Top[ edit ] A top is usually a person who engages in the penetrative role during sexual activity; for men who have sex with men MSMs , this often involves penetration using the penis during anal or oral sex. Top may also describe a broader personal identity involving dominance in a romantic or sexual relationship ; however, this stipulation is not a requisite element of being a top.
Several related terms exist. With regard to gay male sexuality, a total top is one who assumes an exclusively penetrative role for sex. A service top is "one who tops under the direction of an eager bottom".
The study also found that a top is also more likely to act as the penetrative partner in other sexual activities, such as oral sex and sex toy play.
This frequently refers to MSMs who are penetrated through the anus during anal sex. Bottom may also describe a wider social context of submission within a romantic or sexual relationship, though this element does not apply to all people who prefer to bottom.
In gay male sexuality, a total bottom is someone who assumes an exclusively passive or receptive role during anal or oral intercourse. A power bottom is someone who aggressively enjoys being the receptive partner.
A versatile bottom is one who prefers to bottom but who tops occasionally. An oral bottom alternatively described as being the "oral active" partner is the exclusively receptive partner in oral sex, providing the penetrative partner, or oral top alternatively described as being the "oral passive" partner , with unreciprocated fellatio and irrumatio.
Versatile[ edit ] Versatile refers to a person who enjoys both topping and bottoming, or being dominant and submissive, and may alternate between the two in sexual situations. Versatility is a concept of lifestyle. What sets this scenario apart from the others is the versatility of the men involved. Versatility is a unique and important feature of male anal sex. Some men consider it liberating; Versatility to them is akin to speaking two different languages. It requires a special kind of playfulness, creativity, curiosity, and coordination.
Underwood, Gay Men and anal eroticism: Therefore, this concept differs from heterosexual relationships where sexual compatibility does not begin with guessing who will end up as top or bottom.
A Austrian study on gay pornography has shown that at least In this study, the performances of 5, actors were considered.
The study also found that the actor with the larger penis was more likely to act as the top. When used in reference to heterosexual and lesbian sex , the terms top, bottom and versatile usually refer only to position and not to the penetrative role. The popular assumption is that the majority prefer to bottom and that those who prefer to top are in the minority. A tally of 55, profiles on gay. The preferences seemed to vary by state, however.
In Oregon, "versatile" profiles made up nearly half BDSM seems to have adopted and derived these terms as loan words from gay culture. Acts which were not divisible into distinct roles however, such as "69" or "anything" followed a pattern where one flagged interest by wearing the hanky on the right, uninterest by wearing it on the left, and preferences that did not relate to sexual mechanics, such as uniform fetishism or prostitution, followed a pattern where the seeker flagged on the left and the object of desire flagged on the right.