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.
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.
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?