Home » A little ditty about “Topping from the Bottom.”

A little ditty about “Topping from the Bottom.”

I’d just thought I’d take a moment to post this. I wrote it back in February as a response to Dana Kane’s blog post. I never posted it and since I’m in need of content and it came up in conversation recently, I thought I would take advantage of the opportunity. It might not be well received by a lot of Dommes who firmly believe in this concept. I don’t want this to come across as disrespectful – but I don’t find it necessary to have to silence my opinions for such a reason. There’s a time and place to be submissive; my blog is not one of those places ALL of the time. As an aside, this is a general post and not relating to any specific incident in my life. Also, although I reference the Top as “she” and the bottom as “she,” this is applicable to male tops and male bottoms. I was actually talking to an old friend who is transitioning between being a client to a personal submissive and he was lamenting to me about this issue of his Mistress incessantly using this term and his frustration over it. Anyway:

First of all, I believe “topping from the bottom” is a generalized, abused umbrella term that unjustly places any and all blame for problems in a BDSM/DD or Domme/client relationship on the “bottom.”

Second of all, it’s theoretically impossible (at least if you consider my theory 😉 if the Dominant person truly claims to own her Title and the control that comes with it.

Third, “Topping from the bottom” is also about as ridiculous (and equivalent) to stating that the Dominant “bottoms from the top.” Really? Bet no Top would be so eager to define her subs behavior as “topping from the bottom,” if she has to place it in direct relation to her own behavior.

Whenever there is a problem, you both share the burden of responsibility. If the behavior in question is really an issue, open the lines of communication instead of relying on that somewhat derogatory phrase to skirt any personal responsibility. Bottoms should not have to be scapegoats.

If the Top is good at what she does, she will be able to nip the behavior in the bud with some form of a consequence that doesn’t mentally or physically harm her partner. If she is REALLY good at what she does, she will be able to nip the behavior in the bud while at the same time validating her role to herself and also giving her bottom what she needs/desires in the process without having to feel insecure or angry that she might be perceived as having “given in.” And that, “Oh God,” her sub is controlling her!

As a bottom, it’s a horrifying thought to consider that I have all of the power in a relationship because I’ve been accused of being a master-manipulator and pulling the strings of my puppet Top. That’s about the most punishing feeling I can experience.

Yes, we bottoms are so good at manipulation that some of us have made it a trademark – not because we want to laugh behind your back and make you feel like you’ve been deceived, but because it’s a way of communicating our needs in ways that feel safe and natural to us.

It would be very awkward and probably provocative to say to your Top: “I need some attention. For the next five minutes I would like to pretend to be a brat. I am going to pout around 5:15 for a minute or two, be slow at following your orders after that, make a rude face at you at approximately 5:17, not address you properly until 5:20. And then, at 5:21 or so, I’d really like it if you could pretend to be offended or angry and put me over your knee and tell me that I’ve been bad.”

This is a big turn off from my perspective, and probably from the perspective of a Top. It lends no reality to the dynamic and it would still be branded as “topping from the bottom.” A lose-lose situation for the bottom and probably not very appealing to the Top.

In reality, when a sub acts out – it’s usually not (and maybe not ever) with the conscious intent to usurp her Top’s power. It’s because it makes her feel secure with the confirmation that her Top is in control. There are definitely extremes and lines and limits. Bottoms definitely cross them, but that doesn’t mean we are trying to “top” you.

Most of us have no malicious goals to manipulate in a way that is genuinely harmful. Manipulation has gotten far more of a bad rap than it deserves. As a matter of fact, it can be useful and adaptive in BDSM relationships (where it has a unique advantage over vanilla relationships). And, a good Domme should be as skilled at manipulation as her sub (and probably more-so) and should be able to craftily deliver a punishment for what she perceives as “topping from the bottom” behavior that makes her sub aware (and grateful) for the attention to her needs, and the correction.

It is then up to the bottom to respond by expressing her gratitude in actions that are pleasing to her Top and letting her Top know that she is there to reciprocate. This does not mean the bottom will become perfect, or even have the desire to. (And if a Top insists on perfection, she has enslaved herself to an impossible and unmanageable fantasy and then maybe you really are in control – which is no good for either of you).

What it really means is that there should be some kind of balance and some kind of equality in terms of each party knowing (that in the real world) her needs are equally as important as her partner’s. Because without equality, you don’t really have a willing bottom, sub, client or slave – you have an objectified being with no free will of her own. And where’s the beauty in breaking someone’s spirit against her will when she can give it to you out of love and respect, with the minimal condition you accept her as she is (to the degree that in trying to change any flaws you don’t threaten her identity) and cherish her weaknesses as well as her strengths.

Lastly, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” If a Top feels inferior due to her bottom’s perceived deranged, malicious, manipulative “topping from the bottom” behavior – someone should inform her that it is because she agreed to it.

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