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Sexuality: When Did You Stop Having Anal?

If you go entirely by perception, you’d think that the be-all and end-all of gay sex and dating is anal sex. But just like most things in life, what you think you know isn’t always the truth.

While the terms top, bottom, and vers are pretty well known, another term that has been making the rounds is “side”. It’s gay men who’ve rejected the top and bottom dichotomy, opting out of anal sex but are perfectly fine with everything else, like hand jobs, blow jobs, or rimming.

First coined in 2013 by psychotherapist Joe Kort, Ph. D., in The Huffington Post, the term seems to be making a resurgence, since a lot of gay men are rejecting the stereotypes often hoisted on people who identify either as tops or bottoms. The bottoms get the most abuse — pun intended — often being immediately assumed to be the more effeminate one in the relationship.

Of course, there are also other reasons why people become sides. Health issues, like prostate surgery or hemorrhoids, might make one a side out of necessity. There’s also the fact that it does take a lot of work to have anal sex. Unless you’re into scat, it’s just respectful to make sure that you’ve douched before anal.

There’s also the fact that bottoming can just be plain painful. In our post on bottoming for the first time, reader Royalthings talks about how his partner “was so big” that he “couldn’t take his dick.” Reader Parker recalled that “The first for penetration was painful!” Being a side just seems easier.

We’d like to know if any of you guys identify as sides, and what was it that made you identify that way. Is it any of the reasons above? Or do you have another reason entirely? Do you guys have any hot “side” stories to share? Talk about it with us in the comments section below!


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  1. Dallas

    I don’t mind anal. I used to bottom more but as I’ve gotten older into my 30’s, I’ve found prepping and all the work that goes into bottoming is tiring now days. I’ve gotten lazy and just prefer to top which requires no prep. Less stressful.

  2. TiredOfIt

    1980. It was obvious by that time from reporting from both the NY and LA Timeses that the “new gay cancer” was being spread by butt sex, so I dumped men topping me for 24 years and gave up topping them a year later, when stats showed that tops were pozzing up, too. Being bisexual, I just switched to women. I still don’t trust gay men; they lie like rugs. It turned out to be a wise choice. Today’s “gay community” sucks the bag. 40% of these morons voted for Frump!

    • 2dicksaz

      1980 √ Same here, same reason. You’re not alone. My late partner (lost to prostate cancer) and I had each come to the same conclusion before we met. We did open up the relationship after a while, usually playing together, still oral only: No condoms, no HIV, no worries. We had a lot f fun.

      Current partner and I have have gotten back into anal and with fb’s now that there’s PrEP. But I still have never found an ass that feels as good as an eager mouth. Frankly, if I never had anal again I wouldn’t miss it.

  3. Rob

    Agreed, I love bottoming but sometimes a guy can be too big or way to aggressive. Need to take time to enjoy the sex. Slamming your cock into me off the bat won’t keep me going for that long before it’s just pain. Slow pushing to let the muscles relax is always best

    • DMR

      Rob, to date, I have never come a crossed a cock that I could not take, I am not saying that there aren’t some out there somewhere that truly might be difficult to take. Send you oversized cocked friends to me, I will teach them how to do it the right way. I am well endowed and many times that will scare a guy off, for the reason you stated. They have a big cock, and they just want to drop their load inside of someone. Because I am well endowed, I always make sure my receptive partners anus is prepped with lube and finger action and then when I make entry, like you said, slow gentle pressure is the way to go. I also have learned to watch facial expressions. If there is a sign of pain/distress, I stop right where I am, and ask, do I need to hold still for a moment/min? Do I need to pull out and let this pass? Do you want me to keep going because this is one of those pleasurable type pains that you love. Anybody with a small, normal, big, huge or monster sized cock that rams anybody, ought to tied down and have a dildo shoved into his rectum to see what it is that he is doing to his sex partners. This all goes back to the most common of thing we learn as children, do unto others as you would have them do unto you, NOT do unto others before they can do it to you. Just my side of the story for what it is worth.

