On this episode, Joe is talking about ‘Side Guys’ – Gay Men Who Enjoy Sex Without Anal Penetration with YouTuber, LGBTQ+ activist, and writer, Bradley Birkholz and Latino nurse practitioner, Jason Villarreal.
Gay men are constantly referring to and defining themselves as “tops”, “bottoms”, “Verse”, Top Verse, Bottom Verse”. When they consider dating or simply hooking up, gay men typically ask the other guy what he is, as it relates to anal sex.
Gay men are rigidly defined by penetrative sex. There’s so much talk and discussion about who gives and who receives. I’ve had straight people tell me that they assumed that most gay guys simply take turns. Yes, some do, but some don’t. But what if a guy isn’t a top, a bottom or even versatile? What about gay men who have never engaged in anal sex and never will, ever? What if they tried it and didn’t enjoy it and never do it again?
Joe thinks they deserve a name of their own. He coined the phrase, “sides.” As Bradley says, “Love and intimacy can exist without the lens of penetration.”
Sides typically struggle with tremendous feelings of shame. They secretly believe that they should be engaging in and enjoying anal sex, and that something must be wrong with them if they are not.
It’s high time for sides to come out and feel proud and secure about their sexuality. As Jason says, “The more visibility there is for sides, the better.”