5 straight-up gay ways to… VERS
Author: Mark Bittlestone
Mark Bittlestone is a stand-up comedian. He is also very gay man. Just a very gay man, doing a lot of straight-up gay stuff.
Btw, in case you hadn’t realised, this is a gay blog for gays. Also, I’m technically unqualified to write a sex blog, but did I mention I’m really good at ‘the sex’? If I didn’t, here goes: I’m really good at sex. Here are my top 5 tips on being vers!
So this is the type of vers guy who goes through phases. One month he’s full-on bottom, next month he’s hyper masc top. The mudbloods of the gay world, if you will. This can be confusing for Grindr guys in your area… I went through a phase of being a phaser (I was in a phaser phase, if you will) and would get messages like “but last week you were a BOTTOM” and I would reply “but last week I didn’t find you ATTRACTIVE. Oh wait, I still don’t!” ‘cos I’m cute like that .
This is a phrase from the depths of gay vernacular that, like most of the gay vernacular, I find particularly gross. Unsure of quite why I find gay vernacular gross; possibly linked to my internalised homophobia, a topic for later discussion perhaps? Anyway, this means you bottom and top during the same sexual encounter. This is intriguing and weirdly not something I’ve ever done?? “But wait Mark you’ve done everything?” Well, not everything I guess .
Now this is when a vers boy drifts into being pure top or bottom and then never comes back (but may still come on a back). Purely anecdotally, I think the most common of these conversions is top => top/vers => vers => vers/btm => bottom. I reckon the reason for this is that most gay guys have so much internalised homophobia by the age of their first sexual experience(s) that they perceive bottoming to be “more gay”, whether consciously or subconsciously, so they start off as a top. However, even if you simply consider the stereotype – that gay men are weak/feminine/unmanly – then this doesn’t make sense: bottoming takes far more courage than topping. Surely it’s the most manly act one could undertake?
This is linked to my Phaser point above, but this is a vers guy who can occupy both the sub and dom spaces at different times. In terms of analysing these dynamics, my sexual history can, like a dusty tome on a bookshelf, yield useful information (and neither have been updated for a good while). I’ve been in a relationship where I’ve started off as the bottom, then gone vers, then ended up top. I’ve also been in one where I’ve been pure top and one where I’ve been pure bottom. Recently I went through a vers phase where when I was top I was very dom and when I was bottom I was very sub. I’ve just realised how much this is complete gobbledegook to anyone who isn’t gay . Re-read those last two sentences to your straight uncle and see how much they understand.
Which brings me nicely onto the discussion of whether we should even bother with all this top/ vers/ bottom/ dom/ sub stuff? Does it help improve communication? Or does it just lead to generalisations and stereotypes? Part of me definitely thinks that the “TOP ONLY” brand of Grindr status is a trait of toxic masculinity housed within the gay world: they’re clearly sad at their emasculation (by not being straight) so they attempt to parallel a man’s sexual role in the straight world as closely as they can. However, humans are always going to create language to describe categories and sub-categories of people. Also, my favourite gay meme account often trades in absolutely iconic and on-point takedowns of gay subcategory behaviour, and I would hate for that to disappear. So clearly, they have a place, but I guess I think they should be taken as semi tongue-in-cheek and far less rigidly than they are currently, i.e. “TOP ONLY”. PS I managed to use three sexual innuendos in that sentence, spot them all to win a prize .