Genetics top bottom gay sex
Genetics top bottom gay sex

Genetics May Play a Role in Whether You’re a Top, a Bottom or Versatile

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Researchers from the University of Toronto Mississauga have found that there may be a genetic underpinning to gay and bi men’s preferred anal-sex role in bed (that is, whether one is a penetrative top, a receptive bottom or both, aka. versatile), though they’ve said that any effect of biology on this particular bedroom behavior is likely “indirect” at best.

The research team surveyed straight, gay and bi men attending the 2015 Toronto Pride events. They asked the men about their preferred sexual position, whether they’re left- or right-handed, their perceived childhood gender nonconformity and their number of siblings.

The surveys found that bottoms were more likely to have more older brothers, to have been gender-nonconforming as children and to be predominantly left-handed more often than straight-identified men, tops or vers guys. Previous studies from one of the lead researchers had also found strong correlation between one’s sexual role and dominant handedness and between versatile men having more older sisters.

Previous to this study, a handful of sex researchers and scientists said that social factors play a big part in gay and bi men’s preferred anal sex roles. For example, a bottom living in a city full of bottoms can turn versatile or top. Also, societal pressures, like men constantly shaming bottoms as weak or feminine, can pressure some bottoms to change their preferred sexual position in an attempt to gain greater acceptance and esteem.

These pressures can cause a difference between one’s sexual desires and their actual behavior, says one of the study’s lead researchers, Doug P. VanderLaan. So even if there is a connection between one’s anal-sex role and their biological make-up or perceived gender conformity, VanderLaan says, the causality is likely indirect at best. He said:

“Sex role identity development is a complex process that unfolds over decades, so the idea that some early life developmental experience that happened in the womb has a direct impact on someone’s sex role behavior decades later, that seems potentially a little too simplistic and we certainly don’t have demonstrative evidence that that sort of scenario is indeed the case.”

Interestingly, another previous study from Northwestern University found that you’re more likely to be a bottom if you find bottoming pleasurable and if you give into sexual control dynamics (i.e. adhering to pre-assigned sex roles in the bedroom). That study also suggested that one’s sexual position self-label develops over a 15-year period in adulthood. “Put simply,” that study’s author said, “the more good or bad sexual experiences, over time, lead people to a role.”

(Featured image by franckreporter via iStock Photography)