We’ve already written about the eight things that make a good top, and now it’s the bottom’s turn. But don’t fret, beloved bottoms, this is not a critique. Bottoming is an art form that takes a lot of practice to master, so we encourage that you take the following information – offered by tops, bottoms, and everything in-between – as a learning, shame-free opportunity. You ready?
Here’s what they had to say.
1. A Good Bottom Is A Great Communicator
Anal sex is incredible, but it can go from good to bad really quick. It can also start out bad and get worse. But how is a top to know the difference when you don’t communicate? Well, they won’t.
“Don’t just lie there! Being a good bottom or top is all about connecting and working off the other person,” Alex, 29, says. “Communication is key. If something could be better, ask. If something hurts, tell.”
Likewise, if something feels good, acknowledge it with a moan or some other mode of enthusiasm. This will tell them to continue. Most tops (nay, most good tops) prioritize a bottom’s pleasure and encourage the bottom to let them know what they like and what they don’t.
A good top/bottom duo are on the same page and understand that, more often than not, sex is best when the bottom is the pilot and the top is the aircraft. While the top might be putting in more work physically, the bottom should be calling the shots.
2. A Good Bottom Knows A Good Lube
You can’t be great at something without regular practice, and bottoming is no different. A good bottom knows the proper tools for success and, as such, has experimented with different lubes – water-based, silicone-based, or a hybrid of the two – to know which work best for them and their bodies.
“A good bottom always has a bottle of their favorite lube at their place,” Gabby, 27, says. “Bonus points if it doesn’t have glycerin in it.”
Regarding anal sex, most opt for silicone for its endurance. However, many prefer water-based lubes and hybrids because they’re easier to wash off your hands, the sheets, and whatever else you happen to touch.
It is also important that if you use a silicone sex toy, you favor water-based lubricants since silicone lube is known to degrade the material.
Any person who’s ever had anal sex knows there is no such thing as too much lube, but it takes a good bottom to let their top know when it’s time to reapply. Though it is mighty convenient, spit is not a suitable substitute for lube. Saliva actually dries out the skin and makes it less elastic, not to mention the bacteria it transfers from one orifice to another.
3. A Good Bottom Knows Their Ass Inside & Out
A Masters in Bottoming takes time, so do your homework and maybe you’ll skip a grade. In addition to intercourse, a good bottom takes the time to learn their bodies through solo exploration – be it through Kegels, toys, or your fingers. This personal time will help you discover which techniques and positions work best for your anatomy.
“In my opinion, a good bottom has explored their hole where their only goal is their own pleasure,” Benjie, 31, says. “That means they likely know what makes them feel good and how to achieve it. They’re also better able to communicate or position themselves so they can get as much pleasure as possible, which is a lot more fun for the top as well.”
PRO TIP: Regular dilation allows for full relaxation, which not only helps bottoms enjoy anal sex, but minimizes injury as well. Think about it this way: The gym hurts after a few weeks off and your ass behaves the same way.
4. A Good Bottom Prepares For A Clean Experience
This one is tricky and may prove polarizing as preparing for anal sex can be a lot of work and clean experiences can never be guaranteed. But cleaning out is one of the highest-rated traits people believe makes a good bottom.
“Meal-planning and preparation are key,” Daniel, 36, says. “Know your cycle.” Jasper, 30, agrees that a good bottom knows how to clean out (or eats a diet that allows them to skip douching), or knows their own butt well enough to be able to say when they’re good-to-go or not, but encourages tops to not “lose their minds” if shit happens. “It’s totally possible to go back to sexy times after cleaning up if everyone’s chill about it,” he says.
But again, if you’ve taken all of the proper preventative measures, sometimes a mess still happens. It’s totally normal and don’t you dare shame yourself if/when it happens. But if thorough cleaning will help you enjoy the experience, visit our guide.
5. A Good Bottom Is Hungry & Enthusiastic
A good bottom loves bottoming and expresses their enthusiasm in taking a good dick-down throughout intercourse. “Responsiveness, flexibility, eagerness, communication and hunger are most important in a bottom,” Dan, 41, says.
Benjie agrees. “They need to be engaged – no one wants to fuck a starfish,” he says. “Make some sounds, let us know what feels good (if you’re uncomfortable with dirty talk, just moan and grunt, we’ll get it), move your body, throw that ass back, touch us, hold onto the pillow, use the headboard as a brace to push back with, pull us into you, there are lots of things you can do. Just be there.”
Of all the testimony received from tops, enthusiasm was by far the most popular. Eye contact, kissing and other passionate actions (eye-rolling, back-scratching, body grabbing) go over well.
Tops also shared that a little assistance goes a long way. If you can tell the top is struggling to get it in or keep it in, proactively adjust your position, place some pillows to gain height, and guide him in.
“Sometimes it’s fun to just dive right into hole-work (rimming, fingering, fucking, etc.),” Evan, 28, says. “Sometimes it’s nice for the top to lay back and have you work on them for a bit. It’s a good idea to work on giving a good blow job or a good handjob, instead of just offering up that hole.”
So, there it is, the five commandments for good bottoming: communication, lube, knowledge, cleanliness, and enthusiasm. Take this knowledge with you and be the best piece of ass you can be.
Meet the Author:
opens in a new windowBobby Box is a freelance writer and editor. He writes about sex and relationships and men’s lifestyle topics for other publications and websites such as opens in a new window NewNowNext.com, opens in a new windowAdvocate.com opens in a new windowBustle.com, opens in a new windowAskMen, opens in a new windowPlayboy, opens in a new window Elle, opens in a new windowMANdatory, opens in a new windowElite Daily, and more.