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Top Or Bottom?: The Alpha Femme in a Gender Fluid Story

London based Gender fluid face and talent Sam Cullis aka “The Alpha Femme” fronts a self-titled story shot and written by Asafe Ghalib

Read more below and Read more Queer focused stories Here. 

Who is top and bottom in your relationship?” this was the opening question asked by a model once when he met me and my boyfriend. I struggled to understand why this was relevant to him, and how this might influence his perception of us. I’ve heard this question many times, and now I answer to deconstruct how people perceive my sexuality based on my appearance or style.

The presentation of our body and style influence how we are perceived, and how we move within our sexuality. But this is only because we have invented labels to apply to what we see and what has been taught to us. We shot Alpha Femme to unpack perceptions of what it means to be Alpha or Feminine. We explore whether labels short-circuit what is possible; the potential of someone is starved by our preconceived notions.

I talked to Sam about this during our shoot “Something that is assumed of me is that I must be a bottom due to how feminine I am, and how I must be fragile or vulnerable in other situations. This is something that really grinds my gears. The fact that femininity is seen as something that is to be fucked. Something that is submissive, something weaker than this stereotypical alpha”

Part of challenging traditional gender definitions is to question pre-conceptions associated with someone’s appearance or assumptions about their sexual desires or preferences. The gay scene seems to reinforce labels and perceptions

“People are looking to stereotype ‘tribes’ in the gay world such as gay fat, gay skinny, twink… The dominance of male alpha tops reinforces a binary concept that femme boys are bottoms. It’s even integrated into porn, the submissive one is always the twink/otter or just the smaller guy in general”

This homo-normative narrative shapes how people perceive others; you might see someone who looks “nice”, but then think he looks too girly and your perception is altered. This separates you from others and closes down opportunities to discover someone or something new.

When people are open about appearance and more flexible to discover what lies beneath, people are able to express themselves freely, and not live in fear of judgment. They even discover something new about themselves or their sexuality, that they didn’t even know existed.

As Sam says “This is something I’m trying to change. The perceptions of visuals signifying your sexual preference, position, agenda….. because you’ll know if I wanna fuck you. And it’s high time we start to see some guys looking like me topping in porn! “

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