I’m a Total Bottom That Can’t Top

gay marine chest tattoo
I’m a Total Bottom

My Inability to Top Has Cost Me Many Boyfriends

Kyle in San Diego

I just broke up with another guy after being told I was a selfish bottom. That may sound funny to you but the keyword is selfish.

Over the years, I’ve been called everything from my sexual partners, including a pillow princess, which is mildly offensive since I’m not a lesbian. My last boyfriend called me a bigtime gay narcissist. It sucks because it’s not like I don’t like doing other things – it’s simply that for whatever reason, I can’t function as a top.

Let me give you some background on me.

I’m 37 years old and recently out of the Marine Corp where I served as a Staff Sargeant stationed at Camp Pendleton. Most people would describe me as masculine and down to earth.

I’ve been told that I have a similar look to that baseball player who plays for the Washington Nationals, Bryce Harper. I am at the gym almost every day and take part in body building competitions several times a year.

The reason I’m sharing all of this with you is because I want to push back against some of the stereotypes that exist about guys like me who identify as total bottoms.

Not to make any assumptions about what you are thinking but not all of us are Nellie queens that sound like we sucked on a helium balloon whenever we talk.

Looking back, I knew that I was gay when I was 5-years old. It happened the first time I saw my uncle Steve, who also was also in the marines.

He was visiting our family from Camp Lejeune over the holidays and I caught a glimpse of him through a partially opened bathroom door when he stepped out of the shower. He was probably 34 with a chiseled body all tatted up, which is not uncommon for a marine.

Did I mention he was super large? He was and I’m not talking about his muscles. Read between the lines.

Like a lot of guys, I didn’t start to explore my sexuality until later in life.

I had my first gay experience during the summer, right after graduating from high school. I think I had just turned 18.

His name was Trevor and met on the beach one morning while surfing. I had actually seen him many times before cresting waves and sort of figured he was gay because we both kept eyeing one another.

Trevor's Van
Trevor’s Van

While not an exact match, he looked a lot like that cute guy Cody Christian in the face, except Trevor was a little older – like 25.

And so we ended up floating around on our surfboards, making small talk and feeling each other out.

“Do you want to hang out somewhere?” he asked, giving me a knowing grin.

Before I knew it, we were in the back of his black Chevy Van with big red flames painted on it. Man that first time was so amazing. I still remember everything, like the smell of salt water on him and the eagle tattoo he had on his chest.

It wasn’t long before we started hooking up on a regular basis. We just really liked each other I guess.

The first couple of time we played it was just oral. Maybe I was young and just a little naïve but I started to fall for him. And so when he suggested that we try something different, I was open to it.

“Have you ever been topped bud?” I remember him saying with a devilish grin. “You ever want to try that?”

I couldn’t get enough of him and he seemed to like doing it. Trevor wasn’t huge or anything but looking back, he really was exceptionally talented.

Then one random day, he asked if I would change positions and be the top. I was only too happy to reciprocate but when it came time to do it, I went a limp as a flower.

Over the course of the summer, I tried several to do it several more times but the same thing happened – I couldn’t get it up. I’m not sure if he got bored with me or just got pissed but on the last hookup we would have together, he said:

“Dude, face it – you’re a selfish bottom. You want me to do all of the work. That’s just messed up.”

I would see him a few more times surfing but we never really talked again. I was so confused and also hurt. “What the hell is wrong with me?” I wondered to myself.

marine patch
My Marine Patch

After that summer, I decided to enlist in the Marine Corps. Given that my dad and uncle were both marines, plus several other family members, it just made sense.

If you think there aren’t gay guys in the Marine Corp, I am here to tell you different. People wrongly think that gays join mostly join the air force and marines but that’s total crap.

The only difference is that gay men in the marines are a lot more closeted because of the Semper Fi, macho culture. Talk to any gay guy who was enlisted and you’ll hear the same thing.

And so I dated guys during the time I served. It was mostly in the era of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” And while nobody ever asked, everybody who was gay knew.

To make a long story short, every single one of those relationships was cut short. Why? Because when it came time for me to top, I couldn’t hold my own.

Total Bottoms Not Wanted

There was one guy in particular who was a Master Ssrgeant from another base that really broke my heart. He could have been twins with that actor Taylor Kinney that you see on TV. Freaking beautiful.

We dated for about a year. Everything clicked for us in terms of chemistry and interests. What didn’t click was our bedroom life. Then one day he gave me the news.

“This isn’t going to work out. I can’t date a total bottom. Sorry.”

After that breakup, I decided to not date anyone for a long time. I would hookup here and there, mostly with civilians, but no dating. I just couldn’t deal with the embarrassment of not being able to perform.

