By Ben Henry | @NotAgainBen 

Wait, you don't bottom? 

You’ve done it. You’ve found him. The man of your dreams. He’s charming, he’s romantic and he won’t tell your mother you met on Grindr. For once, you’ve found Mr Right instead of Mr Right Now. But as always, there’s just one small catch – you’re a top, and so is he.

Let me take you back to a night I usually choose to forget. I’d spotted him across the dancefloor, and not for the first time – we’d been out for casual drinks here and there and every time I’d enjoyed his company. We both gave each other the usual shy smile, the lingering gaze. Fast forward an hour and four vodka shots later and I’ve decided in my booze fuelled bravado, why the hell not!? To cut out the drunken slurs and dreadful flirting, we ended up falling into a taxi together.

We get back to his and it’s not long until clothes are flying here and morals are dropping there and I’m prematurely thanking god for my good fortune. Then comes the awkward moment we hope will never arise in these encounters. He looks at me, I look at him and it’s clear that we’re both saying the same thing – "I’m not bottoming". I won’t give you the gory details, but what ensued was a vague power struggle followed by the mood killing conclusion it just wasn’t going to happen. We chatted, we spooned and in the morning I left. We never went for drinks again.

Now despite this being one of my less honourable hours, there is a point to me revisiting this story. The guy in question was charming, nice looking and could hold a decent conversation. We got on brilliantly when sober and who knows what could have happened down the line. But for both of us, the same sexual persuasion curse was an obstacle neither of us were going to attempt to tackle.

Now let me not be confused, I know we all want sex because frankly we enjoy it. But if you think past that, and let’s be honest gay men don’t often acknowledge it, sex is about much more than a quick pump and dump, especially with a partner. Sex secures a relationship; it brings you together intimately as well as physically. Would you be willing to throw something so important away?  I’m not so sure I would.

I personally know of couples that have taken the plunge and tried the relationship without sex – it’s never worked. We can all be a little insecure every now and then. You can’t honestly say that the thought of your boyfriend cheating on you wouldn’t cross your mind, because what he’s not getting at home he may be getting somewhere else – the gay cheater is hardly a rare species. Even if he isn’t getting his kicks with the cute twink round the corner, that same paranoia will probably set up camp in the back of your mind. For the one couple I know where the relationship has somehow survived, open relationships have become involved. Call me sceptical, but for me this wouldn’t work. How are you going to feel seeing some other loose-walled twink give your man something you won’t? I’d rather have my balls ripped off by a bull. Then again, I was an only child for ten years, I don’t often share my toys.

The top and top situation is a can of worms but although sex may be important, so is the man you want to do it with. If a no sex relationship is something you can’t live with, don’t get in one and think we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. Put the brakes on and do the one thing gay men seem incapable of doing – think about it properly. If he hasn’t offered himself arse first for the last ten years, he’s unlikely to want to change his mind anytime soon. Down the line one of you might just say “fuck it”. Crazier things have happened when you like someone. Who knows, you might even enjoy it. But the guide for bottoming when you’re a top is a different article altogether.

FS says: Anal sex isn't a must.

Watch any porn movie and you’ll see almost every scene end in a good bit of butt fucking. But when it comes to the real world sex isn’t all about sticking it in or being stuck into. Believe it or not but there are many gay men, in successful relationships, who don't do anal sex. However, if anal sex is important to you then you need to be open and honest with your partner about your needs. Only honest communication can help in overcoming the 'Top 4 Top' problem. 

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