Postmates' Bottom-Friendly Menu might be cool if it didn't rip off a queer creator
“Queer people are always out here doing the work and these corporations just swoop in, do the most bare minimum, and then take all the credit, and it’s bullshit.”
Alex Hall, The Bottom's Digest
Corporate Pride has more or less been memed into oblivion at this point, but the ongoing discourse sure hasn’t stopped major companies from exploiting queer culture for those extra dollars come June. On Thursday, food delivery service Postmates announced its latest initiative to support the LGBTQ+ community, and it’s… well, it’s really something.
“You shouldn't miss a good meal for a good time,” Postmates tweeted, before revealing (and seemingly riffing on the Pride meme dominating the internet right now), “That’s why this Pride, we've teamed up with @DrEvanGoldstein and @smartthrob to create the world’s first Bottom-Friendly Menu (yup, it’s real). #EatWithPride.” Yes, you read that right: a Bottom-Friendly Menu. It’s a menu — for people who like to be on the receiving end of anal sex! Gay rights!
The video — featuring an eggplant decked out in leather and studs alongside a peach wearing a jockstrap — goes on to explain what foods to opt for and which to avoid in order to ensure “good, clean fun,” and notes that you can find such meals in your area by visiting Postmates’ Bottom-Friendly Menu.
The problem(s) — Now, please forgive me, a queer person, for having some conflicting feelings on this one. On the one hand, it’s kind of hilarious at face value and does address a struggle bottoms know all too well. And it involves people who actually feel relevant to the cause: gay writer and comedian Rob Anderson, best known for his video series Gay Science, and anal surgeon/sexual health expert/anal sex savant, Dr. Evan Goldstein, founder of Bespoke Surgical. On the other hand, it’s yet another example of a brand dipping into LGBTQ+ issues for its own gain.
But more than that, what’s really rubbing me the wrong way is that it feels like a direct copycat of something that already exists — The Bottom’s Digest.
The Bottom’s Digest is an online cooking show focused on, as the name implies, recipes for bottoms. Or, as the YouTube channel greets you, “Welcome to The Bottom's Digest you starving slut, the cooking show where I give you peachy clean recipes for a peachy clean time... and these are recipes for anyone that wants to bottom, NOT just gay men.” It was started by husbands Alex Hall (AKA Chief Bottom Officer AKA Chief Eating Officer) and Mike Floeck last year and has been serving as an anal-sex-friendly eating guide for the internet ever since.
The Bottom’s Digest isn’t huge, but surely it’s big enough on social media for one to expect that anyone launching a campaign around this exact idea would encounter it during the research phase. Right? It was the first thing I thought of, at least, when I saw Postmates’ video, so I checked The Bottom’s Digest’s Instagram, and, sure enough, they had some thoughts on the news, too.
In an Instagram story, Hall, who stars in all of the Digest’s videos, said:
As much as I love seeing campaigns like this moving in the right direction, The Bottom’s Digest has been developing bottom-friendly recipes for well over a year and we’ve been working tirelessly to do so, and to also destigmatize the things that bottoms already have to go through so often. So, again, this campaign is moving in the right direction, but we already do this 24/7, 365 days a year outside the one-month-long corporate Pride campaign. So, maybe next time work with the original creators.
Input reached out to Postmates for comment and will update this story if we hear back.
Brands, do better challenge — Unfortunately, we’re all pretty much used to this kind of nonsense. Brands using marginalized groups only when it’s convenient and failing to contribute anything meaningful to the larger effort (like, I don’t know, compensating the actual creators they get these money-making ideas from, for one), is basically par for the course, but that doesn’t make it excusable. That is the entire point of the “that’s why this Pride, I’m teaming up with [brand]” meme that Postmates directly references. Way to go, y’all, you nailed it.
People have been taking Postmates to task online both for what many see as the exploitative nature of the whole The Bottom-Friendly Menu business and for ripping off The Bottom’s Digest.
“Queer people are always out here doing the work,” Hall said in a follow-up IG story, “and these corporations just swoop in, do the most bare minimum, and then take all the credit, and it’s bullshit.” Hear, hear.
Here’s hoping all the buzz from this drama ends up working in the Digest creators’ favor; maybe next year we’ll get a Double Scorpio x The Bottom’s Digest collab — you know, for those times when you’re feeling extra hungry after, um, cleaning your VHS tapes…
Now that’s a pairing we can (😳) get behind.