Dear Zad: ‘My partner won’t bottom’, ‘I have no game’, and ‘liking older men’

Author: Josh Mayhew

Dear Zad is a satirical weekly column where LGBTQ+ readers can ask for advice from their trusted Zad on any queer dilemma.

Zad will, in his own unique way, give you answers(ish).

You can find Zad shit posting on Insta at @joshmayhewnyc and submit your dilemmas anonymously using the box below! 


L**e in Sarasota writes:

I have just turned 18. I’m into older guys. 30-40yrs old. I like BDSM (like being tied up and rough, really rough.) But I don’t know if I should see people that age or not. Thoughts?

Hey bbe,

BDSM with older dudes! Wow, I can see how you’ve really got your hands tied with this one. (Sorry, couldn’t help it 😉 )


As I always say in this column, it ain’t my job or anyone else’s to declare what you “should” like and “should” do. The older I get, the more I feel like we really done got ourselves stuck in a shame spiral we inherited from all the older fogies who got to set all the societal ground rules. Problem is, they infected the ground rules with their own weird generational insecurities. (Example: girls being called whores for wearing revealing clothes, usually by married men who felt guilty for being lustful or women who felt jealous that they didn’t look like that.) So sure, set that standard and we’ll deal with the fallout for the next 50 years, nbd love. <3


You cannot help who and what you’re attracted to, and as a consenting adult of age you have every right to pursue a 40 year into BDSM. And if someone your own age that you dig comes along, let yourself be surprised by that too and be open to anything.


There are no rules anymore. The earth is on fire. You can follow your interests and desires as you please, as long as you are conscientious of your general wellbeing and safety and set your own boundaries and terms. (Aka requiring your hook-ups to drive you to Taco Bell afterward and buy you a Mexican pizza.)


So before you let others rope you into your own choices (okay, that was the last one, promise.) try to determine if those “shoulds” are comin’ from your gut, or by a bunch of pencil-dicks who made some rules during the Eisenhower administration. 

Love, Your Zad, @joshmayhewnyc



T**y in Rockford writes:

Dear Zad, I need help, there is this guy on the bus that I see every day. We even go to the same gym at the same time. But I have no game and have no clue how to actually start a conversation with a cute guy like him. As soon as a cute guy passes by, my brain cells just melt. What can I do?

Hey T,

I’m so pleased to hear that your brain cells are melting due to a serendipitous Meg-Ryan-style love interest on the crosstown bus, instead of the micro-plastics and Coke Zero chemicals currently melting mine.


First off, you “having no game” is not a fact of any kind. It’s an opinion you developed somewhere along the line, probably based on a few past weird or awkward conversations. That ain’t mean shit though – they are just a couple of occurrences that your brain done strung together in an adorable lil popcorn necklace of anxiety to tell a story about yourself that literally ain’t even real. 


Point being? Opinions aren’t reality, and every day is a new opportunity to exhibit behaviors that promote the kind of person you wanna be. 

Wanna stop talking so much shit? Great. Start tomorrow and in 3 months no one will even remember you used to be terrible. 

You wanna be a fitness junkie? Excellent. Don’t skip workouts and then on paper you are literally exactly that.

Wanna have game when chattin’ up cute boys? Practice makes perfect.


Blah blah blah. I know, I’m Socrates.


On a day when you feel like you lookin’ cute and the cold brew is hittin’ just right, get on the bus with a smile and say something verbally acknowledging the frequency of your coinciding routines. 

“I’m gonna have to call my FBI agent if you don’t keep following me to Pilates every day!”

“Wow, the way we are both taking a damn bus to get a workout in is super 2022 ain’t it?”

“You go to my Equinox, right? Do you know if we need to extend our membership for the fitness classes or are those included?”


If he doesn’t vibe with a warm smile and a sense of humor right off the jump, then congratulations!: you have early detected an uninterested dick who lacks either humor or manners! My obvious hope is that you’ll score your romcom hunk, but if it pans out like Meg Ryan’s career instead, then remember that you can still share the bus and the gym with the peace of mind that you avoided a gay-tastrophe. 


Plus, never forget that your confidence and balls in shootin’ your shot will always have the last word, even in a rejection.


Love, Your Zad, @joshmayhewnyc



Anon in DC writes:

Zad, been dating a guy for two years. We’re monogamous and both came into the relationships as tops. I’ve learned to bottom but he still hasn’t/ won’t and says it’s because my di*k is too big. I miss topping and don’t want to cheat. Help ☹


First off, let’s take a hot sec to acknowledge you as a stand-up, unicorn gay. 

In a culture where guys have their heads so far up their rectums that they’ll swipe left on a dude for wearing a shirt color that “triggers them,” you’ve literally sustained a relationship for two years! And more importantly, you’ve stepped out of your sexual comfort zone to invest more in your partner’s pleasure. (Back off boys, he’s taken!!)


So yeah, this def ain’t your problem. As far as his claims about the culprit your dong size? I personally know boys who could leap onto a telephone pole and take the whole thing til their cheeks clapped the pavement, so I know your boyfriend ain’t out here talking about your dick is tOo bIG. Nah, kinda sounds like he’s just bein a lil bussy about it. 


Have you tried telling him exactly what you told me? If not, ask him to put himself in your situation. 

“I only want to be physical with you, but I want to top sometimes and I don’t know what to do. Do you have any solutions for us? What would you do if it were you in the situation?”


Remember: arguments are total madness unless they are driven by a mutual desire to find a solution. Giving him a chance to give an option will make him feel like he’s participating and maybe even level-set the expectations. What he says could open new doors in the conversations that were shut before when y’all just felt guilty and defensive.


And never forget: with the right kind of foreplay, he could get an aircraft carrier up there. Anything is possible through Christ who strengthens us.


Love, Your Zad, @joshmayhewnyc


For more from Zad (aka Josh), he’s on Instagram right here Submit your own dilemmas in the box below…