"Bottoms", or "receivers" were disrespected by the whole Roman society as they are by the gay community today. It was fine for men to sleep with either men or women back in many ancient societies as long as they were the penetrative partner. Nowadays there seems to be stigma for "bottoms" within the gay community. Can you disambiguate and elucidate this for me?

It’s been a long time since I was at uni, but I did study a lot of Ancient Roman history at one point. You are definitely correct, “bottomness” was derided then as it is today. In fact, it is my strong belief that ‘bottomness” is one of the fundamental causes of internalised homophobia and self-hate.

It all comes back to the way heteronormative society connects masculinity and strength to the male “penetrative” partner, and conversely femininity and weakness to the female “receptive” partner in heterosexual sex. Neither concept has any base in reality, they are simply constructions indoctrinated into every single male and female from birth. Sticking your dick into a woman is no more masculine than being fucked by a dick is feminine. It’s just a physical sex act, and the most common sex act for heterosexual sex. Nothing more, nothing less than that. Homosexual male sex acts are different again, but contain no masculinity or femininity. The masculine and the feminine are constructs that we psychologically impose on our sex acts.

After we have been indoctrinated with these concepts, homosexual males are then left with a psychological disconnect because they can in fact penetrate AND receive. As most of us know, being fucked is incredibly satisfying (and addictive!), but when this is layered onto the heavily normalised concept that to be penetrated is to be feminine and weak, this causes psychological trauma.

To compensate, non-heterosexuals start a process of hyper-masculinising themselves, due mainly to the sense of humiliation and shame one feels for enjoying receptive, passive anal sex. 

You see it ALL the time. It’s everywhere! Almost all of the “straight-acting/masc musc/no femmes/no queens/no girls/real men only” brigade are bottoms. Almost. Every. Single. One.

Every conversation I have with one of these guys triggers their conditioning – in almost the same manner every time. They immediately get defensive and aggressive because the trigger point is SO sensitive. The cliched defenses then start flying fast – “I’m just being normal, I’m just being myself, I’m not insecure, I don’t hate myself, I’m not homophobic, I just like men to be men, I’m not into faggy girly guys” etc etc. The whole time the message is clear enough: “I’m insecure about being a bottom and because of this I want to make sure you all know that I am a real man. The easiest, fastest way for me to make sure you realise this is to rag on ‘fems and queens’ and direct my shame towards them instead.”

Society has emasculated these men by implanting a bullshit lie – that receptive sex is synonymous with femininity. But it is just that – a complete lie, a fabrication.

It’s up to us, as strong, proud, queer men to wake up to this bullshit conditioning and throw it away. It’s always going to be there, within us, and it’s always going to be a source of unconscious shame and pain, but we have the ability to see it for what it is and take responsibility for the way we use it.

PS – to voguefemme below – you are waaaayyyy to funny gurl!! xxx

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