We Are Gay UK

TOPS AND BOTTOMS and… But what do you call a guy who isn’t into penetration?

Not into topping. Not into bottoming? What are those guys called?

What does side mean with gay men

There’s a relatively new term for guys who don’t like having anal sex. Yep, guys who aren’t into topping or bottoming. Some are identifying themselves as “sides”.

Although the term itself is not getting the love it might deserve. As the LGBT+ community expands and adds more identities shouldn’t Sides be getting the recognition they warrant?

There’s a lot of emphases on anal sex in the gay, bi and curious community. Editor of, Jake Hook says, “We are in a world where we’re expected to make instant proclamations on what we’re into. There’s a lot of pressure to define yourself as one or the other and the assumption that sex has to end up with penetration. Where does that assumption come from?

“First on the list is gay porn. All scenes tend to end up in anal sex. It’s become the standard.

“Secondly, the apps we used often ask us to pigeonhole ourselves into tribes including whether we’re tops, bottoms or vers.


“Thirdly, penetration is the world’s goto sex act – and it’s pretty heteronormative. In media we constantly see people going at it. One moment they are kissing the next he’s whipping off his trousers and she’s hitching her skirt. Straight to the penetration, without too much discussion about the other types of sex you can have.”


So who or what is a side?


It’s a guy who’s not into anal sex of any type instead he’ll be into kissing, hugging, oral and other types of sexual activity. Also, guys who cannot have anal sex might be considered a side. For instance, those who have had prostate surgery may not be able to have penetrative sex. It doesn’t mean that sex stops. It changes as prostate cancer campaigner Martin Wells told us.

So what are the other types of sex you can have without penetration?

There’s a whole world of sex that doesn’t end up with P in A action. Mutual masturbation, cock2cock frot, frottage, scissoring, oral, rimming, digital penetration, tantric, toy play, role play. Take your pick. All of those can end up with one or both of you climaxing, without the need to put a dick in an ass.

Where does the term “side” come from?

It appears that the term “side” was coined by Joe Kort Ph D in an article written for Huffington Post. Unfortunately, the author doesn’t explain the reason behind the word.

Defining Sideism he said, “Sides prefer to kiss, hug and engage in oral sex, rimming, mutual masturbation and rubbing up and down on each other, to name just a few of the sexual activities they enjoy. These men enjoy practically every sexual practice aside from anal penetration of any kind. They may have tried it, and even performed it for some time, before they became aware that for them, it was simply not erotic and wasn’t getting any more so”.

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