I even went to a psychologist who was outside of the Tri-Care network and paid out of pocket. For those of you reading this, Tri-Care is the military healthcare system.

The psychologist told me that I likely wasn’t able to top other guys because I struggled with sexual confidence issues. When I pressed him on this, he said that I could be struggling with masculinity issues.

I kind of thought the dude didn’t know what he was talking about and reminded him that I was a marine, which is all about being masculine and assertive.

The psychologist told me that perhaps my decision to join the marines was symptomatic of my problem. In other words, he suggested that I enlisted because I was trying to compensate for something.

He then asked me about how I felt about my dick. I know that sounds weird but I swear, he asked me that question. I remember blushing bright red.

In truth, I’ve always had concerns about my “manhood”. It’s an average size and I have been told it is “nice” by other guys. Still, I’ve never really thought I measured up.

Was it because of seeing my uncle when I was five with that baseball bat swinging between his legs? Was something else going on? I don’t know but for whatever reason, I’m constantly concerned that I’m not big enough.

I’ve been out of the corps for about a year now. Finding guys to date seriously is a joke because there aren’t many “total tops” and the guys who claim they are versatile almost always want me to switch roles.

I’ve even tried taking erectile dysfunction pills like Viagra and Cialis. They don’t do jack for me.

Are some people just wired to be bottoms? Are my chances of finding a guy to get serious with doomed because I can’t play be a top?


  1. Total TOP here and after reading this article just realizing how good we all Tops must have it being that its easy for us to pick from the pool of bottoms or verse guys without having to think twice about it.

    • You are so right Jorje. I have tried to Top many times in my life, but….after a min or two of thrusting a mans hole, I start to go soft myself! Its rather embarrassing for me. I am a Bi married man, I can top my wife for quite some time…no problem! So why cant I do the same with a man? Cant figure it out! I love to perform oral on a man, but not on women??? Cant figure it out! I get off being sucked by a male…very enjoyable……but then again…..not so much from a woman. WE, the Dr’s I have seen, and asking myself “WHY”…..there is no justification to be found. But this is how I have to deal with things, well along with not being OUT TO anyone….. Thanks for taking the time to read my post, appreciate it. Also to any others who read this post. Thanks, John.

  2. I’m vers but I can be a total top if it feels right. You sound like a typical gredy bottom. Sorry you just do. Hope you are on Truvada.

  3. Your visit to the psych seems spot on, at least I feel the answers and questions to you were exactly what I need to hear. I’m average sized, but certainly struggle feeling confident about my size and know that plays a big part in my performance as a top. Whatever, period, the whole “greedy/selfish bottom” terminology is stupid, you like what you like. Over time I do think it is worth exploring why you don’t ever enjoy topping, I know for me, when I’m completely in love, I can perform because I don’t have the confidence issues the same as I do with a stranger.

  4. The answer is absolutely simple: yes, some people are just wired bottoms as others are wired tops. I’m speaking as a 100% total unapologetic top who has a boyfriend who is ALSO a total top. After being together for years, I’m still balls-out in love with him and if it were one guy I’d be willing to bottom for it’s him (and vice-versa). But we just aren’t wired that way. So, we enjoy taking turns on a willing bottom (and each of us has a different technique; he’s definitely more rough while I’m more of a slow-and-steady guy). Point is no bottom we’ve been with has ever asked for or expected any kind of reciprocation…cuz that’s how THEY are wired. Nothing wrong with it at all (VERY happy there are total bottoms out there…much respect to them : )

  5. I have a hard time believing you were USMC if you can’t even correctly spell the rank you supposedly held.

  6. I was in the Army. I can relate to this but I’ve got the opposite problem as a total top.

    • I am a total bottom too and have had the same problem since I was 18. Nice, dom, total tops do exist and they can be amazing if you find one. Hang in there.

  7. Maybe you are just not into asses? Same here, total bottom and proud of it. But I’m more into oral anyway. Who said a gay man has to top?

  8. selfish is right. not because you’re a total bottom, but because look at this post. I”m so hot. The guys I sleep with are so hot. We all look like actors and porn stars. Boring. THere are plenty of total tops actually. They tend not to be part of the gay mainstream culture where you seem to spend your time

  9. I don’t get why people have to be so judgmental over personal preferences. You like bottoming and don’t like topping. That’s your preference. It’s fine if that’s a dealbreaker for another guy since that’s his preference, but it doesn’t make you selfish. That you’re concerned about your inability to top itself shows you’re not selfish.

    But if you think it would help you in relationships to be able to top try to imagine bottoming while you are topping, and/or use a toy while you’re topping.

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