Does Every Top Know What He’s Doing?
Every top gets hard, knows how to relax his partner, doesn’t worry about his partner’s hygiene, knows exactly what angle to go in at, never loses his erection and cums like a fire hose.
It’s with these widely accepted notions that my editor first rejected my manuscript. “A book about topping?” he roared. “What’s there to write about? It’s like a Thanksgiving turkey–you spread the legs and stuff it in!”
That was in 2015. How To Top Like A Porn Star went on to become a best seller, embarrassing the editor who turned down the original manuscript. The book became so popular that you are holding the new, second edition in your hands.
I knew the book would be successful because as a sex columnist I’ve received thousands of questions about topping from embarrassed gay men. “How can I get harder?” was a question I’d get as the co-host of HBO’s The Sex Inspectors.
“How can I relax my partner enough to penetrate him?” was another common question in the books I’ve written about gay sex.
And “How do I deal with the ‘yuck factor’” –hygiene–is a universal complaint I get in my syndicated column, Need Wood? Tips For Getting Timber.
But my favorite question of all time, the one that captured the longing for a more versatile sex life: “How do I find my inner top?”
Being the penetrator, or wanting to be the penetrator, poses a series of logistical and psychological obstacles. The smell or unsightly stains that can accompany anal sex can ruin your erection. So can performance anxiety. There you are, rock hard until the moment of penetration. Then suddenly Willie becomes Will Not.
Condom-causing impotence is another obstacle. There you are, rock hard (what is it with you and rocks?), but when the condom comes on you feel like you’re trying to play pool with a rope.
The problems don’t end there. What if you’re dealing with a newbie who’s tighter than two coats of paint? What should you do or say to make him comfortable?
By the way, saying, “Relax! Relax!” is actually the worst suggestion ever. It’s like being in a bar and having a friend say, “Smile! Smile!” You want to punch him. Same thing with your partner. YOU try relaxing while somebody tries to open an umbrella inside your ass!
Getting your penis into the promised land also poses a few tactical challenges. What’s the best angle of entry? What’s the best position to start with? How are your knees holding up? How do you keep hard while you’re trying to figure all of this out?
And once in you’re tasked with doing double duty—giving as well as taking pleasure. Do you “make love” or give him a back alley pounding? Do you lovingly undulate or bang him like a screen door in a hurricane?
Whew! That’s a lot of issues for the simple act of topping. Wasn’t it supposed to be easy as (warm) pie? Well, if it were that easy then we’d all be having anal intercourse, wouldn’t we?
Gay men have a lot less anal sex than you’d think. The Journal Of Sex Medicine shocked the gay community a while back with its sex survey of 25,000 gay men in all 50 states. It asked a simple question: “Have you engaged in anal sex in the past month?”
Guess how many guys said yes?
Go ahead, guess.
Thirty seven percent.
That wasn’t a typo. Thirty seven percent! Clearly, anal sex isn’t easy for a lot of gay men. Bottoming gets the nod for being the most problematic act but the Journal of Sex Medicine’s survey results hints at a more silent one—the obstacles associated with topping.
Overcoming the obstacles doesn’t necessarily make you a good lover. A reader to my sex advice column once wrote me this:
I always hear guys saying, “I love it when a top knows what to do.” But they never specify just what that top is doing that is so great! I know there’s the whole massaging of the prostate thing, but if you’re a top can you really feel the prostate that well with your dick? I mean, what the hell makes a great top? Is it a certain fuck stroke, is it just being patient with you, is it more psychological things he does like acting dominant?
This is a fabulous question–what makes a good top? You’re about to find out in these series of posts. My intention is to help you become the kind of guy everybody wants to get under. Whether you’re new to the scene, are exclusively bottom-oriented and want to be more versatile or exclusively top-oriented but want to be better at it–you’re going to find profoundly helpful advice.
The series, based on my book on topping, starts next week. Mark your calendars.