Let’s Talk About Tops & Bottoms, Baby, It’s NSFW Sexy Sunday

cute-girlToday we have enlisted the help of a young lesbian nymphette who will share her sexual wisdom with you because there was a snowstorm and no airplanes left the city so she was unable to fly home from the airport and it was past Mugging O’Clock in her far-far-away bad-part-of-Bushwick neighborhood [fun fact: Bushwick inspired the set for Michael Jackson’s Beat It!] and so here she is at Autostraddle HQ. If anyone else is looking for a place to crash, I hope they are prepared to be a temporary intern.

Okay so here’s J**IA, she has decided to undertake the task of seeing if you guys will TALK ABOUT SEX.

Let’s begin:

OPEN THREAD So… there is a lack of lesbian sex information on the internet that is not titled “Lesbians with big tits lick pussy for you!” (and other similar titles). I think that it is time we actually start talking about lesbian sex because we are not straight men and we actually know what we are talking about. The topic for this week is fairly innocuous for those of you who are shy (and if you are still to much of a pansy face you can make up a fake name and e-mail to reply anonymously. Riese says Autostraddle COO Brooke used to fill in that “email” blank with “why@doyouneedthis.com.”).

top-bottom

Tops and bottoms. What do you think? Is it that simple? Is this something you consider when on the prowl? Do two tops have really bad sex cause they just fight for control the whole time or does one part usually resign? Are we intrinsically dominant or submissive, or does it depend on the other person we end up with? Discuss…!

While you think about it, here’s some more links for you … starting with Sugarbutch’s “Reconciling the Identities of Feminist & Butch Top.”

ACTUAL GLEE: Spring awakening clip Lea Michele/ Rachel Berry Topless in an artistic fashion – SO if you are awesome and care about Broadway you will already know about this, if not I will educate you. Broadway=Amazing (which sometimes = boobs). (@fleshbot)

J*L*A’S BABELAND GIFT GUIDE: Did you know that if you get a sex toy gift for your girlfriend or boifriend or lovah it’s like getting a gift for yourself? True story.

Lifelike Buck Dildo: This has a nice size, 6″ x 1-13/16″. Realistic looking and feeling without any awkward balls. Can be worn with a harness or you could just hold it and pretend.
Best Lesbian Erotica: Great for outloud reading sessions, or in your head reading sessions, or freaking out the nosy people on the train reading sessions.
Candy Bar Vibes: ummm they look like candy, but they are not…
G Twist vibrator: This is the only brand that [redacted] didn’t break. Try them all cause apparently this company makes a sturdy vibe.
I Rub My Duckie: If you still live at home or have a nostalgic outlook on life, this could be perfect for you!
Organic Lube: Slick, wet, organic. I don’ know if it is any good, but at least it is organic!

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Thanks J***a! Now it’s time for some MORE LINKS FOR YOU!kissing

CHRISTMAS: The Eight Sexiest Scenes in Christmas Movie History: Because you want to watch the musical routine from Mean Girls again, don’t you. (@nerve)

CALL GIRL DIARIES:Reality and Faux Ho Bloggers: “Sex work is difficult to articulate; it’s the kind of job that you only totally understand if you’ve done it.” And since most who have done that type of work are loath to openly admit it, sex workers can have a hard time finding other women to identify with. Having one’s internal experience accurately described is incredibly valuable for most marginalized individuals precisely because the reality of their lives is largely ignored or devalued. When readers express their gratitude for the all-too-uncommon sense of being made visible, the blogger feels validated both in her writing and in her lived experience. It’s hard to overstate the power in that. (@carnal nation)

JERK OFF: FapMapper let’s people mark where they’ve masturbated so dudes can keep track of where lezbians can find their little babies and sperm-blast those suckers into their uteruses. Or uteri. Whatevers. (@huffpo)nsfw

SEXY TUMBLR ALERT: Pink Taco Lovers. Trust me!

BISEXUAL: Confessions of a Teenage Bisexual: “When talking with gays and lesbians about when they first knew, it’s not uncommon to hear stories of early childhood same-sex crushes like mine. But I’m not gay, I’m bisexual—and I went on to have lots of boy-crushes, too.” (@sexis)

CENTERFOLDS: The 20 Most Oogled Women of Playboy. (@coed)

ORGASM: An education in orgasms, from beginner to expert: Come As You Are.


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Profile gravatar of Riese

Riese is the 35-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 2444 articles for us.

21 Comments

  1. ooooo, interesting open thread question. I think that it’s very likely that some people are intrinsic tops or bottoms, and others love switching it up, and still others don’t even like the top/bottom dynamic at all.

    as for me, I’d always been more comfortable topping, never really liked penetration all that much, and loved making my women squirm. but… that’s all changing with my current girlfriend, and the longer we’re together, the more we play around with D/s, with me being the sub. so. great. it’s like this whole world unfolding. so maybe I’m an intrinsic bottom and just never realized it? I think it’s more likely that I can examine different identities and roles with different people. and I love and trust my girlfriend enormously so relinquishing control to her is a way of giving myself to her.

