YouTuber Bradley Birkholz reflects on the hateful comments he got about identifying as a side
When I admitted to the world that I didn’t much care for anal sex – I didn’t expect quite such a hateful backlash.
I recently wrote for Gay Star News about how I identify as a side. It’s someone who either doesn’t engage in anal at all, or just isn’t bothered by it.
But, I was surprised by how controversial my sex life was to readers and the viewers on my YouTube channel.
In some comments, I was even called a ‘straight 10-year-old’ and a ‘heterosexist’ homophobe.
And if you follow the accusations put to me – does not liking anal make me straight? Or homophobic?
Do you have to like anal to be a gay man?
If you have to have anal sex to be gay as the comments suggest – then does that make some straight couples gay too?
That seems absurd.
Anal sex isn’t unique to the gay community and on the flip side of that, being a gay man isn’t symbiotic with liking anal sex.
A lot of times society portrays a very specific image of what a gay man is.
But let’s remember gay men can be trans, they can be tops, they can be bottoms, they can be sides, they can be asexual.
They might have penises, vagina’s – be effeminate or masculine.
There isn’t a right or wrong way to be a gay man. And frankly even the most common connection between people who use that label, that they are attracted to someone of same-sex love – is fluid too.
Thank you to those who accepted me
I feel the need to say that the majority of the response to the article was positive. I’m especially grateful for those who told me how much they related to my experiences with sex.
Some told me how they felt more confident understanding that they were sides as well.
Sex is a complex and very personal aspect of the human experience, and it’s inevitable that we’re not all going to relate to one another and that we’re going to have similar and yet completely different experiences with it, and that’s okay!
In a community where there’s a lot of pressure to perform sexually, not fitting into the top/bottom binary can be an anxiety-filled storm of insecurity.
Nobody should ever feel pressured into doing something they don’t enjoy, and especially not in the bedroom.
I want people to know that they should never feel obligated to do something because someone else wants to, whether that’s anal or anything else. There’s a surprising amount of gay men who identify as a side. So if you don’t fit into the expectations of the gay male community you don’t need to feel isolated or like you can’t satisfy prospective partners.
There’s no reason to place expectations and pressure on something that’s beautifully diverse and entirely intimate and experience dependent.
One of the beautiful things about liberating sex education is that it’s an open discussion where everyone’s invited. I’d love to read your comments…
Are you a side, or is anal sex a big part of your sex life?
- I’m beyond butthole binaries. I’m a side
- It’s a brand new word, but it helps explain how I feel about anal sex
- Having anal is a big part of my sex life