Words by Liam Murphy | @Liamwaterloo


Life is great when you’re on top. All you have to do is bend your lover/stranger you met on Grindr over and slip, push, shove, ram, pound or pummel it in. All of the pleasure, none of the work, right? However, it can also be hard. Not only do you literally have to stay hard on top, you also need the stamina, skill and technique to make it a pleasurable experience for all parties. There can be a lot of pressure to perform.

FS rounded up a team of tops, looked over our shoulders, and asked them what they love about topping, what they expect from a bottom and what they think makes a good top. Is it a case of every hole is a goal (which is a weird analogy to use for gay sex, as I bet hardly any of them have kicked a football in their life)? Or does it take more to make topping tip-top?

OK, here we go. From the top…

TOP-NOTCH

Apart from a primal urge to put your penis into orifices, what exactly is so good about being a top?

“I appreciate a guy’s whole body,” explains Mike. “I get a lot of pleasure from arse play – rimming and fingering – before fucking. So, fucking is the culmination of lots of body, ass and cock play. I enjoy the sensation and sight of my cock entering a guy’s arse and the action of fucking, whether it is doggy or on his back.”

For Kieran, it’s a case of mind over penis matters. “The sensation is great, but the psychology takes it to the next level. Sliding into a tight but well lubed hole and feeling it throb and relax around you is amazing, but seeing your bottom’s eyes widen, their skin flush, pupils dilate and that gasp of breath – it makes it a fully sensory experience rather than just the nerve endings in my dick. 

“Sensation-wise it can be a bit samey after a while as a top, so it’s the mental aspect that really keeps me going. Hearing their moans, seeing their goosebumps, skin getting flushed and red makes me feel awesome. It’s that primal thing – the look of surprise and then delight as your bottom suddenly realises he’s going to cum hands free is the biggest ego trip.”

“For me, being a top was always a process of elimination,” believes Will. “I’m just not a bottom. I’ve tried it and I didnt enjoy it. However, I do like being in control, which isn’t to say a bottom can’t take control – I like it when they do! I just think if I had to sum up what I like most, I think pleasure and satisfaction is easier to see in a bottom. You know if you’ve done a good job and that feels good to me. I like pleasing my partner, making them squirm/hyperventilate/moan/scream, and I’m not satisfied until they are.”

BEST OF BUMMING

For a career top, there’s often one spectacular time that convinces them to dedicate their life to the rhythmic art of anal entering. 

Kieran regales us with his top topping tale. “It was with a guy who was so happy and confident in his identity as a bottom and at ease with his physicality that he was really comfortable to try different positions. We had great chemistry and synergy, which, as much as he was physically incredibly attractive, mostly came from his confidence in his sexual role. Being a good bottom is a thing to be proud of – and boy was he! We moved all over the place, trying different positions, speeds, combinations of things up him and it was all a really enjoyable experience about two people exploring their bodies together and wanting to make the other feel good. Only through trial and error did we find a really random position that made him go crazy – we’d never have gotten there if he didn’t have that comfort level.”

“Mine was in a sauna,” explains Mike,  “I was fucking a guy in a sling while being watched by several other guys who were getting off and wanking. I got off on being watched, performing and being encouraged by them and the guy I was fucking was taking my cock like a pro. Watching the guys shoot their cum over the guy as I was fucking him put me over the edge.”

One guy put Will under his spell. “One of the best bottoms I ever fucked did something fucking magical with the muscles in his arse. He squeezed my cock in ways I’d never felt before. It was amazing and it made me go crazy. We were at a (non-drug) sex party and I’d just met him and did this in front of five or six other guys. The combination of all of that turned me on probably more than I’ve ever been in my life. I nearly came right away.”

BUMMED OUT

As committed as they are to their topping vocations, was there any time that they considered turning their back (so to speak) on their bum bashing ways?

Sometimes shit happens, quite literally in the case of Adam. “I was having a hard and deep session with a talented power bottom. There were toys, there was pounding, there was sweat, and there was dirty talk. It was a really good, animalistic session. Just as we were about to have a dildo and my cock in his butt simultaneously there was an ‘evacuation’. It wasn’t a lot of shit, but enough, and it stank. I rushed the dildo (which caught the worst of it) to the toilet to flush it off and wash it while he sorted his bedding, but the smell was making me retch. The smell stuck in my nose, it was horrid. A quick break and a shower later and we went back to some old-fashioned-oral instead.”

“I dated a guy that refused to use lube,” says Will. “He said he reacted badly to it. We tried it with spit*, but after much squeezing and ‘ouching’ from both of us, I realised I’d made his arse bleed. The whole thing was just a fucking nightmare. It was so uncomfortable for both of us. That was our fourth date and I didn’t see him again. I actually just shuddered while telling you this.”

