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top or bottom?

p r e p a r a t i o n
Much has been said on the subject of how to prepare a guy for anal penetration. Many a rant has been raved in response to stories that don't include (in the ranter's view) enough prep action. The "one finger, two fingers, three fingers, dick" has pretty much become de rigeur in slash. Well, kids, it ain't necessarily so.

The need for careful stretching and loosening depends on a lot of things. How relaxed the guy is, the level of trust between the parties involved, experience, and alcohol level are just a few. Some guys need the whole shebang, from tongue to fingers to large envelopes full of cash before they're ready for action. Others require only the most cursory of preparation, such as dropping their pants. Judicious application of the tongue can make the most apprehensive of butts eager and willing.

So if you want to go the whole hog, and describe in loving detail how each finger slips in, go right ahead. But when the guys are hot and the pace is frantic, feel free to cut right to the chase...

e n e m a s

Flushing it out Many of you have asked about enemas, and whether or not they're necessary before anal sex.
It depends on how full the bottom feels. Some guys do it regularly, enjoying the feel. Others use them only occasionally.
The shower attachment is popular, but the plain old store-bought Fleet bottles are good to keep on hand.

r i m m i n g

Rimming Rimming, eating out, sucking butt; whatever you call it, it sounds like a pretty unnatural thing. The first time someone did it to me, I got grossed out. But it grows on you.
A freshly washed butt presents no health hazard, and can be amazingly sensitive. Just remember to breathe.
This isn't just good for the recipient. It's very rewarding to do this to someone and watch them squirm, begging for more...

l u b r i c a t i o n

While at Friscon I got asked a couple of times just what could be used for lubrication. Off the top of my head I came up with the following list. It's by no means complete, just what I could remember having used at one time or another.

  • Butter
  • Crisco
  • Salad Oil
  • Soap
  • Motor Oil
  • Spit
  • Semen
  • Hair Conditioner
  • Hand Lotion
  • Suntan Lotion
  • Beer
  • Sweat

Some other things which got mentioned, but which I wouldn't recommend include:

  • Mayonaisse (risk of salmonella poisoning)
  • Mustard (make sure it's not the kind with seedy bits)
  • Peanut Butter (creamy only, NOT chunky)
  • Blood (let's not even go there, OK?)

When using commercial lubricants such as "Wet" or "Glide", occasionally reapplication is necessary, as water based lubes can become sticky after exposure to air. If you are using condoms, don't use petroleum based lubes such as Vaseline or KY, since they damage the latex and can cause breakage (of the condom, not the guy...)

OK - I'm really tired of getting this question, so let's set the record straight. Back in the days before safe sex was necessary KY was a PETROLEUM based lubricant - just about the only one on the market. There was really no other choice. Astroglide, Eros, Wet and all those other lubes that dominate the market now didn't exist. So KY became a household word amoung gay men, almost a generic word for lube. It came in this little tube, very similar to the way Neosporin is packaged today, and was a pretty good indicator that the owner/purchaser was queer. So please, don't write me to tell me I'm wrong, and that KY is water-based.

Basically, if you need soap and water to get it off your hands, you can use it for lube.

A word to the Highlander writers who use blood.


While minor tearing and bleeding can happen even with the most gentle of partners, a wound large enough to provide the amount of blood necessary for lubrication would be more than painful enough to ruin the fun.

p o s i t i o n s

Missionary Position First off, there's the basic missionary position... either close up and personal so you can suck face at the same time..

Missionary Postion or a little more athletic.. This is a great position for a good hard pounding. The angle is right to hit the prostate on each stroke, and the top can hold up the bottom's legs to reduce the strain.

Face Down Then there's face down. Least stress on the bottom, good angle for stimulating the prostate, gives the top freedom to change the angle and depth of stroke, which is good for both of them.

Sideways Sideways is nice, too. The top doesn't have to support his own weight, and the bottom only has to keep one leg up. Not real good for fast action, but perfect for a long, slow fuck.

Sit on it If you're feeling athletic, the bottom can always sit on it... Squatting is popular, or on his knees. If they're face to face, the top (who's on the bottom) can play with the bottom's (who's on the top) cock at the same time. A fun time will be had by all.

Both at once... Now *this* is fun. The top has to be fairly limber, but it's worth the extra effort.
Let your imagination soar. We're writing about some of the most beautiful and athletic men on the face of the planet, so whatever you can think of, they can get into.

t o y s

Dicks aren't the only thing you can put up your ass... toys can be a lot of fun. Either as a warm-up or for a second round, latex can be your friend.

Someone asked me if it was possible for two guys to fuck each other at the same time. Possible, yes, if you're limber enough. Comfortable, probably not. It's one of those kama sutra positions that takes so much concentration to get in and stay in that you can't really enjoy it. Much easier to simply use a double headed dildo...

t o p   o r   b o t t o m ?

At Friscon I asked the burning question "James Ellison; Top or Bottom?" And was definitively answered, "Whatever Blair tells him to be."

There seems to be a trend in slash to make one partner, usually the smaller or younger of the pair, a total bottom. Most men do have a preference, but it's more a continuum than an either/or proposition. There are guys who are exclusively one or the other, but it's more usual to be versatile with leanings towards one or the other. It isn't always based on size or age either. The toppest top I ever met was a fragile little femme, who wore makeup and painted his nails. But once in bed he was a complete top, aggressive and wild. So don't make the mistake of assuming the obvious. Mix it up, have Mulder top Skinner, or Iolaus top Hercules.

I've also read many posts on this subject that mention "fairness", saying they prefer the guys in question to switch off. To me this implies that the posters see bottoming as somehow less pleasurable than topping. Nothing could be further from the truth. It's a matter of personal preference and psychological makeup whether a guy pitches or catches, akin to whether you like your peanut butter crunchy or creamy.

Also, preference isn't an unalterable choice. Who does what to whom depends upon a multiplicity of factors. Past history between the guys, mood, phase of the moon, liquor intake, etc. Many men go through phases in their lives where they predominantly bottom, then they meet a guy whose ass just begs for it and next thing they know...

Control between the top and the bottom is another issue which goes deeper than a first glance might suggest. In a relationship between a man and a woman, no matter how liberated or sensitive the participants may be, the partners act out roles which they've been taught since childhood. Roles which are reinforced by every aspect of our society, from television and movies to the simple fact that a woman takes a man's name in marriage. I'm not saying these roles are proper or ordained by biology, just that they exist.

But in a relationship between two men, there are no role models to follow. As gay men, we have grown up to discover that the rules we thought were meant for us no longer apply. So when two men get together, we have nothing to fall back on. We have to make up the rules and roles as we go along. Control passes back and forth between the partners, depending on circumstances and personal inclination.

This applies in bed as well. While the top would appear to be the one in control, the aggressor, it is in reality the bottom who is calling the shots. The bottom sets the pace and determines the limits.

Even in relationships in which the power is superficially unequal, such as ones based on dominance/submission or s/m, the bottom has a much greater say in things than might be expected. There is a vast strength in submitting yourself to the control of another. Don't let appearances fool you.

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Last updated January 4, 1999