What Is a Versatile Bottom?

Bottom vs. Top or Both in Gay Relationships

A versatile bottom is someone who is comfortable with a shared dominance in gay relationships. Usually, however, he enjoys being a bottom more than a top, but he's perfectly willing to be the passive partner, the dominant partner, or to switch between the two.

Bottom vs. Top 

The partner who is being penetrated is referred to as the "bottom" and the penetrating partner during anal sex is referred to as the top. The bottom correlates with the person who is penetrated in traditional, heterosexual missionary sex, but the term "bottom" doesn't have to be literal. The term can be used in both gay sex and heterosexual sex regardless of position. It has to do with penetration, not actual position. 

A versatile top typically prefers being a top rather than a bottom, but, like a versatile bottom, he's comfortable with sharing the dominant role. 

Implications of Being the Bottom 

Some men perceive a gay bottom as being the less dominate partner emotionally or romantically as well. That's not necessarily true, particularly with a versatile bottom. Bottoming is a personal choice and may have no connection to the romantic or emotional dynamics of a relationship. 

Likewise, being a bottom doesn't bear any reflection on how masculine or feminine you might behave or appear. A bottom is not more feminine, and a top is not necessarily more masculine. It might turn out that way, but it's largely the luck of the draw. Preference for bottoming does not directly relate to femininity simply because the female is on the bottom in heterosexual relationships. 

Are You a Top, a Bottom or a Versatile? 

You may be asked, particularly when you're entering a new relationship or getting together with a man for the first time, whether you're a top, a bottom, or a versatile. It's a little like a fishing expedition. Your potential partner may be trying to figure out if your preferences match his before he takes things any further. Or he may be identifying himself or his own preferences. But some men simply don't like to be nailed down to a specific definition or term — this is often the case a man who is a versatile. 

So what exactly are you? It can be more difficult to pin down in a gay relationship than in a straight relationship because it can be harder for gay men to recognize sexual compatibility before actually meeting. So some men use these descriptors as road maps that might lead to a more satisfying experience. 

About Bottoming 

Men aren't biologically created to engage in anal intercourse. It can be painful when it's done incorrectly. It requires relaxation and often lubrication, then practice and preparation. Men who want to bottom or engage in anal penetration might find it more pleasurable if they first read up on anal sex techniques.