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Griffin has been a formidable presence in the downtown performance art scene for decades. His brand of outrageous, intimacy-positive, draggy showmanship found an enthusiastic audience during the heydey of New York’s East Village, elevating him to legend status.
But at home, his performance style shifts. He’s a pure top, who often cruises with his longtime partner (a vers bottom). I wanted to know what someone as devoted to topping as Griffin expects from his bottoms, so I found out over coffee near his apartment.
Adam: How long have you identified as a top?
Griffin: At least 20 years. I had a very long-term relationship; I just took that role and never thought about it, to be honest.
What do you look for in a bottom?
I'm usually more about a connection to the person. I don't think I specifically seek out bottoms. Somehow, they just kind of find me.
I don't think I specifically seek out bottoms. Somehow, they just kind of find me.
What are your expectations for your bottom in terms of cleanliness?
I mean, I prefer it to be clean. Accidents happen. But it sort of takes me out of the moment. Though I don't really need any kind of like coffee scrub or anything like that.
What would you consider bad bottom behavior?
I don't like a lazy bottom, who just lays there. You can take advantage of that situation, but it's not as fun for me. I don't like to feel completely used as a top. I don't like to treat you like you're just the hole that I'm going to get off in either.
So if a bottom is sort of like, you know, commanding you to pound them harder or do this or do that…?
That I don't mind. If it's not working for them and they tell me something I'm certainly willing to try. But you get contacted on certain apps by guys saying, “I'm just looking for loads or a big D for my A.” It takes a little more than that for me.
Were there experiments with bottoming that put you sort of more firmly in the top category?
I’ve only bottomed a handful of times in my life. It doesn’t do it for me. I've certainly used toys and it was more fun by myself, but with another person, it just doesn't. I’m just overly concerned about what's going to happen from my own bottoming experience.
I’ve only bottomed a handful of times in my life. It doesn’t do it for me...I’m just overly concerned about what's going to happen from my own bottoming experience.
It sounds like anxiety about hygiene keeps you from enjoying it. Do you ever compare notes with other tops about techniques?
Um, no, I don't think so. I have a partner, so if someone that I know is topping him, we might have a conversation or compare notes. Or, you know, double team or whatever.
Your partner, is he strictly bottom or does he top also?
Pretty much bottom. He's vers, but I mean he's pretty bottom. Occasionally, there's somebody that I bring over and if the guy wants both of us to top, my partner can rise to the occasion.
What's the craziest thing that you've ever seen someone put in or take out of their butt during a performance art piece?
That's a good question. I just keep thinking of people pulling things out of their vaginas instead of their butts. I've turned up a bar stool and sat on it for an act.
What was the act?
It was to a Henry Rollins song called “Low Self Opinion” You know, the gag of how do you fit four fags on a barstool?
Yeah, of course. Turn it upside down. That's the classic joke. And then there's the other joke, I tell which is, “What's a popular pickup line at a gay bar?”
I don't know.
Can I push your stool in?
The views expressed in this article intend to highlight alternative studies and induce conversation. They are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Future Method, and are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.