    • In relationships I always end up being a bottom though I had one girlfriend where I was the top from pretty much the get-go and that never changed. I was younger then and thought maybe that was because I was a smaller person than her. But when I just hook up with someone I feel too vulnerable on the bottom, like Lauren said. So sometimes it just doesn’t work out if the girl is too attached to one position or the other.

      I agree with alphafemme (nice name!) about examining different roles/identities. So much more fun to play around!

  2. Yeah I think that naturally we lean towards being dominant or submissive, but in the long run it is fluid.

    I typically lean towards toping, especially in new situations because I like to feel like I am in control. But when I am in a relationship with someone I trust there are occasions where I like to be the more submissive one.

  3. “Tops & bottoms, is it that simple?” definitely not!
    I agree with the above comments… surely most of us lean one way or another, but it’s fun to switch it up. That’s the advantage of being in a same-sex relationship.

  4. I remember in my first relationship, there was one night where my girlfriend, a bisexual who’d only ever had sex with men, rolled over and said it was my turn to “be the man.” I was like OH HAI THERE GOES MY BUZZ. With her, topping or being the bottom was a fluid action I didn’t give much thought to – it was my first sexual relationship, and I was thinking in terms of who gets off who without thinking of it as a dominant or submissive thing.

    One of my girlfriends was big time into being the dominant top, so I couldn’t have topped her if I’d wanted to. With her I was the submissive bottom, whether we were using bdsm or not, and it was totally fine, totally hot, and totally doable, and I never had the aching desire to throw her down and dominate her. She was also like a foot taller than me, strong as fuck, and could probably manhandle a tyrannosaurus rex should the opportunity arise, so my trying to dominate her the way she dominated me would be a little bit like a baby panda trying to dominate a fucking brontosaurus…

    …and that was a little too much dinosaur imagery for a conversation about lesbian sex. What the fuck is up with my mind tonight?

    Anyway, the girl I’m sleeping with now makes me want to top her like crazy, and I get off on getting her off, something I wasn’t used to with the last sexual relationship I was in. Part of me chalks this up to my sexual identity having evolved a lot since the first girl I slept with, and part of me chalks this up to the partner. The same ex who I compared to a dinosaur wrestler was also very invested in the theory of rigid top/bottom conformity, and foreseeing my current sexual relationship, used to bitterly joke that “two bottoms cannot possibly have good sex.” She was under the impression that because I was a bottom with her, I could only be a bottom with the rest of my sexual partners. I’ve also heard the theory that it’s an experience thing – the more experienced one is going to be the one who tops. My own sex hasn’t exactly been to that standard – I was topping for most of the night I lost my virginity, heh.

    To each her own. I think it’s just as fluid as the person, and can depend on a number of factors. Great topic for discussion. Apologies for mentioning dinosaurs.

    • dinosaurs makes sense!

      i’ve heard that too about two bottoms, and that shit is not true! with my exgirlfriend i was all ready to top her but she wouldn’t have it. in the relationship i’m in now, i thought she would be a top because she definitely has the power in the relationship but nope. when it comes to bed she’d just rather have a better view of me.

      i agree, great topic. wondering if anyone knows if we got these words from gay men? or if it’s always been a part of lesbian culture.

  5. I think that it is time we actually start talking about lesbian sex because we are not straight men and we actually know what we are talking about.

    This is very necessary. It was years before I realized someone was supposed to be the top and someone was supposed to be the bottom and that is just sad.

  6. This has a nice size (if you are not a stretched out whore, very filling…

    let’s not perpetuate sex negativity about women’s bodies and sexuality here.

    Your vagina is a muscle, a fucking muscle even, that can contract and flex. Kegel exercises, baby.

    And it doesn’t matter if you’re “loose” or “tight” – all that is bullshit from men who think pussies are for them, not for the women who own them. It doesn’t matter how wide or narrow or strong your cunt is as long as it makes you happy.

    Alright? Alright.

    • She was kidding… actually making fun of precisely what you mention, which is the misconception that women “stretch out” the more people they have sex with, which is so ridiculously false that we figured it was common knowledge amongst ladies. Right? Or no? But maybe I just think that ’cause I was raised on Our Bodies Ourselves, as was J**ia, so I didn’t realize people might think it was serious. Is that not obvious? I felt like the over-the-top language made it clear she couldn’t possibly be serious. But hm, ok, we’ll have to think about it, should we edit it?

