Article by Maya Vukovska

Here’s a riddle for you: How do you call a gay man who claims he only fantasizes about fucking people but never does it because he dislikes anal sex? Fraud? Faker? Pseudo gay? Humbag?

You may think such people aren't for real because it is unlikely to be gay AND have sworn off anal, but they do exist. And they call themselves “sides.”

The revelation of Joe

The term “sides” was coined by Joe Kort, a Detroit-based clinical sexologist, who has been treating men with such a problem (if we can call it a problem at all!) for many years. In 2013, he published an article on Huffpost where he presented an alternative to the binary classification of “top” and “bottom”. He called the gay men who have an affinity for neither, and display disdain for both, "sides."

The therapist came out as gay himself at the age of 14. Nowadays, his ideas are so popular within the LGBTQ+ community that he has 300, 000 followers on TikTok. Reportedly, Kort is also among the people behind the movement that calls for separating what we do sexually in terms of our identity. According to him, “sexual behavior does not determine sexual orientation,” and even if you stop having sex for good, it does not make you less gay.
And by the way, Kort also identifies himself as a side.

What sides do and don’t do

Sides are NOT asexual. They enjoy just about every other sexual practice, but prefer being peripheral to being the penetrator or the penetratee. Sides like to kiss, hug, give and receive blowjobs and handjobs, rub up and down on each other, and engage in mutual masturbation. Only butt play is off the menu. Many of them have tried it, of course, and even performed it for a certain period of time (usually, under the instance of the their partner), but they have realized that it’s not their thing. Some may even enjoy being fingered, but that’s it. Zero pleasure, zero satisfaction.

Should you be upset about being a side?

The answer to this question comes down to getting to terms with fundamental and abstract concepts like sexual shame and masculinity. In his practice, Dr. Kort has talked and received calls from upset clients who said they felt ashamed and even “broken” for not being able to enjoy and/or perform penile penetration. The frustration these people experience is boosted by the common belief that the only “real” sex is the penetrative kind of sex. It’s a shame that this anachronistic prejudice is still haunting both hetero- and homosexual men worldwide, because they have been conditioned to think that penetrating a vagina or an anus with their dicks is what makes them real men. It’s simply what sex is all about.

But obviously, it is not. Sex is much more than just putting a penis in a whole.

Anal is, in fact, a fuck ton of work

With that said, why do it anyway!? Especially if you’re not getting paid for the effort! Plus, there are a lot of extra “events” and “accidents” to be taken into consideration when you assfuck, like douching and poop all over the place. And a second plus (which actually should be considered a second minus) is that if you’re not a top, everyone is kinda looking down on you. The only real plus I can see in this butt-fuck business is that the father of the bottom is supposed to pay for the gay wedding.

Feel proud to be a side!

I have started this text as an educational thing, and I’m going to end it with an appeal to every gay guy out there who literally does not give a fuck: Own your sexuality, be proud and safe about it, and remember that being a top or a bottom doesn’t define you as a gay person. You just need to see the bright side of being the side queen.