Top Or Bottom? The Debate Rages On In India

Screen shot 2015-03-04 at 4.19.35 PM“If you read most status updates on gay and bi men’s groups on social media you will find that ‘tops’ present themselves as superior to ‘bottoms,'” Indian blogger Harry Ess writes in an new op-ed titled “Why do Indian tops think they are better than bottoms?” and published on Gay Star News. “This doesn’t seem to be the situation in the West but is a very common prejudice in India.”

Ess recalls being an adolescent and hearing that bottoms were somehow inferior to tops.

“I realized very quickly that in the eyes of society, the worst thing on earth is to get fucked,” he says. “Society views people who get penetrated as inherently inferior to those who penetrate. The man who gets fucked is the cheapest person in the world and has virtues straight from hell.”

As a result, Ess says each time he bottomed for another man he “felt guilty” for enjoying it, and it took several years for him to overcome these feelings.

“To my mind,” he continues, “every gay man is basically [a] bottom. He wants a dick in his hand, mouth–and quite probably ass. The concept of a ‘pure top gay’ is a myth.”

Gay blogger Rich Juzwiak would likely agree. His recent op-ed Who’s the Man? How Being Versatile in Bed Is a Way of Life is all about the perks of being versatile in the bedroom.

“So why is it that top gays so often look at bottoms as merely a thing to use for their pleasure,” Ess asks, “and why do bottom gay men in India so often feel more insecure in a relationship?”

Ess believes much of it has to do with internalized homophobia, which he ultimately feels is holding back the entire LGBT community in his country. In December 2013, India’s Supreme Court reinstated a colonial era ban on gay sex after it had been deemed unconstitutional nearly ten years earlier, prompting widespread outrage across the country.

“Is a top pretending to be worthier than a bottom any less a form of discrimination than a straight person imagining themselves better than a lesbian, bisexual or gay one?” he writes. “If we as gay men want equal status in society, we first must stop this kind of mentality. Otherwise shouting for gay rights or taking part in any number of LGBTI Pride parades is of no worth.”

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