Challenge: Bottom’s Up


Words || James Booth

[Content Warning: This article discusses sexual themes, drug use and disordered eating]

I’d like to begin this piece with two undeniable facts. The first, which may come as a surprise to honestly nobody, is that I’m a raging queer who likes to partake in sexual intercourse with other men, and the second being that penetrative male to male intercourse often involves having to navigate the ‘cleanliness’ of your bottom.

Being the receptive partner in queer sex is challenging, and it goes without saying that there is an expectation on bottoms to be ready for sex at any given moment. The lack of queer sex education available sees a reliance on the internet for many young queer men trying to navigate the social expectations placed on them to be keen, and we see this manifest itself in the focus on douching, the invention of supplements made to “flush out bottoms”, and the countless diet recommendations for bottoms. In saying this, I’m more than guilty of playing into the culture and have definitely starved myself in the past to be clean and ready to go for sex.

This obsession with regulating the eating of receptive partners can be perhaps best illustrated by the views of commenter ‘Martin Luther Coon’ who notes that:

“bottoms should only do a liquid diet and live for us tops to rip their worthless holes in two”.

As such, it is with Coon’s guiding philosophy in my mind, I accepted the challenge to give up solid food and consume only liquids for three days. May my aura be cleansed, my body detoxed, and my true purpose as an empty bottom be fulfilled.

Day 1

I’ll be honest with you, I forgot about the planned liquid diet until the day of its inception, for this reason, I believe that the paragraphs which follow should serve as a general warning against ever committing yourself to several events, and also a specific warning against not eating when you do so.

As a generally disorganised being, I’m fairly prone to forgetting to eat breakfast in the mornings and then buying myself food on the way to plans – if I were a more organised person I would have cold pressed myself my own exotic blend of vitamin-rich fruits, but instead the first ‘meal’ of my cleanse is a $2 bottle of full-pulp, orange juice that I consume on the train to Redfern. My Saturday is spent volunteering my time towards organising an upcoming youth camp. There is a grazing table filled with snacks that I can’t touch, and I navigate this by consuming 4 cups of tea throughout the day – a handy tip for all those looking to avoid solid food, caffeinated beverages are actually a hunger suppressant. I personally choose tea because the antioxidants convince me I’m the socially awkward, skinny version of #fitspo models on Instagram.

This working bee presents me with the first of two Day 1 challenges – turning down free food. As if the grazing table wasn’t bad enough, the collective purchases pizza and my goodness it smells delicious, so delicious that I make the decision to push back the challenge by a day and just eat the pizza. This is just a dream and the dairy cheese covering the pizza is like a guardian angel to my liquid diet. As a vegan, I have to politely decline the pizza offering and even manage to escape the day without having to explain to anyone why I’m not eating for the sake of student journalism.

That evening I am working the door of the Imperial hotel to raise money for the same camp. Throughout the night I take full advantage of my environment and consume perhaps the greatest component of any liquid diet: a fair few vodka Red Bulls. Perhaps a third undeniable fact about myself is that once I’ve become my drunk self, there is nothing on this earth I love as much as hot chips. Cue the second challenge of day 1, purchasing a pie and chips for my stoned boyfriend – and not being able to eat a single thing. If I ever end up in purgatory, I believe I’ll be stuck reliving the moment of watching someone enjoy drunk food while I patiently turn them down.

Nonetheless, I had survived the day and persisted on my quest to become the true bottom I had always dreamed of being.

Day 2

True to form I also began day two by forgetting to drink an appropriate breakfast. I’m hungover and on a train back to Macquarie Centre for work and all I can think about is how good some hash browns would be right now. I settle and purchase a tea and pray that I will make it through the next 8 hours relatively unscarred. At this stage, my liquid diet seems like the biggest secret I have. I don’t tell any of my co-workers that it is happening and just put on a smile and push through the day until I can purchase a juice for lunch. I walk myself up confidently to Boost and decide I’m going to do right by myself, and treat myself to some proper nutrition by getting a scoop of oats in my sugary, Oreo filled, peanut butter smoothie. At this stage you’re probably wondering why instead of purchasing something genuinely full of vitamins and minerals I purchased something that would make me feel worse – the simple fact is that I don’t have to answer that question, and respect my right to cleanse my body with unnecessary amounts of sugar to compensate for food xoxo

Plot twist: it does not compensate for food and I definitely do not recommend peanut butter Boost juices as a compensation for eating. I round my day off with a bowl of soup, my first proper meal of the challenge, and head to bed quite early to conserve my energy for day three.

Day 3

If the first two days of the challenge taught me anything, it would be that surviving off store bought juices and teas was expensive and that in order to reach my true cleansed self I needed to survive the day on only homemade smoothies and juices. Two banana, blueberry, rolled oat and soy milk smoothies in, I’m feeling on top of the world and go on a two hour walk – for the first moment in this challenge I begin to think that maybe Martin Luther Coon was right, maybe I should survive on only a liquid diet waiting for a top to “rip my worthless hole in two”.

I have a confession, I failed my liquid diet hours after reaching the peak of my cleansed self. My downfall arose from a combination of exhaustion, poor nutrition, and my inability to focus on my assignment due that evening. There I stood, microwaving my second soup, salivating as I watched chicken nuggets cook in the oven – and I realised that if I was considering breaking veganism, at this point it was time to eat something substantial.

Eating 6 pieces of toast with my soup saw the end of my liquid diet, washed down with some symbolic, fresh squeezed orange juice as a signifier of the end.

Reflecting upon the weekend, I have no doubt that a juice cleanse or liquid diet would be easier if performed with nutrition and proper research in mind. However, what this challenge has instilled in me is an awareness of the expectations we place on each other to obtain sexual levels of perfection at all times. It was alarming how uncomfortable the thought of telling anyone around me was, how the thought of solid food had begun to make me feel uncomfortable, and I think that these are reflective of the stigmas and pressures we put on people to always be ready to be used by us.

In the end, I guess I’ll never be a perfect bottom. However, I guess my partner puts it best when he says ‘butt sex is shitty,’ and if you’re looking to have it that’s yet another of those undeniable facts of life.