“I only play with versatile guys. You can’t be a good top if you don’t bottom.”

If you are in the fisting scene long enough, you are bound to hear this at some point. You might even come to believe this. You are probably already guessing my opinion on this. But if you want to know why I believe it is completely possible to be a good fisting top without ever having been fisted, read on.

It’s not the same skill, guys: Can you enjoy getting a blowjob even if you have never given one? Most straight guys seem to think so. You really do not need to be a trained fellator – really, it’s a word – to let someone suck you off. Conversely, a good number of women learn to suck cock. Giving and receiving, when it comes to fisting, does not involve the same skill set – it does not even involve the same body parts. I have mentioned before that I consider topping to be an art, and bottoming to be a sport. Well, newsflash, we can’t all be both artists and athletes.

But how do you know how it feels? If I am trying a new BDSM toy – whip, cane, clump – I will try it on myself. On the inner thigh if possible, or if at a store on the inside of my arm. For clumps I use the skin between my fingers. But those are toys – objects made of different materials, in different shapes, with different textures, weights, etc. I know my hands a lot better than I know my floggers. When I first tried sounding as a top, I was so fascinated by it and so confused by it that I did ask someone experienced to do it to me. But as curious as I am about fisting, I simply do not have the physical capacity to do it. The spirit is willing but… So how do I know how it feels? Simply: different for everyone. Not all bottoms are the same. The experience I would have as a bottom, would in no way compare to that of another bottom.

Empathy, it’s a thing. Instead, I rely on feedback, whether verbal or not. If you can really only understand a human experience by having lived through it, you must have a really hard time enjoying art. Unless you are on the far end of the autism spectrum, surely you have some basic ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Bottoms are pretty expressive. If you have a hard time reading feedback and communicating with a bottom, you don’t need to do more bottoming, you need to do more listening (and looking, feeling, etc.) And if you really have no capacity for empathy, you really don’t have any place in kink in the first place.

How can you learn without trying it first? A good number – I won’t say the majority because I never kept notes on this – of fisters, actually started as tops. Unlike many other kinks, the entry barrier for topping is a lot lower. No specialised equipment required, minimal physical skill involved, and relatively low risk – it’s much easier to fist someone than suspend them from the ceiling. Eventually, sometimes after decades, these tops spend so much time around fisting that they become more comfortable with, and more intrigued by, the idea of bottoming. These experienced tops make for great teachers. They can be quite bossy as bottoms, but that is not a bad thing when you are clueless.

Versatile guys have more fun. I can’t argue against that. I especially if you like long sessions, and I do, two versatile guys can play for twice as long as a top and a bottom can. (Do the math). I will add that the prevalence of drug use/abuse in the fisting scene has some influence on  that – bottom/versatile guys are far more likely to be partying than tops, and it’s not always fun to be with someone who’s sober when you’re high – and vice versa. But drugs or not, I cannot argue against this point. Versatile guys do have more fun – I envy them. If someone turns me down saying: “Sorry, I prefer versatile guys because I like to switch”, I can only say “my loss”. But I will not accept: “You don’t bottom so I don’t think you are a good top.”

You can’t be a good bottom if you don’t top… See what I did there? Two can play this game. However, while I am trying to point out the irony here, I do genuinely have a preference for versatile guys. It is not necessarily because I think they are better bottoms, but because they seem to have a healthier attitude towards fisting and sex in general – obviously I am generalising here. I am not really a fun of pillow princesses – I consider myself a generous lover, and I like others who are too, even if I am not always the beneficiary of that generosity. Also, since at this time of my life I am mostly playing at parties and clubs, I just find it more fun to go to these places with versatile guys since they can entertain themselves and still keep their holes for me. It’s ok to be selfish sometimes, I guess…

So, if you like bottoming, keep doing it. If you like topping, feel free to go on as you are. And if you are versatile, well, count yourself luck. There’s a big difference, however, between having a preference, and dismissing other people’s preferences. We can’t all be good at everything!