A View from the Top: Tristan's Story

Adam Baran

The Fun Stuff January 15, 2020

Tristan is one of the most intense tops out there, but he doesn’t fit the stale stereotype. This super-skinny, queer, fashion-forward femme offsets his classically masculine facial hair an upturned mustache and beard with women’s sportswear, creating an incongruous look that often causes passersby to do a double take. 

He delights in this and the way his loud, Valley-girl voice often causes people in restaurants to ask to move to another table. This delight in subverting expectations extends to his tastes in the bedroom, which we discussed loudly in a crowded restaurant, of course. 

Adam: Why do you identify as a top?

Tristan: I tried bottoming and I just don't enjoy it. I think you need to be a very relaxed person and I'm not.

When most people think of a top, they probably picture a super-masculine jock or maybe a daddy. But your gender presentation and appearance is very queer. Do people assume you’re a bottom? Have you surprised them by being a femme top?

People assume I’m a bottom all the time. Even on Grindr or Scruff, where my position is clearly labeled. And while playing with another top can be fun – because there’s a sexy power struggle that really turns me on – when you are looking to take it to the next level, it becomes an issue.  

People assume I’m a bottom all the time. Even on Grindr or Scruff, where my position is clearly labeled.

My gender presentation definitely throws a wrench into my love life, especially when we leave the queer world and enter a more cis-gay culture. Most men don’t want to bottom with somebody as femme as me. But then I also get surprised, and end up hooking up with people who were not planning on bottoming that night.

Do you have characteristics that indicate who will be a good bottom or not? Or is it just a surprise? 

It's a surprise every time. There are some people that you really think could, and maybe they're not bad, but not as good as you thought they would be. And then there are some people who really surprise you and that's fun.

You’re a really intense top. Is that natural or do you have to take Viagra?

That all comes naturally to me. Rarely does my body do me wrong and not want to work. That usually only happens to me if I have done too many drugs that night – or the night before. I really like to push my endurance and see how far I go. I do that in all aspects of my life though. “Work hard, play harder” has always kinda been my silent mantra. 

Do you want your bottoms to be like squeaky clean? Do you care about stuff like that?

Yeah. I definitely, definitely enjoy clean, but like I also understand things happen.

So it's not a total mood killer?

No, I can work through that. But if it could be avoided, I would rather it be, yeah.

It’s definitely the role reversal that I enjoy most and gets me off the most.

Do you expect your bottoms to be absolutely ready to go deep from minute one or can you take them on a journey and work up to the full throttle, if you know what I mean?

I would say that's very like, situational. It really depends on where we are, what we're doing. If I'm at a group party, like, not really. But if we're hooking up? Like, yeah, a journey is okay. I don't mind that.

What do you like most about being a top? Is it the feeling of topping, the power dynamic, or something else?

What I like most about being a top is the fact that I am so queer and femme presenting that most people assume the opposite. I definitely love all types of bottoms, but I have the best experiences with more masculine presenting bottoms. So it’s definitely the role reversal that I enjoy most and gets me off the most.

About the author

Adam Baran is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker, writer, curator, nightlife mensch, and pleasure activist. He served as the NY Contributing Editor of celebrated queer publication BUTT Magazine for many years, wrote the first season of the hit gay webseries Hunting Season, and produced the upcoming Netflix documentary Circus of Books.

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.


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