A TOP’S TIPS

What does a top want from a bottom (other than the ability to be pounded like a piñata)? 

Mike explains what he expects from his partners loud and clear. “I’m very vocal when fucking – well, when I’m enjoying sex generally – and I like the guy I’m fucking to be vocal too. His pleasure is very important to me and by speaking up I know how much he’s enjoying getting fucked, taking my cock, whether he wants more of it or less. Depending on the guy, fucking him on his back is great because we can kiss and we can both see each other’s pleasure.”

“Aside from the basics – cleanliness and proper man-scaping – a willingness to submit and trust is a really key element,” says Kieran. “They’ve got to be into it and willing to go through that uncomfortable first moment as they relax and get into the groove. Once they’re there, they need to feel comfortable to encourage you with the right kinds of noises. If you like what I’m doing then let me know with a few good appreciative moans. If I’m doing it wrong, don’t be afraid to ask for a different angle or position – and a hand signal on the abs just to slow them down can work wonders.”

Kieran thinks that certain positions can peak the pleasure and can also be part of a good fitness regime. “My two favourite things that a bottom can do are about position. The first is to lay on their back and open up their legs nicely high and wide for you, showing off the target and your prize – have confidence in your hole, it’s sexy. The second is bending and doing the lower back arch, where it makes the butt stick up and look extra perky. It’s even a yoga move - Happy Cat.”

“A good bottom is many things,” explains Will. “Clean first of all, as a good bottom will make sure no amount of rough pounding will jar anything loose. I’m also a big fan of rimming, but of course conditions must be clear. After that, a good bottom shouldn’t have a ‘lie there and take it’ attitude. Just because I’m a top doesn’t mean I have to do everything. Power bottoms are hot. They also shouldn’t be too loose OR too tight. Maybe a strange thing to say, but too tight does nothing for me. It’s uncomfortable for me squeezing in there, and it seems like it hurts them. I want to be able to go balls deep without either of us feeling like we’re going to tear something. On the other hand, too loose just makes me wonder where the fuck they’ve been. Unfair perhaps, but true.”

WHAT MAKES A GOOD TOP?

When asking this question, it’s probably best to ask a man on the receiving end. 

“It really depends on the situation,” explains Craig. “If it’s in the moment, then being ‘taken’ can be hot. Once a guy blindfolded me, on all fours on the hallway floor and he just forced his cock in my throat and arse. I never saw his face but he was dominant and knew what he wanted. However, most of the time it’s a connection that works, someone who takes their time to work you over and establishes that connection and shows you respect.”

This is something our top consultant Kieran agrees with. “I think that tops need to respect bottoms a lot more. It makes me mad when I hear people denigrating bottoms or acting as if being a top is superior. Get over yourself and your stupid insecurity – without bottoms we’d be left aggressively jousting one another in a never ending “no, you’re bottom” loop and we’d never get anywhere. Respect them, fuck them, and thank them. And bottoms, don’t fuck with a top that doesn’t respect your vital hole role.”

TOP RISKS

“Pretty much every gay man knows that the top is less at risk of getting HIV from anal sex than the bottom,” says GMFA’s CEO, Matthew Hodson. 

“But in just the last few weeks I’ve seen men posting on message boards saying that the reason they’ve managed to stay HIV-negative is because they’re always the top. 

And if you think about how HIV is transmitted, and how particularly vulnerable the arse is to viral infection, of course that makes sense.”

“However, being a top still carries a significant risk for HIV,” Matthew goes on to explain, “especially if you have unprotected sex and if your partner has undiagnosed (and untreated) HIV infection. It’s estimated that being the bottom in sex is between four to seven times more risky than being the top, but that still puts being a top in unprotected anal sex among the most high-risk activities. It’s riskier being a top than it is to suck cock. The guy who reckons he’s not at risk just because he’s always a top, may just have been lucky, so far.”

Matthew also believes confidence is key to staying safer. “I think for many men safer sex is difficult because they’re not confident about being a top. If you’re worried you’re going to lose your erection then you may be more reluctant to break the spontaneity or reduce the sensation by putting on a condom. It is worth shopping around for a condom that feels right for the shape and size of your cock and, so long as you use plenty of lube, there’s no need to wear an extra-thick condom just because you’re having anal sex.”

“There’s still a common feeling that being a top is somehow being more of a man. Every man, whether they’re gay or straight, has the capacity to get sexual pleasure from bottoming – physiologically, we’re all made more or less the same way. Similarly we all have the capacity to get pleasure from being a top.”   



Useful Links

How to get fucked: www.gmfa.org.uk/how-to-get-fucked.

How to fuck: www.gmfa.org.uk/how-to-fuck

Pain while getting fucked: www.gmfa.org.uk/pain-when-getting-fucked

Messy sex and douching: www.gmfa.org.uk/messy-sex-and-douching.

