Aside from meaning being pushed to one side or a theatrical ‘aside’ commonly used as a staging mechanism, the word ‘Side’, as in “I’m a Side” has also being put to good use since 2013 as a sexual position identifier.

American psychotherapist Dr Joe Kort, coined the term to describe gay men who don’t enjoy anal sex and don’t feel comfortable defining themselves as a top or bottom!

Now, gay dating app Grindr has acknowledged that commonly accepted binary terms fail to accurately account for all of the delicious variations on the complicated spectrum of human sexuality. Even the more accommodating ‘Versatile’ or ‘Vers’ descriptor doesn’t really begin to cover the range.

Grindr has announced that it was going beyond ‘top’, ‘bottom’ and ‘versatile’ and adding a new option – giving its users the option to identify as a ‘Side’.

Grindr Is Adding Side As An Option

Grindr contacted Dr Kort, a clinical director and founder of The Center for Relationship and Sexual Health in the United States, at the beginning of this month to advise him that they were taking his suggestion of adding ‘Side’ as an position in their drop down menu of selectable positions and a matching filter.

“We wanted to let you know some of the good news!” a Grindr guru emailed Dr. Kort.  “We have listened to your feedback and, in the next release (about two-to-three weeks away), we will be adding ‘Side’ as a position and a filter!”

What Do ‘Sides’ Do?

Image: Facebook

When Kort first introduced the term in 2013 in a piece for HuffPost, he described the position thusly:  “Sides prefer to kiss, hug and engage in oral sex, rimming, mutual masturbation and rubbing up and down on each other, to name just a few of the sexual activities they enjoy.” 

“These men enjoy practically every sexual practice aside from anal penetration of any kind. They may have tried it, and even performed it for some time, before they became aware that for them, it was simply not erotic and wasn’t getting any more so. Some may even enjoy receiving or giving anal stimulation with a finger, but nothing beyond that.”

Queer men who identify as a ‘bottom’ are well familiar with the misogynistic idea that being penetrated is somehow less masculine. Sides fight stereotypes too, with Kort explaining, “A lot of tops and bottoms call sides boring, virgins, trauma survivors, ‘you haven’t met the right guy,’ give me 10 minutes inside you and you’ll be speaking a different tune, et cetera,” he said, a trope many queer folks experience when they first come out of the closest.

Everyone is fighting stereotypes

It takes a different type of courage to defy the norms and own the decision to identify as a Side but now Grindr has done some of the hard work. By allowing it’s users to select ‘Side’ as an option, the gay dating app just made an incredible difference to the types of conversations now being held on the app, not to mention the hours of time saved on endless conversations with someone it turned out you weren’t compatible with anyway! 

Imagine the relief and delight of Sides all over the world, now being able to come out of this closet that many may not have even been aware they were hiding in, having never had the vocabulary to identify as a Side, or even knowing it was an option!

The app’s four million daily users have been able to select Side as an option since the beginning of month with the good doctor hoping the option catches on. 

“I hope this means other apps will follow,” Kort said, “and this will become an increasingly understandable and aware position in the community”.


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