Mitchell Thompson gazing at a rainbow.

Photo: Jacob Dubé

Getting to the bottom of it

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By Mitchell Thompson

Bottoming might be the next step forward for straight men.

It’s not nearly as scary as it sounds, guys. Just go slowly, take deep breaths and apply more lube than you think you’ll need. Also, be sure to get the silicone lube since the water based dries out too quickly.

The latest issue of the Gay & Lesbian Review got me thinking about bottoming. I’m always kind of thinking about bottoming but this got me thinking about it as a concept. The latest issue features an interview with Dan Savage, who is offering a speckle of insight. Savage was asked what he thought our side’s (the gay one) biggest failed strategy was. He said that the mandate by Gay Inc. is to stop talking about gay sex and focus exclusively on gay love, proved to be a hindrance. Savage says when straight people ask what gay sex is “we should answer that question honestly until they’re sick of hearing it.” Savage thinks this will help the cause, because “until they understood what made us different, they couldn’t comprehend what was exactly the same.”

I see great potential here, but for different reasons. Recall the legions of straight boys who secretly or not-so-secretly enjoy rectal stimulation. This was immortalized for me by a Huffington Post article with maybe the greatest headline ever: “He Is a Straight Man… and He Is a Bottom.” Renato Barucco writes “they exist: ‘straight men (self-identified males who are sexually attracted to females) who greatly enjoy bottoming (being the receptive partner during anal intercourse).”

But as Rose Dalle noted for VICE, there’s a conflict as “any sexual act to do with a guy’s butt is still seen as borderline homosexual, and many straight men have a problem with that.” These straight boys already adore bottoming and sexuality is generally understood to be in part a result of socialization. Given this, it seems that if we were honest about the wonders of bottoming until the other straights “are tired of hearing it,” more might try it out. They might even love it. As Dalle notes, “Historically, oral sex was taboo, and now it’s sexual bread and butter. Societal norms and attitudes around sex continually shift and stretch to include a whole host of new sex acts and kinks.” Bottoming might be next, straight boys. You should all give it the old college try, as they say.

It could blur the line between gay and straight even more. Except this time it will be from straight people moving towards us instead of how it usually goes.

Similarly, a study by the psychology department at the University of Essex found that most women are for the most part either gay or bisexual, never straight. It’s not too much of a stretch it seems to presume that the same is probably true of men. (A boy can dream, right?). The Independent says the study involved showing videos of naked men and women to 235 women and watching for physical signs of arousal. Of those who identified as straight, 74 per cent were “strongly,” sexually aroused by videos of both sexes.

Additionally, the Independent notes that 41 per cent of people identify as between homosexual and exclusively heterosexual, as “people are increasingly seeing sexuality in a less polarized manner.”

Soon, we’ll all be queer and that’ll be so hot — I mean — progressive.

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