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What You Must Know About Topping from the Bottom

When you are first starting out it pays very well to listen carefully when people talk about their role orientation. Communication is a two-way street and nurturing a dialog will give you a much better idea of how they see themselves and their interests. Individual interpretations of the basic roles in BDSM and the desires that fuel them naturally vary, but there tend to be underlying commonalities among participants. For instance, just about anyone identifying as a Dominant will be expected to be the facilitator of a scene; to be responsible and in charge of the scene, his emotions and physical reactions and those of the participants under his control; to be in charge of planning for or delegating those responsibilities; to be honorable and be willing to be accountable.

There are lots of variations on roles, depending on the individuals involved and the situation. While mining the Internet for information you have probably come across the topic of “topping from the bottom.” This describes the situation where a bottom is directing a scene. This gets a bad reputation from the community when it is used in broad general terms. There are those that get enjoyment out of providing themselves as service bottoms or service Tops to those who are

just learning about BDSM. People just starting out in the community often find that being students to a mentor or going to educational workshops can expedite learning the nuts and bolts of a particular dynamic in kinky sex. More experienced players who are willing can help newbies by “topping from the bottom.” I like to think of BDSM play as a partnership and when it is done between two people that care about each other (even if it is only for a few hours) it is a great way for newbies to get exposure and explanations about certain activities. It can really set the stage for fun times down the road.

For example, say you just met this really hot guy and you are a newbie who really wants to learn how to top and say, just for convenience sake, he is an experienced submissive or bottom who loves having his nipples twisted. You just happen to be alone with him on a Friday night, along with a bag of clothespins from a hardware store and an eagerness to make him squeal like Ned Beatty in Deliverance. Because he is experienced, he knows what he likes, how he likes it, and for how long he likes it, and he can teach you that—topping from the bottom. This is a great way to start a Friday night date and it gives you the chance to explore how things like clothespins and nipple clamps are properly attached to the body and additional things the two of you might do.

Where “topping from the bottom” can go awry is if you have a play partner who is a bottom and he or she is only interested in having his own personal needs and interests met. This sort of individual is self-centered and only sees you as a way of having his desires fulfilled. Playtime needs to be a time where both of you can explore and have your own interests and needs met, rather than being a one-way dynamic.

Before you start ruling with an iron fist, you have to be a well-balanced person who is capable of compassion and understanding. A Dominant or Top sometimes has to do the difficult job of having to keep one foot grounded in reality while the bottom or submissive gets to revel in the loss of control. Take notes carefully from those who are more experienced and be sure to prepare yourself mentally and physically before the play starts.

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