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Horny for Pole and Hole: What Does Vers Mean?

What does vers mean? Here’s everything you need to know about dispelling the myths, the men, the legends that are the vers population.
Grindr
&
Editorial team
April 23, 2024
May 21, 2024
6
min. read
Table of Contents

Top, vers, bottom, side — if you’re new to the gay dating scene, you might be scratching your head, wondering where you fit in among these demographics. 

Many gay men and queer penis-havers find themselves between a top and a hard place, never sure who’s putting their penis in who. Some are anally ambivalent. Others are typically a top or bottom but find themselves wondering if the ass is greener on the other side. And some are equally enthused by both sex positions. (It’s just nice to be included, you know?)

If any of this sounds relatable, you might be a vers. For gay men, being a vers is like being a Swiss army knife: You can fulfill all kinds of needs. But what is a vers, exactly? Let’s get to the bottom of it. (Or maybe top?)

What does vers mean?

Vers is short for versatile. Gay men who identify as verses aren’t exclusively committed to giving or receiving during sex. They gladly penetrate their partner and receive penetration in equal measure. Basically, a vers is down for whatever — a jack-off-all-trades.

Within the gay vernacular, there is no hard-and-fast rule for defining a vers, meaning gay men into versatile sex can switch roles for any reason. They may top or bottom based on their partner’s preference or what they had for lunch that day. They may trade off in the middle of intercourse with other vers individuals like a sexy game of tag. You’re it!

Top vs. bottom

Here’s the quick-and-dirty long-and-short of top versus bottom: Tops penetrate. Bottoms enjoy said penetration.

Gay men are often asked to put themselves into one of these two camps. But the world isn’t black and white. Hence, the term vers was born to accommodate those who liked to pound their cake and receive it, too. Many people are strict bottoms or tops, but even those who identify as such on apps or in person will admit that it’s tough to hold yourself accountable to such a linear sex life.

That’s why vers has also become a prefix for top and bottom to add some nuance to your sexual proclivities. For example, maybe you prefer to bottom, but you’ll top up a friend when he needs a fill. You could identify as a vers bottom.

Embodying energy

You’ll often hear queer people describe others as having top and bottom energy. Although there’s some stereotype-laden truth to these generalizations, you don’t have to “embody” either to enjoy your role.

But you’re not the only person you need to consider regarding sex, so there’s value in attracting those with the energy you’re into. Career tops and bottoms often go out of their way to make their preferences known, whereas a vers may give off a more ambiguous vibe that’s hard to pinpoint. 

If you’re a vers, you may want to emit a specific energy to attract someone in a particular role (i.e., you know you’ll see that delicious daddy Dom tonight, and you want to show him your ass is open for business). That’s something to keep in mind with your verbal and body language.

Some of this is primal and unavoidable, hard-wired into our sexual psyches. But who are we kidding? You can give off whatever energy or vibe you want and still make the world’s best covert top or bottom. Like the James Bond of getting dicked down.

Wait, how do I know if I’m vers?

Some people come out of the womb knowing their place on this Earth is comfortably perched atop a hard cock, while others know they’re destined to be that hard cock. However, it may be harder to determine if you’re a vers-leaning individual, especially if you’re inexperienced with both topping and bottoming during sex.

Knowing where you stand (or sit) often comes from sexual exploration. Try different kinds of penetrative sex in various positions to learn whether you like one over the other. If you’re wondering, “What does bottoming feel like?” you’re in luck. There are plenty of capable, cock-wielding individuals who would love to show you the ropes. Their ropes, more specifically.

However, context is everything: There’s a chance you might have a mediocre experience the first time you top or bottom. You’re more than welcome to give up on a position after a negative experience, but we’d encourage the exploration to continue if you’re still curious. 

No one should be afraid to experiment sexually, provided they’re comfortable enough to do so. If there’s no question regarding your top/bottom status, don’t worry about it. And if you like them both, welcome to vers-hood!

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How to let him know what you’re down for

There’s one glaring issue with calling yourself vers: Your sexual partners won’t be able to anticipate what you want as easily. Fortunately, all it takes is some conversation to clear things up and get the ball(s) rolling. Here are some ways to signal how you swing:

1. Put it in your bio

The most obvious way to let people know is to mention you’re vers in your dating app bio. The label might still require explanation for some, but it’s at least enough to attract everyone from tops to bottoms — and even some sides, if you aren’t dead-set on penetrative sex.

2. Let partners know upfront

Many verses lean more toward one end of the spectrum within a given sexual encounter, so it’s wise to let your partner know beforehand which team you plan on batting for. It will alleviate the potential awkwardness of showing up to a date’s house ready to bottom, only to learn he spent the day douching and avoiding dairy products.

3. Keep an open mind

A great way to keep your sex life loosey-goosey is to hook up with other vers or vers-leaning individuals and see what happens. These sexual dynamics often shift based on how you respond to each other’s demeanors and bodies. If you’re truly down for either position, just let the moment guide your penis toward the sex you seek like an anal dowsing rod.

4. Rely on that energy

Maybe you’re meeting someone in person and don’t have the luxury of reviewing their profile. Most guys don’t walk around with a “Hello, I’m a bottom” sticker at the bar.

In these instances, you can try to give off either top or bottom energy with your approach. Again, this isn’t strictly necessary, and you should never intentionally obscure your intentions. But an overly direct conversation can kill the mood when you’re trying to let those sparks fly.

5. You don’t have to know

The beauty of being vers is the freedom it provides. There are no rules saying you must know how you want sex to go before you start. If you aren’t sure how you’re feeling before hooking up with someone, say something. You can find out together!

It’s your uni-vers, boys

Identifying as vers opens up your potential experiences in a hole new way. That said, sexuality is fluid. Nothing is stopping you from entering a top, bottom, or even side era for a while. Versatile is the name of the game, so keep those options open.

Looking for another vers to flip-flop with in the sheets? You’ll find a plethora of potential hookups ready and waiting on Grindr. Download the Grindr app today and find a fellow indecisive king.

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