Condoms and lube: www.gmfa.org.uk/condoms-and-lube.

Know your arse for better sex: www.gmfa.org.uk/know-your-arse-for-better-sex

To buy cheap condoms and lube, visit the Freedoms shop at: www.freedoms-shop.com.


No matter what sexual act you are doing, there’s a risk of getting an STI. HIV is the ‘big one’ because it’s incurable. Once you have it, you have it for life (the same for herpes). But there are many more STIs out there, some of which you can get from oral and anal sex. And none of them are nice to have to deal with. Here’s what you need to know about:

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is a bacterial infection. It is most commonly passed on by fucking or getting fucked without a condom, but it can also be passed on by sucking cock or rimming.

Crabs

Crabs are usually transferred during naked body contact (yes, we mean sex). Less often, they can be caught from infested bedding, clothes and towels.

Gonorrhoea

Gonorrhoea, or ‘the clap’, is a bacterial infection of the urethra (the tube you piss out of), arse, throat or eyes. It can be passed on by rimming, sucking cock, fucking or getting fucked without a condom.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is found in shit and is acquired by getting shit in your mouth. This can happen through sex acts such as rimming or sucking someone’s cock after unprotected sex.

Hepatitis B

The hepatitis B virus is in blood, cum, piss, spit and shit, as well as other body fluids of a person who’s infected. The virus can be spread by sharing needles, sharing snorting straws, unprotected sex, or by getting blood or infected cum in your mouth, eyes, or on to broken skin.

Hepatitis C

The hepatitis C virus is present primarily in blood (including dried blood) and can also be present in cum. Traditionally injecting drug use was the most common way to catch hepatitis C but it is now known that unprotected sex, particularly high risk sex and group sex, is associated with hep C infection. In particular HIV-positive gay men are getting hepatitis C sexually. However, this does not mean HIV-negative guys are not at risk from unprotected sex or sharing sex toys. 

Herpes

Herpes is a virus that is spread by skin to skin contact. There are two forms of herpes: HSV-1, which causes cold sores around the mouth, and HSV-2, or genital herpes, which leads to sores around the cock and arse. You can get herpes by kissing, sucking cock, rimming, fucking without condoms and even frottage! You can also get it by sharing sex toys. Cold sores on your mouth can be spread to another person’s cock or arse, and genital herpes can be spread to the mouth.

Syphilis

Syphilis is a bacterial infection which is most usually transmitted through fucking without a condom and cock-sucking, but which can also be caught through rimming, fisting and even through skin to skin contact (although this is rare).

For more information on sex, sexual health and STIs, visit www.gmfa.org.uk/sex.


FUCKING HIV

No matter whether you’re a top or bottom there is always a chance you can pick up HIV. Fucking someone without a condom is the easiest way to pick up or transmit HIV and STIs.

- In 2013, over 3,250 gay men were diagnosed HIV-positive in the UK.

- About 80% of new HIV infections come from having sex with men who don’t know they have HIV.

- About 16% of gay men who are HIV-positive don’t know they have it.

How to prevent STIs and HIV

Condoms: Using condoms while having sex is still one of the best ways to avoid picking up any STIs or becoming HIV-positive or passing on HIV. Make sure you use plenty of water-based lube too. Stay away from vaseline and baby oil – they will make the condom rip. 

Cum outside: If you are someone who doesn’t use condoms and you’re a bottom then it will decrease the risk if he doesn’t cum insude you. However there is still HIV in pre-cum and (considereing what a hot lover you are) he may blow before he has the chance to pull out. So this is still highly risky sex. If you are a top remember that HIV can be present in anal mucus (the stuff that lines the inside ofthe arse so pulling out will not reduce the risk.

HIV-positive: If you are HIV-positive, on medication and undectectable then the chances of passing on HIV are very low. However you should still use condoms to further reduce the risk of passing on HIV and STIs.

For more information, visit www.gmfa.org.uk/condoms-and-lube.

PEP is a month-long course of HIV medication that can stop you becoming HIV-positive if taken within 72 hours after sex (the sooner you start taking it the better). If you think you’ve been exposed to HIV, contact your local GUM clinic or go to an A&E. For more info on PEP, visit www.gmfa.org.uk/pep.

Test for STIs: All sexually active gay men should test for STIs at least once a year. If you are having sex with new partners then you should test more frequently. Test for HIV too when you’re there. It takes about two weeks for most STIs and four weeks for HIV to show up in a test. 

For more information or to find your nearest GUM clinic, visit www.gmfa.org.uk/clinics.



THIS ARTICLE WAS TAKEN FROM FS ISSUE #148. 


INTERACTIVE: