Bottoms. Nah, I’m not talking about the ATL’s dynamic, new mayor. I’m talking about the men who usually get the short end of the stick emotionally. The guys who range in so many shapes, sizes, tones, hardness, softness, and everything outside the norm. The funny thing is Baskin Robbins never gets shit for it’s 31 one flavors. But bottoms…catch some hell. It’s the shame of dating a bottom that has so many men confused about a community of men they inherently need to satisfy them.
Cortez is a cool guy. No matter how many adversities are thrown his way, he always manages to get back in the game. Tried and true from Pelham Gardens, he expresses every dynamic and quality The Bronx has to offer. “What up B? It’s been a while since we connected. You got time to meet up for a drink?”, he asks. Of course I agreed. Although social media is how I connect with most of my acquaintances these days, when I’m in The City, I always have to catch on what’s happening in the streets. As I greeted him in a brotherly fashion, I noticed there was something awkwardly anxious about him. It was like he really needed to express something things. You know I have a sixth sense, right? (lol). Not any more than ten minutes after we sit down for first round of drinks, he jumps right in. “OK…so you know I told you before, ‘I’m not down with dating a dude, right?’ I want to run something by you real quick.” as he pauses. “OK. Listen, you can’t just stop in the middle of a conversation like that—tell me. What’s up?”, I frantically inquire. Cortez stares back at me as if we was mortified to share a vulnerable moment. “OK….OK. I met someone—real cool dude. And I like him—dead ass. But—yo…this muhfucka wanna date me and shit and I don’t know how I feel about that.”, he replies. In total bewilderment, I inquired, “What do you mean you don’t know about that, Cortez? It seems as if you’ve been out here enough to know if you don’t want to take it to a certain level if you’re not interested in dating someone, you have to be upfront about your feelings. Have you?” Cortez pauses again in a crippling hesitance, “Yo…I just can’t see myself dating a bottom.” Wow.
“So are you saying a guy who prefers to bottom, you’re only OK with having casual sex with him? You don’t want it to escalate beyond that. Is that all you want from a guy—ever? Just casual sex…and for how long do you want to keep this up?, I responded in amazement. Cortez pauses again. Apparently, it had never occurred to him the possibility of a future. Cortez has a pretty alluring swag and demeanor. I can see how someone would tolerate the inability to communicate a desire for something long term. But honeymoon phases always come to an end. Eventually, it’s time to come to the table of responsibility and remove the veil of instant gratification. “Now you know this is why I didn’t wanna to you, right? You always make people think about shit. Damn. I don’t know what to do. I think I just might break it off and just go back to doing me.” he alludes in a defeatist manner. “Cortez, you don’t see how that doesn’t solve your problem? You’re here now discussing this with me because all this time, you’ve been finding fault in something you’re connected with for sexual gratification. Maybe you should examine that and find out why you’re running away from this.”, I responded. Cortez agreed that he should take more time. His attraction to men wasn’t something he was ashamed of or ran away from. But he’d have so many examples about gay men who were bottoms, how they acted, responded in relationships, the stories where guys cheated, and created these elaborate stories about them–all in his mind. He couldn’t see the connection between the stories he’s heard and how he’d immediately disconnect himself intimately before it became too serious.
Cortez and I talked a week later. I hoped he had processed what we discussed and how much of an impact the stories he’s heard about guys who bottomed had over him. He shortly disassociated himself from the guy he was having a casual relationship with. The seriousness had become to overwhelming for him to deal with at that time. Of course I asked him if he was open about his struggle and maybe stop the sexual aspect until he’d come to terms with his predicament. He wasn’t interested. Sometimes I wonder with some men, is it the vulnerability that is the big dick of emotions or is it getting hooked by someone satisfying sexuality and the implications of what is expected next? The truth is, whether a guy is a top or a bottom, there will always be something level of vulnerability when you become intimate with someone. Maybe that alone is what must be confronted and addressed before having even a casual relationship—with anyone.