Is it easier to give than to receive? Depends on the gay you ask. A spirited debate in the r/AskGayMen forum indicates there’s no consensus on whether tops or bottoms have an easier time of it.
One Reddit user kicked off the discussion by asking if other people agree that being a bottom is tougher than being a top. “Like, you can’t eat spicy food, you need to fast, you need to be clean AF before having sex, etc.,” that user added.
Many commenters informed that original poster that there’s no need for fasting and other diet restrictions, and some tops on the thread indicated that, you know, sh*t happens and that’s OK.
But otherwise, there wasn’t much common ground in the comment section. Here’s a selection of responses from the yeas, nays, and undecideds, edited for clarity.
Hell yes, it is.
“Easily. A lot of work goes onto preparation. Food, cleaning, loosening, etc. Of course, all the actual sex part is usually shared toughness, but then you also have after-care. Tops, love your bottoms and treat them special. They do a lot of work to show you a fun time.”
“Yes, this is absolutely true. Tops have no idea what we go through. Constantly watching your diet, constantly having to be perfectly clean and having constant anxiety about it. Not to mention the money that some of us spend on fiber supplements. I could honestly keep going on, but I’m not going to, because I could be a top myself, but I choose not to be.”
Maybe, maybe not.
“Depends. Topping is easier to prepare for than bottoming. But if the top is actually trying to give the bottom a good experience, I feel like that takes certain skills. Making sure the bottom is comfortable and not hurting them. Also, not wanting to disappoint bottoms from finishing too fast. So I feel like being a great top is harder than being a good bottom. But physically, bottoming can be more time-consuming and demanding.”
“Harder? I dunno. Requires more prep, for sure. Depends on the person, obviously. Some can just be ready to go, and I applaud those people. But some of us aren’t a ‘quick pants down to love town.’ Some need to make sure that the train isn’t going to be slamming into Doodoo Station. (Did I make it weirder than needed? Yes. Yes, I did.)”
“Depends on a couple of things. My boyfriend is paranoid of getting stuff on them, so I have to always clean out and take the extra precautions if I’m going over. But I’ve also been with guys who just didn’t care and would do it at any time, no matter if I cleaned or not. Being a bottom is a lot more tedious, in my opinion, but it all depends on whom you’re with.”
“What sort of bottom and what sort of top are we discussing? There’s a rainbow in between the extremes. Being a top is more than just being a cock. Same for bottoms: more than a hole. So neither applies here. It’s tough to be clean and ready all the time and to take cock, but to be a top, you’ve got a lot of work to do, too. So love yourselves.”
“I think they are both challenging in their own ways. As a top, you have to get hard and stay hard, and you have to know how to insert it so as not to cause pain and how to angle it so it hits the right spots. As a bottom, you’ve gotta make sure you’re clean inside and out and know how to properly take a dick, and you also need to participate and not be a dead fish while the top does all the work. It’s a partnership, and both have challenges. For me, bottoming is definitely easier. Performance anxiety isn’t gonna make my butthole not open up. All I gotta do is relax and let it happen and do my part.”
“Being a side is tougher than being both. Half sarcasm.”
No, it’s not.
“Lies! Some [bottoms] just lay there.”
“The required work for bottoms mostly happens before/outside sex. The required work for tops mostly happens during sex. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but I definitely don’t agree that it’s easier to be a top than a bottom.”
“Nope. Being a bottom is a cinch. Having a clean rectum is easy. Bottoms over-douche all the time. A fiber pill with each meal or glass of water is all I ever do that’s special. Since I’m vers, I can tell you that topping involves erectile function and positioning and is way more complicated and fraught than being the target.”
“I think it can be tough for tops, too. There’s a lot of pressure to perform as a top, which can be a bit overwhelming if it’s the first time with a certain guy or based on the chemistry. I think it doesn’t help that some bottoms base their expectations off of porn, which can be pretty unrealistic.”