We Are Gay UK

What is bottoming?

If you’ve ever talked about gay sex or been on a gay hook up app the likelihood of you hearing the term bottoming is going to be quite high, but what exactly is bottoming and who does it?

What is bottoming

What or who is a Bottom in terms of gay sex?

Firstly, bottoming is all about anal sex. That is penetrative sex that happens with the ass usually penis or sex toy into the bumhole.

The term bottom could mean a variety of things to different of people, but generally, the “bottom” is the partner who is the receptive partner in anal sex. Although it could be a label for someone who is more sub within sex.


So the guy who’s underneath (or on top if you’re doing the cowboy) is known as the “bottom”. The giver is known as the “Top”. Not everybody likes the terms “top” or “bottom” for some, being a bottom is seen as less than, more subservient or more effeminate, but some people, like Big Brother US star Ragan Fox, have empowered the word and meaning by calling themselves, “power bottoms”.

More recently, when Nurse Jackie star, Haaz Sleiman came out as gay he totally owned the bottom thing saying, “Not only am I a bottom, but I’m also a total bottom, which means I like it up you-know-where.”


Otherwise, you could go with giver and givee, catcher and pitcher, postman or postbox or, you know, just their names… (no labels!)

Is there a stigma to being a bottom?


Apparently, there’s quite a bit of stigma attached to being a bottom. A survey found sixty per cent of readers thought that there was or weren’t sure if there was a stigma attached to bottoming or being the receiving partner during penetrative sex. Only 40 per cent said no there wasn’t a stigma.

So what is the label for someone who doesn’t like anal sex at all? Click here to find out.



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