What does being “vers” really mean?

Today, there are plenty of identities and terms to explore, allowing you to enjoy new experiences and delve deeper into your self-expression.

But, if you’re new to the world of queer and LGBT sex and power dynamics, it’s difficult to know where to start. Top and Bottom are well-known labels to describe queer sex. Don’t forget Vers, though. This third identity is just as important.

Whether you’re exploring your own sexual identity or learning about someone else, we’re here to help. This Bi Visibility Day, we’ll give you the lowdown on what it means to be Vers, how Vers differs from other labels, and how you can start exploring sex as someone who identifies as Vers.

Curious? Thought so. Let’s get into it.

What is being a Vers?

We’ll start off with the big question – what does it mean to be Vers?

In the queer and LGBT community, Top and Bottom are common labels used to describe the penetrating person and the person being penetrated. These labels are usually associated with gay men but can be used for all genders and identities. Learn more about the different LGBTIQ+ terms here.

Vers describes someone who enjoys being a Top and Bottom. Of course, being Vers looks different for everyone. One person may enjoy being a Top 90% of the time, whereas another might prefer to be a Bottom. However, if they perform both roles, they’re Vers – no matter which side they prefer.

It’s important to remember that sexual identity is a personal matter. You get to choose how you identify, and the best way is to choose the label that feels right for you. And if none feel right? To hell with them. You don’t have to slap a name on your identity if you don’t want to.

Sexual discovery isn’t a linear process. For some, they know what they enjoy from day one. In contrast, others might take a long time to decide what feels right. As long as you’re safe and consensual, there’s no need to stress.

The difference between a Vers and a Switch

Vers and Switch are two labels that often get confused. However, they aren’t the same thing, so learn your definitions.

Vers is when you enjoy both giving and receiving in penetrative sex. This is not exclusively between two men, but most uses of this term refer to gay sex.

A Switch is someone who enjoys being both submissive and dominant in BDSM play. Unlike Vers, being a Switch isn’t related to sexual orientation. It describes your preference in power dynamics.

How do you know if you’re a Vers

It might mean you’re a Vers if you’re curious about topping and bottoming. You might have experimented in both roles or become aroused when imagining yourself in both roles.

There are no strict rules, but interest in both roles is key.

Some Vers-identifying people break their labels into more detailed sub-categories. For example, Top/Vers describes someone who’s versatile but more interested in Topping. In contrast, Bottom/Vers shows you’re into both, but a bottom most of the time. This isn’t mandatory, but it can be helpful when you’re exploring your sexuality and communicating with others.

Who can call themself a Vers?

Anyone can really call themselves Vers, but it is a term associated with queer sex. It’s most commonly used by gay men. However, you’ll also see it used with lesbians, bisexuals, and trans folk.

Heterosexual people generally don’t use this term, as penetrative heterosexual sex has clear gendered parts. If you want to express your BDSM identity within heterosexual sex, you can use Dom, Sub, or Switch to show your preferences.

How to communicate that you’re a Vers

Making your sexual preferences clear is essential, especially when you’re with a new partner. The best way to let your partner know you’re Vers is by having a clear discussion beforehand. You should also discuss boundaries, consent, and expectations, as these are crucial for a healthy sex life.

Dating apps are also quite handy when it comes to showing your sexual preferences. Queer and LGBT+ dating apps are particularly great when it comes to sexual self-expression, as many allow you to display Top, Bottom, or Vers on your profile bio. This way, there’s no misunderstanding when it’s time to play.

Exploring sex as a Vers

Exploring sex as someone with a Vers identity is exciting. You’re interested in taking on both roles, giving you double the number of positions to try.

It’s normal to get nervous when you’re exploring a role you’re not experienced in, but just remember, practice makes perfect. So, if you rarely top, don’t get nervous when the time comes. Enjoy the sensation of being in control and take it slow. Be in the moment and notice what does feel good, what doesn’t, and what your partner responds well to.

You should also make sure you’re prepared for anything. Whether you plan to Top or Bottom, arrive with lube and condoms. It’s best not to rely on someone else, so don’t forget the essentials.

If you’re new to being a Vers, don’t forget to do your research. Read erotic stories, watch sensual porn, and listen to sex-positive podcasts to learn as much as possible about your different options. This way, you can get clear on your favourite positions and be more confident the next time you and your partner turn the heat up.

Finally, always be honest about your preferences. Sometimes, there’s a lot of pressure on being Vers, as others expect you to fit in with their preferences. Not all Vers-identifying people enjoy everything, and you might prefer being in one role more than the other. Don’t force yourself to fit into someone else’s fantasy. Use clear communication to reach a healthy compromise.

The takeaway

Sexual identities are a very personal topic, and they can even change as you grow and evolve. The best way to learn about yourself and whether you’re Vers is through experimentation and sexy research. So, go forth and enjoy. But always prioritise safe sex and consent. If you ever don’t feel comfortable, remember that removing yourself from the dynamic is valid.

Keep learning about sex and relationships on the Vivastreet blog.

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