  4. leonardlucas

    Personally, I still have anal sex, and in fact gravitate more towards topside. With that being said, I’m not of the opinion that anal sex is the end all/be all when it comes to guys enjoying each other sexually. I’ve been with a variety of guys, and in fact some of my best times have been with other men who also happen to be tops. I don’t think I have to list the variety of things that you can get into. My mindset is just get me naked in front of another man, and from there it’s not hard to find something to do so as to get off. It’s all in how you mentally approach it.

  5. rovingeagle

    This is the first time I’ve ever come across this ‘label’ in this context. Without any objection, I had always known just principle as ‘no anal’. Instead for those that I have heard used the term ‘side’, it’s always been to do with not wanting to be an extra for someone in a relationship… a side-dish sort of. Happy to learn the new term.

    • DMR

      I would agree 100%. I am 100% versatile and I love pitching and receiving, and do equally well at both. I can not imagine being in relationship where there was no penetrative sex, be that M2M, M2F or F2F. I am not saying that penetrative sex in the be all/end all, but it is the most intimate way you can express your love. That of course, is just my opinion, for what it is worth. Having worked in the nursing field for 35 years and having worked on a gastro-intestinal floor, I do realize there are some things that absolute preclude anal sex, I mean as horrible as it sounds, sometime the rectum is sewn shut related to cancer and an ostomy is placed. People who have had hemorrhoidectomies, seem to have a difficult time getting that part of their body to return to a normal, nonpainful site. So those are just a few of the medical reasons that could prevent it from happening. But to give it up willingly with a reason like that, no way.

  6. K

    I identify that way. Will you add it to the profile options or change foreplay to side? Because foreplay implies that anal is the be-all, end-all.

  7. Jay

    I’ve been on team vers for years but I abandoned the bottom side after my bf passed in 2015. I have briefly had a 3 day encounter with a nurse that was also a widow but most guys are just so disconnected that I’m not at all interested in submitting like that.

    I tried with a very well endowed postman last year but he was way over equipped physically but emotionally lacking due to his bisexual persona. He also lost his bi buddy in 2015 about a month before mine passed. He abruptly ended things and put it all on me coming on too strong to him but that’s just how he deals with life dwelling on the past and I definitely don’t want to return to that space he seems trapped in.

    I conceded to the bottom to a Romanian college kid in September once and he still talks about that to this day. He gave me the you’re optional feel a few days after that and I let him go. I’ve tried to be the wham bam type bottom but that”s just not how I’m designed. I’m definitely wham bam on the top side though.

    For me being on bottom is really having the control of the sex. I never rush the top. Never ask him how close. There’s a rhythm and responses a top gives and when you match that you’ll know. He’ll be popping off sweat off his nose, chest, and everywhere until he explodes and lingers inside for round 2 or a quick nap. I always thought guys were just putting out game to me but this is how tops respond to me. We’re all different.

  8. GMC

    When I first started having sex I was a bottom since my first BF I first started having sex with was a top and had more experience so I followed his lead. I enjoyed the intimate contact between me and him but getting fucked was an annoyance and unless we were actively kissing, or maintaining some other form of contact, I felt like the wife in movies you see, where the husband is actively and sweaty fucking away and then the camera pans to her and she has her hair up, glasses on, reading a book, wondering when he will be done. Since he and I broke I have been a pure top.

    I have not heard about sides before, but whatever floats your boat. You should look at the g0y community. g-zero-y.

  9. Blowpop50

    I’ve considered myself a *middle* since 1983, when at 21 years old I had to undergo hemorrhoid surgery because my overly fastidious hygiene routine caused some issues; I was going out to the clubs every night, and I always wanted to be “ready for anything.” Before the surgery I loved taking dick (almost as much as sucking one) and I could handle some pretty big ones with ease, though occasionally I’d encounter a challenging one (and who doesn’t love a challenge? lol.) But once I was fully healed and recuperated from my surgery and ready to get back to business (with some apprehension, I’ll admit) things had changed: it seemed like AIDS was everywhere, nobody was sure how it was spread (but most theories involved anal sex,) and everyone was scared. I decided to hold off on bottoming again til this all got figured out, but by the time the CDC came out with safer sex guidelines I suppose I lost interest in it. I’d always loved sucking dick more anyway, so it wasn’t that big a deal to me, plus I didn’t have to put my body through all that prep work required to get fucked (I never wanted to give my partner an unwelcome surprise. ) In the many years since, I’ve tried bottoming only a couple of times, but concluded pretty quickly that it’s no longer for me; I’m very content with all the other things that are still on the menu – and there are plenty.

