Versatile men are pretty much the bisexuals of the gay world. They’re told they don’t exist, they get blamed for the spread of HIV, and everybody keeps pressuring them to just pick one and stick to it.
Wow. Actually, versatile men are treated a lot like bisexuals. I’m going to take a wild stab and suggest that it’s because people, no matter their orientation or identity, tend to get uncomfortable with the idea that someone can have interests in seemingly polar opposites. (But there are gay Catholics, right…?)
People tend to feel very strongly about their preferences. So strongly, in fact, that they may lose their senses a skosh. Let’s use the example of Joss Whedon fans. If one of them overhears you say that “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” doesn’t do much for you, there’s a decent chance they’ll throw you into the nearest lake of fire. Does this make them bad people? Aside from the whole murder thing, no. It just means that they love Joss Whedon so much that they’ve forgotten that different people have different tastes. Love has made them blind.
It’s like that with exclusive tops or bottoms; they love what they do so much that the concept of being versatile can boggle their brains. It brings into question everything they’ve come to appreciate, which forces them to have to figure a way to cope. And since we as Americans aren’t exactly the best when it comes to coping mechanisms, we instead try to just cancel the problem out by turning it into something else. Hence the ongoing stereotype that versatile men are simply bottoms in disguise. It’s like accusing a bisexual man of hiding the fact that he’s gay. Not cool, bro. Not cool.
One of the big confusions about versatile men is that they rarely appear equal in their interests for topping or bottoming. The truth, however, is that it seems versatile men work on their own Kinsey scale: some like to top way more than bottom, some like to bottom way more than top, and some like to meet somewhere in the middle. It doesn’t have to be even. It doesn’t have to be balanced. It just is.
And also like the Kinsey scale, versatile men may be far more abundant than one would be willing to admit. Once we recognize that attraction consists of more than just physical acts (and quite specific ones at that), things get veeeery interesting. True attraction ranges from penetration to innocent curiosity to that thing that happened that one time in the hot tub. Deal with it.
But if there may indeed be more versatile men out there than originally believed, how can someone tell the gold-star tops and bottoms from the ones that are faking it? I think I’ll leave that for Hamlet to answer: “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”
So, to sum, are versatile men really just bottoms? TL;DR no.