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How to Be a Good Top: 9 Tips to be a Tip-Top Top

Wondering how to be a good top? We’ll tell you everything you need to know from top to bottom.
Editorial team
June 30, 2023
April 15, 2024
min. read
Banana coming out of pants
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Let’s face it: Topping is tough! There’s a lot of pressure on you to get the pressure just right, and tactics vary depending on whether your partner is a pillow princess or a power bottom.

That said, pat yourself on the back. It’s good that you’re here and willing to learn. After all, queer sex ed isn’t taught in schools, and knowing how to top involves more than just thrusting away and hoping for the best. That’s why we’ve compiled some helpful advice to show you how to be a good top.

But before we start, let’s set the mood…

What is a top?

A top is a sexual participant who assumes the penetrative or insertive role. This penetration could be performed with a penis, fingers, or sex toy. The bottom receives this penetration. A verse is someone who’s happy to top or bottom.

In everyday conversation, you may hear top, bottom, and verse used interchangeably with dom, sub, and switch, but there’s a crucial distinction. The former refer exclusively to your sex position, while the latter describe your role in a BDSM scene. You can be a dominant bottom or a submissive top (or a switch verse — the universal boner).

Top 9 topping tips

A lot of attention already goes to all the ways bottoms can ensure sex goes off without a hitch. But without proper due diligence, tops might cause their partners pain, discomfort, or embarrassment — hardly the ingredients for a successful roll in the hay.

Here’s our expert guidance to help you deliver some top-notch topping.

  1. Read the room

You might be itching to start, but if your partner seems to enjoy making out and isn’t wiggling his ass in the air like a prized pig in heat, take the hint and slow down. Help him savor the moment.

Being the top doesn’t give you license to be domineering and aggressive (unless, of course, the bottom wants you to be). There’s a lot to be said for taking your time, mirroring his mood, and going with the flow.

  2. Foreplay first

Having someone inside you — especially for the first time — can be kind of a big deal. Of course, not everyone is into foreplay, but engaging in at least a little heavy petting can build trust and a physical connection, literally easing you into the encounter.

And, say it with us: rimming. Massaging his hole with your tongue and lips can help relax the sphincter (more on that below) and make for a better experience for both of you. Plus, it just feels good. So pucker up, buttercup.

  3. Hold your horses

OK, cowboy, it’s time for the main event. In the heat of the moment, it can be tempting to gallop before you trot. But going at it with full force from the get-go ensures you’re in for a bumpy ride.

Entering too quickly can be intensely painful for the bottom, and more likely than not, he’ll bolt. So take it slow at first and always use lube. Spit will do in a pinch, but we all saw what happened to poor Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain. Equine metaphors aside: When it comes to gay sex tips, this one is super important.

  4. Keep talking

Sex is more than a physical act; verbal communication is important, too — and we don’t mean dirty talk, although that’s certainly welcome. Regularly check with your partner to see how they’re doing, ensure no accidents or injuries have taken place, and confirm everything is always consensual. A simple “Is this OK?” every now and then will do.


  5. Know the whole hole

The ass is not just a rubber Fleshlight or some other sex toy. It’s a complex piece of anatomical architecture, with a curve and multiple distinct chambers that lead to the large intestine. The bladder is also nearby, so bottoms may feel the need to pee during sex.

The anal sphincters, meanwhile, are the muscles at the end of the colon that clench and relax, allowing you to do things like poop and get fucked in the ass. A magical gateway, if you will. Your partner will likely have gone through the trouble of douching and preparing himself, so the least you can do is understand his anatomy as much as possible. And on that note...

  6. Don’t be judgy

If you want to know how to be a top, it helps to know a thing or two about bottoming. An experienced bottom knows how to get ready for sex to ensure everything is clean down there. Even then, there’s a chance something might go wrong.

Yes, shit happens. It’s kind of a package deal.

Shaming your partner about his preparatory routine or making him anxious about the act beforehand will only make your time together less enjoyable for both of you. Instead, show understanding and appreciation for everything a bottom does. If things get messy, show some compassion and help clean up. If tops and bottoms join hands and sing in harmony, the world will be a better place.

  7. Hit the G-spot

The truth is, this one deserves its own article. The male G-spot (aka the prostate) is a small organ containing thousands of nerves that feel great when stimulated. It feels like a hard little walnut, located about two inches inside the rectum toward the belly. It can be reached with lubed-up fingers, specially designed prostate massagers, or, of course, your dick.

People with prostates can actually have prostate orgasms without any stimulation of the penis. It’s usually described as a deep, full-body experience with a longer, more intense release.

  8. Find your rhythm, then change it up

You can’t always book your bottom a one-way ticket to Pound Town. Sometimes, you have to take him on the scenic route through Grindville along Lovemaking Lane.

Imagine your session as a song that knows when to keep a steady groove and when to change tempo, like “Bohemian Rhapsody” or “Paranoid Android.” Peaks and valleys keep things exciting — perhaps a slow, passionate ballad in one moment, then a thumping EDM track the next. It also helps you work your way up to the rough stuff; slow and steady will help a guy’s sphincter relax, allowing you to get a little more intense.

Again, pay attention to his body language. If he’s relaxed and ushering you in deeper, that’s your signal to crank up the volume.

  9. Everyone gets theirs

Yes, being a top can be an aerobic workout. And yes, it can be tempting to flop over as soon as orgasm. But if you cum first, your duty as a partner isn’t over until your bottom has finished, too. It’s time to help him, whether that’s by kissing, stroking, sucking, fingering, or putting on a little porn to keep the mood going. Everyone wins!

Grindr puts bottoms at the top of your DMs

Feel like you’ve learned how to be better in bed? There’s only one way to find out, and luckily Grindr hosts 10 million monthly users ready to test your skills. Download the Grindr App, or browse hands-free with Grindr Web — the same Grindr you know and love, now available on your laptop or PC with no download required.

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