  10. freakslutboi

    I remember my first time taking dick and was somewhat painful. It took a fair bit of self exploration to be where I’m at now. Now I think it’s super hot to have a well endowed man grab my hair and use my holes.

  11. SeriousToo

    I have always been a “side”, always looking for alternatives to anal sex. Anal sex seems abusive, animalistic, and unhealthy to me. I listen to friends talk about their sex-capades and read the comments on this Blog and I am amazed at what some men will do.

  12. Foreplay4Ever

    I’m a side, and proud of it. I’ve had a lot of bad experiences as a bottom. Finally, I just said “Never again”. I do, however love to give complete oral satisfaction. By what my partners tell me, I am very good at it.

  13. Jason

    I stopped having anal sex after 2 incidents, 1st: I hooked up with a guy when I thought he’d stealthed me and 2nd: I tried to hook up with a guy who wanted me to top him and kept begging to do it bareback and even tried to take the condom off. Not to mention I have a hard time (pun intended) keeping it up with a condom.

    Since then I’d just rather do oral, hand jobs or even cuddle for that matter.

  14. andy19806

    One issue not mentioned is the top remaining hard enough to penetrate, especially after the rituals of getting the rubber on and lubing well. Especially true with an inexperienced bottom and an older top (me). But do remember well one great guy who always bottomed for me. For some reason it always worked well for us. We would usually finish with him sitting on me facing me with his hard cock pointing at my face. While he pumped on me, I would finish him off by hand so he came over my chest. Was great to be able to see his face; will always remember that look. Then he would lube my cock with his cum and finish me off by hand. Still gets me going just thinking about it but that was a long time ago.

  15. Eric

    With my guy I’ve always been his bottom and I love it feeling this thick meat I’m me!! Last night he told me he wanted to bottom for me!!! I started out as a hard rock top guy and slowly became a bottom I’m 26 he is 28 when I did it I began to go soft!!!! Is this normal I want to pleasure my man I’ve been taking pills (extenze) to be ready again for when it happens I wanna be raging top on his ass is this normal? Will this help? Anyone please help? Thank you

  16. tim

    Anal has never been one of my favorite things to do, I have never been fucked and at my age now, almost 59 never want to either but have fucked maybe 5 in my lifetime, yes its intense but never really cared for it. I quit doing someone several years ago with my 2nd partner after being depressed over something causing me a lack of interest in sex which resulted to the end of our relationship. I never could relax when he tried me, I am forever thankful now that I never let him do me because poor soul is now HIV+ undetectable but has been very ill over the years, we stay in contact but its something I never really cared for .. as I get older now, sex just doesnt seem very important to me. I know its an expression of love and devotion but not as much anymore. I am sure I will get lots of crap for saying that but once you get older, its just the companionship, love and respect you have for your man is good for me.. different strokes for different folks, whats good for the goose is good for the gander LOL

    • anonimatovato

      I think the problem is gay community fights so hard for acceptance and marriage equality, but most just want the hot sex and there you go. No love and commitment. There’s nothing wrong with an occasional fun, people have needs, but after a while doesn’t that story gets old? I personally find anal to be very intimate because you’re really giving a part of you to him lol

  17. A&B

    My husband and I are both tops and together for 14years so for all of you nah sayer’s we are proof that it can work. He his very masculine and never showed interest in being a bottom. I am middle of the road masculine, most assume I am a bottom especially since my husband is very masculine. I think he and I dated bottoms in the past and found that the ones we encountered were too needy and he and I are more independent. It was about the mentality and not the top and bottom positions/labels. We were skeptical in the beginning but it worked out for us. The answer is lots of oral , for us, we also bring in submissive bottoms and spit roast them to their delight.

