Effeminate Gay Bottoms in the West: Narratives of Pussyboys and Boiwives on Tumblr

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Recent discussions of gay male bottom identity have been cautious about positioning bottoms in relation to a gendered identity, and thereby colluding with stereotypes about gay bottoms being effeminate and effeminate gays being bottoms. In wider LGBTQ media in Europe and North America there is an effort to destigmatize effeminate gay men in a dating culture that privileges "masc4masc." While this is welcome, it obscures the existence of effeminate gay bottom fantasies that are gender stratified and which insist on a connection between sex role preference, sex object choice, and gender presentation. This paper analyses sexual fantasy narratives on the social media platform, Tumblr, and interrogates a deep structure of gender-stratified male androphilia that finds thematic similarities in non-Western settings, where "egalitarian" or Western "gay" expressions of male same-sex unions compete with traditional "heterogender" forms. It concludes by reaffirming the need to consider gender positionality among gay bottoms' narratives in Western contexts, and for further research on Western gay men to recognize the heterogeneity of gay identities and experiences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Homosexuality
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes


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