My First Time Preparing to Bottom

Adam Baran

The Fun Stuff July 07, 2019

It’s 2014 and I am in an adult shop staring at a big contraption to help me prepare to play. Even though it is an inanimate object, I feel it staring back at me, telepathically communicating: buy me. It’s the first time I’ll ever purchase my own, and the first time I’ll ever actually properly prepared before bottoming. 

Ever the smart consumer, I want the best product money can buy. This one looks like it. The box is bright, cherry red. At the top, the logo of a classic adult movie studio famed for its iconic macho models, one of whom is featured on the box. The unrecognizable adult movie star, shot from behind, flexes his perfect lats and shoulders, which glisten with beads of sweat. His massive muscular posterior, covered only with a skimpy wet speedo, juts out invitingly. 

To his right, the actual product contained in the box is pictured. It looks like its for pleasure, not something practical - red, rippled, smooth, ergonomic looking, designed for HIS pleasure - attached to a rubber bulb. ‘What better way to begin to prepare for bottoming than with a product like this?’, I think.

The following evening I am standing in my bathroom, the sink filled with warm water, and a hookup on his way over in an hour. I’m nervous about what’s to come, but confident that with my chic new purchase I will become the king of the Brooklyn bottoms. I take the bulb out of the box, squeeze it tight and then insert it into the water and release the bulb. I watch it fill up, then pull it out of the basin and give it a shake. It’s full. I rest the bulb on the sink counter and take out the nozzle. 

For the first time I look at it closely. Instead of those cheapie store-bought kits, with their thin, un-stylish nozzle, my purchase’s ribbed handle has multiple holes to “irrigate” my butt. I stare at those holes, nestled in the curves of the nozzle, and then attach it to the bulb.

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Now I’m ready. I take a deep breath and I start to push the nozzle deep inside me. It hurts just a little, but I breathe and keep pushing. Then, when I feel I can’t go any farther, I take my other hand and squeeze the bulb as hard as I can. I want as much water to get inside me as possible, and…success! I can feel my gut start to tighten up as the water gushes out inside me.

Once I can’t squeeze any more, I start to pull the nozzle out. I’m feeling good, proud of myself, confident in my purchase, when - OW! I stop pulling. I pause. I pull again- OW! What the hell was that? I decide something’s wrong and better to rip the bandaid off than go slow, so I pull the nozzle out quickly and - OW! OW! OW! OW! Something has nicked me, multiple times. I am standing there, my gut clenched and ready to expel the water, and so the business must be attended to. I sit down on the toilet and push out the water and everything else - and feel tiny bursts of pain from where I’ve been nicked internally. I wipe and see a faint bit of blood.

I take the nozzle and stare at it. Could the irrigated grooves be what caused the cuts? It doesn’t make any sense to me. A company couldn’t sell a product like this that wounds its customers internally when they use it. It would be a scandal! No, it must be something I’m doing wrong. I decide to repeat the process again, only this time with more lube. Squeeze the bulb, dip in water, release, attach the nozzle, coat it with extra lube, insert, squeeze and...bingo! This time when I remove the noz-OW! OW! OW! OW! OW! It happens again. Just as before.

I was convinced that if I bought their product, I would absolutely start hooking up like an adult movie star. 

Even though I learned in grade school the types of glue-as-cereal-milk tricks that advertising companies use to make products look more inviting, I still fell for this one, hard. The company who made their product designed it this way. It knew that generations of gay men who came of age after Stonewall learned how to bottom by watching adult movies. It knew that many inexperienced consumers would - as I did - assume that an adult movie company's products would be the best and safest to use to prepare to bottom. It knew how to activate our desires with packaging and buff boys on the box. I was convinced that if I bought their product, I would absolutely start hooking up like an adult movie star. 

Instead, I wound up in pain, confused, angry, and turned off. My first time preparing to bottom was an important moment for me because it was the beginning of my own awareness of how wrong many of my internet-derived learned behaviors in hookup situations were. I threw the kit away and set about learning a range of new ways to approach and prepare for bottoming. Five years later, I’m so glad I did. So are my partners.

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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