Article written by 2010 DPDF Discrimination Studies Fellow Trevor Hoppe, featured in Sexualities, Volume 14, No. 2:
This article explores the meanings 18 HIV-negative gay male participants in San Francisco attributed to their positional identity as ‘bottoms’. In particular, I analyze two dominant, mutually constitutive sets of sexual scripts participants invoked in their bottom narratives: first, that bottoms are men who desire to produce pleasure for their partners; and second, that bottoms are men who desire to submit sexually to their partners. I argue that these scripted conceptions both give possibility to and constrain the ways in which participants interpret and experience their sexual practices and desires. I conclude by examining how these scripts operate as structurated social phenomena that shape the ways in which participants are able to navigate scenarios in which these scripts conflict directly with ‘safer sex’ scripts, potentially resulting in what I term ‘pleasure/risk dilemmas’.