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I’m a versatile gay man but I can’t bottom. If I ever do, I could die

Chris Moore March 3, 2021
A selfie of Chris Moore. Chris Moore holds a copy of 'Fall Out' in a bookstore

Chris Moore. (Supplied)

Chris Moore, author of Gut Feelings and a freelance editor and marketer, writes for PinkNews about how he’s a vers man who can’t bottom – if he ever does, he could die.

I was about 11 when I first started to develop feelings for boys. I remember going to football matches I hated and trying not to stare when the players took off their jerseys.

There was a fascination and desire I couldn’t quite rationalise. Fast forward a few months later and I was sitting in an office, being told that I had a chronic illness.

It took me so long to figure out what it was and years to figure out what it meant for me as a gay man.

I live with Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (or FAP). Small, wart-like lumps grow in the colon and the lining of the rectum.

When they conducted the colonoscopy, they told me I would need to have my colon removed and, at 13, they removed it.

They went on to remove the lining of my rectum when I was 17 and I was left wondering what this meant for me. I wasn’t “out”. I spent many of the years in between surgeries trying to understand what it meant to be gay and to accept it.

I remember coming out to my mum and being marched down to the stoma care nurse who told me that if I was gay, I would never be able to bottom when it came to anal sex. If I did, I would haemorrhage and possibly die as it would dislodge the stitches attaching the small intestine to what was left of the rectum.

I was overwhelmed in that office, sitting in a hard-backed chair. I couldn’t really comprehend what that meant. I’d never slept with a boy before, never even kissed one.

The choice was taken away from me so I’ll never really know what my sexual preferences would be but there’s a strong part of me that believes I’d be versatile.

I would have enjoyed experimenting with all aspects of sex and sexuality, but my illness presents complications. When I’ve chatted to guys on apps in the past, they have asked me about my position and I’ve always been upfront about it but talking about why I can only top has been a subject I’ve been uneasy discussing.

Some guys view it as a challenge, as an opportunity to make me bottom, which I find frightening.

The surgeries weren’t without their scars and after my second surgery, I had a scar extending from my belly button to below my waistline. The wound became infected and when it healed, it formed a fascia (when the scar tissue heals over the skin).

It wasn’t easy looking in the mirror, let alone lying beside another guy. Even sleeping next to my boyfriend of a year, I didn’t like it when he touched me and if he got close to the scar, I’d bat his hand away.

Chris Moore (Supplied)

When I looked into the mirror, I saw a black hole and became ashamed and borderline depressed about my body.

I remember going to the doctor and explain what was happening. He referred me to a plastic surgeon who cut out the fascia.

Although I still have the scar, it’s more what I expected it to be. I gradually started to accept my own body and come to terms with my limitations and dietary restrictions. I learned early on that there were certain things I couldn’t eat or drink.

Cider was something I quite enjoyed drinking but on nights out, I couldn’t drink it. I remember dating a nurse and I was on a night out with friends, texting him like a loved-up teenager.

I’d been drinking cider and he was all I could think about all night. When the club closed, he asked me to come over. I got a taxi to his place. We kissed and cuddled.

We dozed off together but I woke up early in the morning, groggy. My boxers felt heavy and when I pulled back the covers, I couldn’t believe it. I’d had a leakage and it was everywhere.

There was no way I could clean it, no way to make it better. It took me a while to wake him up and when I did, I felt like a symptom. I felt like an illness that was being weighed up in someone’s eyes.

I cleaned myself as best I could. I didn’t speak to him – couldn’t speak to him. I returned home, praying that the taxi driver didn’t comment on the smell.

I learned quite young that I needed to listen to my body, to speak about my feelings.

There are times when I feel robbed of sexual experiences but I remind myself that I am alive and for all the limitations I am worthy.

Chris Moore’s book Gut Feelings is out now.

More: anal sex, gay sex, Sex

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