As gay men, a good portion of some of our lives will be dedicated to anal sex. At its best, bottoming is a mind-blowing experience that feels really good. At its worst, it is painful and unpleasant. Clearly there is a right and wrong way to do it, and mind you, it’s a learning curve — few guys start off as bottoming champions. Here’s some tips and tricks – whether you’re a beginner or advanced – enjoy the read!
1. Watch your food intake.
For those who still have it: Appreciate your robust digestive health while it lasts. If you’re planning to bottom in the future, consider adding probiotics, fiber supplements, and assessing your processed food and sugar intake. Fiber is highly beneficial as it promotes compact stools, making it easier to clean.
Be cautious not to overconsume fiber, as it can lead to dehydration, cramps, and hemorrhoids.
As you grow older, experimenting with dietary choices can optimize digestive well-being. Prioritize a whole-food, low-inflammation diet to support digestion. Food directly influences gas, cramps, energy, regularity, and rectal comfort, impacting your overall bottoming experiences
2. Your preparation routines will change over time.
Guys employ various cleaning methods based on their preferred sexual activity. Many start in the shower with water and a finger. Some find this sufficient. Others advance to douching bulbs or enemas, which generally work well, but may not clean as deeply as hoses or shower attachments with a gentle, warm water flow and low pressure (avoiding high pressure for comfort). These methods carry distinct advantages and risks – do your research prior to using any of these methods.
There is no golden rule to douching or preparation, everyone is different and everyone will benefit differently from different techniques.
Stay curious and try new techniques once in a while. Talk with your friends who also bottom, or do some research online to get new insights.
3. Shame doesn’t bring you anything good.
We’ve all felt it. Either you feel ashamed to use condoms due to the popularity of barebacking, or because you’re immunocompromised. Or you’re shamed for barebacking as it carries its own stigmas.
Those who confidently share their sexual journeys – good and bad- are the change makers. They enable and inspire others the freedom to explore, and they shed light on areas of our sexuality which so often go misunderstood and clouded by shame.
Try different (brands of) lubes and see what works best for you. Some guys prefer spit – although it won’t work for extended play or rough sex. When you play rough, go for silicone lube. It will keep your ass lubed for longer than water-based lubes, and since it won’t wash off with water, it is ideal for use in the shower as well (either for your preparation or sex in the shower). It will get messy though when it comes to clean up time – so choose wisely!
5. Shit happens.
Almost everyone who bottoms has done this at least once in their bottoming journey: ask the top to pull out mid-session to check their dick for shit. This paranoia can ruin the sex and frustrate your partner(s). Tops know what they get into - literally. It is butt-sex after all and most tops know that sometimes, the body behaves outside of our control.
Regardless of whether you're a beginner or pro - be less afraid of it. It’s gonna happen.
6. Top. It will make you a better bottom.
Even if you’re a fully fletched bottom, topping a few times can teach you a number of things about being a bottom. From trying different positions, rhythms, and movements, to experiencing the techniques of the bottom you fuck, you’ll understand better how to please a top. Your bottoming skills will have a high chance of improving by topping.
While bottoming: work with your top. Good sex is about playing with varying degrees of dominance and submission. You must read each other’s body language and part of your job as a bottom is to please your top. There are no pointers or rules to this: every top is different and has different things that get him off – get inspired by doing it!
7. Get tested regularly.
In today's era, PrEP offers extra protection against HIV transmission, proving statistically more reliable than regular condom use. However, despite PrEP's potential to reduce HIV transmission, rates of other STIs like chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are steadily increasing among gay men. Clinics and LGBT centers recommend comprehensive testing every three months for sexually active gay men.
Regular testing isn't preventive healthcare but it’s more of a responsive approach. While preventative care is generally better for health, the reality is that many gay men engage in bareback sex due to the existence of PrEP.
While barebacking still faces a lot of criticism from both in and outside the gay community, stigmatizing it won't address the fact that many of us are fucking bare and not apologizing for it. Instead of shaming and blaming, the best response would be to urge guys who bareback to get tested as frequently as possible.
Keep an eye out for blood. Every time you have anal sex, you get micro-fissures. These are tiny tears that may not bleed at all and will probably not cause any pain, but they are still gateways for HIV transmission. However, when you see red, it is a sign that you have gone too rough or perhaps have not used enough lube, and it is time to stop.
If you are a recreational bottom, this will happen at some point in your life. Do not live in fear of bleeding — stress and sex-phobia are more unhealthy than most other ailments.
If you have smart, sane, and consensual sex, and push your limits within reason without exceeding your abilities, you can enjoy bottoming for years without any serious problems.
9. Know the risks to bottoming on drugs.
Sex drugs are invariably part of our world, so it would be a disservice to say “Don’t do drugs” and let that be the end of it. You’ll probably do drugs at some point in your life, or have staggeringly drunken nights, or both.
If you choose to do drugs, remember that the most common sex drugs — Ecstasy, Molly, GHB, and the like — will act as accelerants. They will probably affect your stomach, especially if you have not eaten, and quite commonly will make you have a bowel movement. If you are able to carry a douche or enema with you, you might want to at least do a squirt after you take a hit.
All drugs come with a plethora of risks all on their own. They can limit your ability to know when your butt has had enough, they may diminish the efficacy of your antiretroviral medication, and can obviously cause severe addictions along with a slew of harmful side effects.
Regardless what you choose to do, sharing needles and injecting any substance into your body is an extremely high-risk practice that invites Hepatitis, HIV, and other infections. Steer clear of injection drugs.
10. Sex drive comes and goes. Give into it.
We all have phases during which we go wild and cannot get enough, having sex multiple times a day with insatiable tops, and then there are also times where we aren’t into it as much (or at all) and love to veg out in front of the tv.
Pressure to live the sex life you lived in the past, or a sex life you see your friends having, causes needless anxiety. Be present with where you are now. The best you can do is listen to yourself and be truthful – not only to your partner(s) but also to yourself.
Articles like this help (we hope!), but when you need to talk about douching, your butt, fantasies, health topics or anything else that makes you feel vulnerable, it’s always great to have a (few) friend(s) who are there for you. Share your experiences with your friends. Keep each other safe. Give guidance when you can. Hear guidance when it comes. We are a community. We take care of each other.
Did we cover all aspects of becoming a better bottom? What other tips would you have? share it in the comments below!