…with proper pre-sex measures and well done douching, painting cannot occur.

    • Ernesto
      June 04, 10:15 Reply

      And even if painting does occur, not that it should be encouraged. Deal with it! Same way we deal with small dicks and tops that can go more than 5minutes. Let’s not even go there.

      • Delle
        June 04, 11:10 Reply

        Lol. Or those that can’t even get it up. Those that cuss and pray while thrusting. Those that call on their mums while cumming. Lemme stop here…

    • ambivalentone
      June 04, 12:06 Reply

      lol @ diet control. I thought it as our version of birth control

      @Ernesto My dear, those above 5 mins vigourous pounding guys ehn, they are a pain in d arse…every pun intended

      • Delle
        June 04, 12:39 Reply

        But then again, why would anyone want to straff a guy who can’t stay more than 5 minutes? That’s a dysfunction na

  4. Dimkpa
    June 04, 08:55 Reply

    But Pinky this picture… this picture… I just realised I need to go and buy something…

    • Pink Panther
      June 04, 09:31 Reply

      LOL!!! Horn-dog. Focus on the writeup and not the picture, mai fren!

    • Griffin
      June 04, 11:38 Reply

      As in the pishure is doing person one kain, and I’m at work wearing the tightest black pants ever,before these Indians we have nightmares.

    • Rapum
      June 04, 12:10 Reply

      And I thought I was alone, lol.

  5. Chizzie
    June 04, 09:03 Reply

    The post was to be honest quiet disgusting. I feel there are more palatable ways to discuss this. Maybe I’d write one.

    Also, as a bottom i really do not feel disrespected in anyway as far as LGBT ( biko ogini bu QIA) issues are concerned. Tops need Bottoms and vice versa.

    You owe it to yourself to keep it clean down there, as a bottom. That for me is inexcusable.

    Being a bottom is no small task, but such is life. Heavy is the head that wears the crown.

  6. Magenta
    June 04, 09:17 Reply

    The things bottoms go through. I see it as something I can’t do. Do I see myself as a top, I don’t think so. I’m just curious, not sure what I want. However, am pretty certain I won’t give up the power over my life and the complexities in it just because I allowed someone penetrate me. That bedroom situation, doesn’t diminish me. I think when I eventually do this, it will be clearly defined. You best be able to give and receive or we got no deal.

    • Delle
      June 04, 09:52 Reply

      Lol. Hun, that’s u being versatile.

  7. Eddie
    June 04, 17:13 Reply

    Tell ’em, hunnay!…..R-E-S-P-E-C-T!!!!! *in Aretha Franklin’s voice*

  8. Mr Simon
    June 05, 08:27 Reply

    Actually in my little experience I think much of the shaming is done by fellow bottoms. You will find bottoms that make fun of others and even those that hate other bottoms with passion. Some will tell u that their tops must never bottom i.e they cant be with a verse guy. There is no end to discrimination within the gay community. And this has made some bottoms ashamed to even admit their sex role. So they will claim verse till u get into bed and realise that by “vers” he means “bottom”. Which is funny, cos some tops also keep fantasising of becoming bottoms and covet that role a lot.

  9. Good ade
    September 25, 09:26 Reply

    This thing isnt rocket science actually, the reason bottoms get the treatment they get is due to many reasons and especially the fact that there are more bottoms in supply than there are tops. And economics rule, the higher the supply the lower the value. Its sad ppl have reduced human beings to object. Its when u see bottoms as object thats when you treat them like they are less

  10. Good ade
    September 25, 10:30 Reply

    Omg…. i love your comment. I totally concur with you. I feel the same way you feel, exactly.

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