Dating 101

Dating Wisdom: More Top and Bottom Talk, and HIV Disclosure

By: Justin Hernandez
  • I have been a bottom for the few times I have been sexually active. I’m curious about being on top. Every time I try with my partner it seems as though I’m nervous or just don’t stay erect, but I do when I bottom. What can I do to fix this so I can experience being on top?

- Nervous Top

It sounds as if you’ve identified the problem already by addressing the feeling of nervousness. Whenever a first time for any sort of sexual experience occurs there’s always that heightened sense of fear because it’s brand new. However, you can’t over analyze because once you get inside your head, you’ll lose the flow of blood to your other head.

I would say relax and think about seeking some outside assistance to help you along with that first time. I’m NOT going to recommend Viagra because I don’t condone the usage of prescription drugs for recreational purposes. Maybe you could try using a cock ring. They are slightly uncomfortable when you are not used to wearing them, but they get the job done with regards to keeping an erection. It also wouldn’t hurt to have some porn playing in the background. The visual stimulation will keep you pleasantly distracted and give you the boost you need to slide into home base. Happy topping!


  • I have been seeing someone for about a month. Until now, it’s just been foreplay and oral. We mistakenly never had the “who is a top, who is a bottom” convo. Turns out we are both tops. Can this work?

- Outie Looking for His Innie

Well, on the bright side at least you figured out that you neglected to have an important conversation that should take place when two men are dating. There’s nothing wrong with having dialogue about sexual preferences. It helps avoid situations such as this one.

If the both of you are non-negotiable tops, I would say don’t hold your breath. You could try to make it work by continuing the foreplay and oral fun, but eventually one of you is going to be looking for some backdoor activity. The only other option would be to come to some sort of an agreement where you continue dating, yet seek certain needs outside of the relationship. However, if you are a fan of monogamy, that probably won’t work. Ultimately, it all depends on what type of relationship you are looking for.


  • I’ve been dating this guy and I really like him. We haven’t had sex yet. He just told me he is HIV-positive. What should I do?

- Concerned but Still Interested

Knowing each other’s statuses is important in any sexual relationship, and should always be discussed as honestly as possible. I think it’s great that this guy was upfront about his HIV status. Having said that, you said you really like him. The feeling is most likely mutual since he disclosed an important piece of information about his health to you. If not, why would he bother? A person’s HIV status doesn’t change who they are fundamentally and should have no bearing on your attraction to that person. Ask yourself how you would feel about this guy if he had told you about any other medical condition other than HIV. Chances are you would still be willing to date him. Now that you know he is HIV-positive, it just means you have to be steadfast with regards to practicing safe sex, which hopefully you’re doing anyway. Remember: We are attracted to other people because of the way they make us feel, not because of any guarantees about their health.

I’ll end this with offering the best piece of advice I ever received when it came to sex. I came out during the height of the AIDS epidemic and someone once told me that regardless of a man stating he is positive or negative, we should always practice safe sex. Peace of mind is better than sleepless nights. If you have questions, doubts, and fears, do some research and seek out your local LGBT Center. They always have the resources to help keep us informed. Plus, they give out free condoms.


If you have a question, send it to [email protected].

JUSTIN HERNANDEZ writes about sex, dating, and relationships for The Advocate and Follow him on Twitter @HernandezJustin.