  18. DayShadow

    I would never stop having anal sex and as far as prepping those people have clearly never heard of pure for men. That stuff rules and takes prep time down to nothing. I still douche real quick for good measure but it’s only minutes. Most of the time I wouldn’t need to at all, but again good measure.

  19. Andrew

    To be honest alot of ppl expect me to me this hardcore top, i’m bi and 26, and can understand why, i’m 6′ 3″ 235 lbs and a buff body and i got a phat ass great smile and a sweet cock, but being honest i would rather prefer a guy suck me off all sloppy make his spit run down my thick shaft between my ass and tongue fuck my hole until i can’t take it no more, i don’t like a cock in my ass been there done that was nice but knew it wasn’t for me thats why when i and a guy connect i know just how to ride him and make him cum hands free. But if we don’t connect even if u get me hard after putting on the condom and lube my hard erection would soften up, i just prefer a eager mouth, suck me and swallow, kiss me suck my nipples while i life you up and caress you, i had this one guy who was a total sub who would beg to get fucked by me but loved sucking my cock and he wouldn’t even touch his cock and he would cum just from sucking me, it was hot, only thing i didn’t like he had a scent about him that after sucking me his cum and sweat were kinda undesirable but he was a good guy.

  20. Ron

    I’m versatile…so I always prep as if my playmate wants to top me. It does take me about an hour to hour and half to douche properly. I’ll have the confidence to enjoy being topped without worrying about getting dirty..

  21. Lamar

    I stopped being on the receiving-end of that after the first two times I even had sex, period. I still, every once in a while LOVE to hump a guy, otherwise, we do other things… It was ‘ok’ on the receiving-end, but I’m not really “wired” for it, personally, cause I don’t desire it and its a good thing too, considering…

  22. Weldonsage

    Well.. after reading all the posts here, I am surprised that there were not more guys saying that they are “sides”. Well, maybe I am not that surprised. I have a hard time finding guys who are not either top or bottom. I’m a side, but I have never really used that term. One guy mentioned “g0y” and that surprised me. I do relate to that. Why? Yes, I find anal sex disgusting, dirty and unpleasant all around. No, never tried it. I know, I know… they all say.. you have to try it. No, I don’t. Well, if I was in love with a guy.. and we were partners and he really wanted me to try it.. I might be talked into it. And I would probably be a bottom, I guess. But for now… nope. Health reasons, (I do have hemorrhoids), not knowing how healthy your partner really is, and even religious reasons (it was banned in Old Testament law). Easy pass for me. When I was 8, my 12 year old brother penetrated me, but I made him stop quickly. Maybe that always left it negative in my mind. I enjoy kissing and frotting. There is something very hot and sexy about rubbing two hard cocks together while kissing and holding each other. Things can get very passionate and amazing.. and there is no anal sex. I mean I can take or leave oral. It feels good.. but I won’t complain if it didn’t happen. I just like the connection with this special friend. Notice I said “friend”. I don’t like hooking up with strangers. I had an amazing time with a friend that was hot and passionate and fun, and neither one of us even “came”.

  23. 2dicksaz

    I’m with you (see TIREDOFIT above and my comments.)

    Man-sex is about dick, isn’t it? Cock worship: showing it, sharing it, reveleing in it/them. What’s the difference between burying it in an ass or burying it in a pussy? I don’t want ’em buried, his or mine. Unless down a throat, preferably simultaneously.

    There are guys out there who say if it’s not [butt]fucking, it’s not sex. That’s just narrowing your own choices – and your own pleasure.

  24. rob

    Its HARD-WIRED into us! I don’t think we get to chose our sexual role any more than we get to choose to be gay or straight or anything else imbetween these two “poles.”

    Versatiles often say, not of them of course, that ….”you’re liminting yourself.,, I don’t like to post what I am.” My response is always…”Spoken like a true versatile! ” To be fair, I’m unware of any formal studies conducted on gay men sexual roles.

    In my mind there’s the act… toping, bottoming and then there’s attitude during sex. The attutide….a little dominate or a little submissive or anything else.

    I’m a bottom in sex and in attitude. (for example, I like tops who don’t suck). I might be seen as an extreme but these are the typs of guys I have the best sex with.


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