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Marriage Equality

Op-ed: Who Pops the Question — Top or Bottom?

Op-ed: Who Pops the Question — Top or Bottom?


Gay couples have the freedom to reject gender roles, notes our correspondent.

I wrote an article last week that discussed a beautiful proposal between two guys and then answered some of the questions they had. I received an overwhelming response on Twitter and apparently opened a can of worms when it came to questions about gay marriage. First of all, I am no expert. My marriage is not exactly one I would model others off of, and our engagement and actual ceremony were laughable at best. Regardless, I have been through it and have had many friends go through it, so I am happy to tackle some of the basics. A follower of mine asked me the following: "I'm more masc/top but I see myself being proposed to when the time comes ... is that MY job though?"

Apparently the rules are still being written for same-sex marriage, if there are "rules" at all. It seems most guys equate their sexual position with everything else that has to do with their relationship. For instance, the top is the more masculine one and therefore does all of what the traditional masculine roles would be. The bottom is the more feminine one and therefore does all of what the traditional feminine roles would be. Can I just say Hold the fuck on for just a minute? How did gay culture get this way? There are so many problems with this, I don't even know where to begin. I'm not going to tell you how to run your relationship, but I think it's very important for gay men in relationships to reverse roles. That is one of the few advantages to being gay -- that we can actually experience sex in different ways, so why on earth aren't more couples doing this? All of the gay marriages that I know of that I consider "happy" involve two versatile men. They trade off. Take turns. Flip fuck. It makes sense.

All of that being said, when it comes to proposals and marriage, there is a whole lot at stake if "traditional masc/fem roles" are going to be applied. I feel like this is a slippery slope that can lead to a lot of negative situations later. I'm not saying that it's bad if one guy is more masculine and one guy is more feminine. That's fine. I'm saying don't apply traditional heterosexual roles to the situation. The more masculine one should be able to take on feminine roles and vice versa. This includes proposing marriage. I think there should be no set rules as far as who proposes to whom. I think it all has to do with the dynamic of your specific relationship. In the case of the masc/top who reached out to me on Twitter, I say wait to be proposed to (when the time comes). If you feel your partner is dragging his feet and won't pop the question, then nut up and get on your goddamn knee and take control.

If anything, I would hope that the rise of acceptance and popularity of same-sex marriage would dissolve some of the traditional top/bottom roles that have persisted. I can certainly say in my own marriage that we are all over the place, and even though I'm the "gay-at-home dad," it doesn't mean I do the cooking and am afraid to get outside and get dirty. I actually enjoy switching up roles and flip-flopping and all of that. In fact, that has been the key to our longevity -- 16 1/2 years and counting.

So instead of assigning the top as the one who proposes, maybe some of you bottoms need to get over yourselves and surprise him and get on your knee. God knows getting on your knees isn't something unfamiliar to you. Now just add an engagement ring and pop him the question that will make him yours for the rest of your lives. So you better love that D.

FRANK LOWE is The Advocate'sparenting writer. Follow Frank on Twitter @GayAtHomeDad and on Instagram at gayathomedad.

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