A dense fog settles over the quiet streets of Portland, OR on a dreary fall morning. Here we meet Dani, a local lesbian and Tinder veteran. Everything about her screams bottom: the vastly oversized flannel, the quirky ankle tattoo, the ribbed beanie adorned with little pins and patches, even the way she pulls her sleeves over her fingers to grip her honey lavender latte with both hands. She is the personification of a keyboard smash.

But last night, for the first time ever…Dani topped. As the top shortage drags on, brave young bottoms like Dani are now dusting off the strap-ons that they bought ‘just in case’ so many years ago.

“Yeah, I mean, it’s a wasteland out there, you know? I posted an ad on Lex looking for a top and got nothing! The closest one I could find was in Seattle. It’s three hours away and I can’t drive because, well, you know.” She shuffles her white Docs. “That and…Strapmaster3000 turned out to be a bot. I should’ve known when she said the sexiest thing about me was my Social Security number.”

“Everyone on the HER app is a ‘bottom-leaning switch.’ Do you know what bottom-leaning switch is code for? Bottom. Big time bottom, probably in denial. I know this, because that’s what I put in my profile. I was hoping to attract an actual switch but…yeah, those are in short supply too.”

Dani’s eyes drift over to the barista that just made her latte. She gives off big top energy, from her skin fade to her collarbone tattoos to the loose-fitting jeans hanging off her hips. Her apron is unadorned save for a nametag and her gaze is direct and piercing. But before any of the bottoms in the café can even make a move, we see it: a gold band wrapped around her ring finger.

“Tops are in such high demand here that any time one ends up on the market, she gets wifed up like THAT.” Dani snaps her weary fingers. “When I put the top emoji in my Tinder profile last week, I got over 20 matches in the span of like an hour!”

She brushes her neon green mullet back triumphantly and winces at the slight strain on her right forearm.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m no pillow princess, but topping…is a LOT of work. There are muscles screaming in my lower abdomen that I didn’t even know I had. I’ve added cardio and glutes and hip raises to my formerly non-existent workout routine.”

The door to the café swings open and a rush of cold air is ushered into the dining area. Dani blanches and covers her face with her non-dominant hand.

“Oh my god, she’s here. The girl I topped last night. Oh my god, don’t look!” She squeaks.

[Dedication to hard hitting lesbian news could only mean that this LOE reporter HAD to look]

A woman radiating bottom energy shakes off the cold in the entryway to the café. She’s wearing an oversized pullover with striped leggings and a clunky necklace, an obvious Etsy purchase. As she considers the daily specials, her attention is drawn to Dani.

“Oh heeeeyyy! Dani! I was JUST about to text you. I had a really awesome time hanging out with you last night. Like really awesome. Call me?” 

Dani flushes as this mystery bottom brushes a lingering finger over her aching arm. The woman titters and heads to the counter, the light in her eye slightly diminished as she sees the wedding band on the barista’s finger.

 Dani, with a prideful grin, straightens her spine and draws her shoulders back.

“Well…I guess I could get used to topping.” 

She shifts her hips into a wider, more domineering seated stance and again, visibly winces.

“Ah. Maybe after an ice bath?”