  7. I think it is a fairly significant in a relationship, taking the roles of top versus bottom. When i think back to when i was younger (totally unaware of the roles) they were still present, it was almost better being unaware of the ‘system’. I believe it does change depending on who you are with, but i would hate to imagine being with a total dominant top, the beauty of being in a lesbian relationship is that dominance is limited and totally sexy, but a dominant top, unfortunately reminds me of being with a man.

    ps. i think the only situation where a definite top and a definite bottom work well, is one night stands. but then again, how would you know.

  8. Hmmm, tops and bottoms. I can’t say that I think of myself in either category, although I have met (i.e., shagged) women who do. Personally, I think the best part about lesbian sex is that you can work out your own ways to have sex without reference to any pre-existing roles, gendered or otherwise. It means you can have relationships and sex that work for both of you, the people that you are, with all your kinks and desires and emotions. Also, what you want, sexually and otherwise is so varied, I don’t see why you should limit yourself. I say, if it feels good, go for it!

  9. this isn’t quite on topic but a lot of people have said that the great thing about two girls having sex is that no one has to be exclusively the ‘man’ or ‘top.’ I feel like this is true for a guy and girl two – although it is often forgotten. It makes me think of when people joke that I am the guy in the relationship and I say “no, the whole point is that there is no guy.” I forget that there doesn’t have to be, and maybe shouldn’t be, a definitive ‘guy’ or ‘girl’ in a heterosexual relationship either. It’s also nice realizing this because it doesn’t create a divide between my straight guy best friends and I. They have to deal with a lot of socially imposed/restrictive roles too.

  10. i think that’s being really to opposite things to like a same sex guy to have sex ad like him as person with good qualities… it’ becoming more complicated for teenagers to understand i think…

  11. It’s certainly not as simple as pie. I mean, I know some touch-me-not lesbians, as I call them, who don’t let me do anything to them and want to do all the work. (I HATE that, btwz.) And I guess they are definitely always tops. And I definitely have heard of girls who don’t want to do anything at all, I call them pillow queens (I coined neither of these terms). They are certainly what you’d call a bottom. But as far as I know most girls like to switch roles from time to time. Makes sex all the spicier. I’m certainly versatile, to say the least.

    Seeing as how I’m secretly involved (in my head) with both Kate Moennig and Rose Rollins, that pic on Pink Taco Lovers made me gasp in lovely desire. Like I did at cotton candy when I was seven. And that last picture reminds me of Red Belt.

    The bisexual thing. It’s true, we aren’t accepted by so much of the gay community. I’ve had numerous girls tell me they don’t date bisexuals, and so many times people have told me to “pick a side”. I even have people tell me I might as well just admit that I’m gay, although I can see why someone would say that to me. I do so very obviously enjoy women, and I can honestly say that sex with women interests me more, and relationships too. BUT, I still am attracted to men, I still do sleep with men, and it is what it is. It is empowering to stand up for every teased bisexual there is, but it is also quite frustrating to be alienated by a group I would expect to accept me. It came to a shock to me as well when I first realized I would catch flack within the LGBT community, but ultimately I decided that if you’r too closed-minded to accept me, that is YOUR problem. There WILL be other people.

  12. Hmmm… I’d say my girl is slightly more submissive and I’m a little more dominant, but I’m trying to change that (I told her if she doesn’t have any moral objections to being told what to do or held down or pushed against a wall, then she better get over her moral objections to doing those things to me darnit!). But overall, we’re pretty fair. It’s a rare night we don’t both get an orgasm (or… more…) before we stop. I would definitely die of frustration if she never topped, but I just can’t keep my hands to myself, either!

    I giggled b/c I had to have vagina surgery last week (yeah… yeah) and the discharge paperwork said “no sex for 8 weeks” – so I asked my surgeon “um… does this mean penetration or…?” 6 days out of surgery and I was having the best oral sex of my LIFE. Silly heteroparadigms.

  13. Oh, yay! I’ve been missing the real real L word for so long. I canceled Shotime after it went away. Do I need to resubscribe?
    Well, the point is that I really enjoyed true lesbian stories, they are not just about gay/lesbian sex and I appreciated this! Thanks a lot for this post!

  14. Hi a bit of a unquie spin on the topic. I started my mtf transition this year and have been married for five years. I am a switch meaning top or bottom is ok depending on the day, my wife is a strick bottom. This means on most of my bottom days I see to her then myself. What I didn’t expect was the home roles being so harsh. I do all cleaning ,cooking, and caring for our four kids. She dose the driving, shopping and visting when she’s not at work. This means I haven’t left the house sence thanksgiving, and never with out the kids. it caught me off guard but open my eyes to the reflection of life and sex. We both seek out “feelings” we missed out on though sex. She wants to be carefree and relaxed Taking no control over anything.While I often will seek out a loving touch to be “pampered” or I’ll regain control of my day though dominat sexaul positions. So if your partner seems over streched and stressed out Id recomend trying to complete thier emotional desires by giving them in bed what is missing in life.

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