Nearly half of gay men questioned felt there was a stigma attached to bottoming or being the receptive partner.
In a poll run by TheGayUK sixty per cent of readers thought that there was or weren’t sure if there was a stigma attached by bottoming or being the receiving partner during penetrative sex. Only 40 per cent said no there wasn’t a stigma.
However when questioned men who considered themselves more of a receiver said that bottoming meant that they felt they were in control.
One reader said,
‘Being a bottom does not imply a position of weakness. I usually control what happens”
The question of manliness and gender roles was raised with those polled pointing out that others’ expectations often put gay, bisexual and MSMs (men who have sex with men) into a gender role according to which position they took during sex. Some suggesting that being a bottom meant being ‘less of a man’.
“As a bear type, it’s an almost inevitable look of shock and confusion when guys hit on me then find out I’m a bottom! It’s almost like they think I’m pretending to be someone I’m not!?!? It’s usually little twinklets that get all snotty and look at me like I’m less of a man!”
However reader Glen suggested that heterosexual people might be to blame for the stigma,
“I think in the community it is fine but the st8s are so desperate to view our relationships like the ones they have, so more often than not they view a “bottom” as the female in a gay relationship. It winds me up when they’re always trying to make our sex life fit some kind of view they have. It comes down to social “norms” dated and fake as they are…
“Example, my husband’s gran came over and I made dinner for us all… she turns to my friend and says …”he must be the woman”… she’s lovely but it goes to show. I feel that men are men, no matter what they like”.
“I think there is a stigma and I think it’s a hangover from straight people always asking “who’s the woman”. The answer of course, is neither of us is a woman, sh**ferbrains. There is only one group of people who can stop the stigmatisation of bottoms and that is us – it’s entirely up to us.