For a group that has historically lived outside mainstream expectations of how life is supposed to snap together like Legos to perfectly match the picture on the box, some gay men sure do love to label.
Since the arrival of online dating, many tend even more to reduce the awe-inspiring limitlessness of queer sexuality to a shopping list of check boxes.
Those roles, often broadcast for convenience sake — top, bottom, dom, sub, etc. — then have a way of coming back around to define more than a primary sexual preference. And that’s when things get weird, because wasn’t the whole idea to shatter gender roles in the first place?
We got to thinking about this again after a Reddit thread called I’m a ‘masc, dom, top’ who needs to be held came to our attention.
I’ve always been typically closed and conservative about showing my emotions and I really feel it has stunted me as a man and as a lover.
But here’s the catch: the gay guys I find myself getting with love it. I find they interpret my stoicism as a sign of manly strength and self-discipline…When we cuddle I am always big spoon and I imagine they feel like they’re behind a stone fort, safe and protected and loved. Sometimes I wish I could be more emotionally vulnerable and open to enjoy being on the receiving end of those kinds of moments.
So, does anyone else feel like they’re emotionally repressed, a big spoon crying out to be little spooned?
Some merely offered logistical advice:
Ask to be the little spoon? Or use your manly stoic persona to your advantage and be like “No! You listen here, I’m the fucking little spoon this time. Am I understood?”
While others shared their own perspective, bringing up how physical size can also feel limiting during intimate encounters:
I’m in the opposite situation where you are in. I’m 5’5, always the smaller guy, always assumed to bend over and receive pounding (not that I’m complaining, but I wanna do some pounding too), always assumed to be submissive, the little spoon, the “boy”, the less “masc” guy, etc. It’s fun to be the “little” guy and the “receptive” one, but I also wanna hold my “big boy”, let them know I wanna top too.
At the end of the day, it seems that all anyone wants is to give and receive love in all its varied forms — to create and hold space to nurture, heal, experience ecstasy and feel connection.
So what is it we think we have to prove to ourselves?
Another commenter wrote:
Getting too into the top/bottom roles is very limiting. It’s just an activity you do in bed. It has nothing to do what you need emotionally…And there’s been many a guy who’s topped me and fell into my arms and needed to be held a while after.
Do you feel cornered by how others perceive you sexually or even by your own preferences? Sound off in the comments…