As a gay man, I don’t even like to use the words top and bottom as nouns.

I am not “a top.” If I accepted that as a label, I would be reducing myself to a sexual function.

I could equally say that I am not “a bottom.”

Not giving away my own general preferences in bed, I would prefer to say that I enjoy topping or that I enjoy bottoming. Or I could say that I enjoy both topping and bottoming.

The heart of the problem here is that people do these reductions all the time. That’s how they start reading personality characteristics and other traits into the picture.

Top and bottom are not fundamental identities, and when we treat them as if they were, all sorts of misunderstandings happen.

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot.

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