Vandee’s podcast voice: “On this week’s episode of How to Piss Off Your Dom(me), we’ll be discussing Topping from the Bottom.”
Side note: I really should just be doing a podcast. I’m a good writer, but I’m a better speaker…. Hmm… I’ll ponder that.
“Topping from the bottom” is likely to be an unfamiliar phrase depending on if and how long you’ve been engaging in dominant/submissive play. It’s a popular complaint amongst Dom(me)s, and it goes a little something like this:
A submissive (male, generally) contacts me and requests a scene. We discuss soft and hard limits, safe words, and I generally assess their demeanor and respect. If everything checks out, they pay my fees and we begin the scene. Things typically start with them being amenable and, you know, submissive. But every so often, there’s too long of a pause before their, “Yes, Mistress.” What happens next depends on the kind of Topping from the Bottom submissive we’re dealing with, but the gist is that they then try to take control of the scene.
The psychology behind this fascinates me, and I want to delve into it. First, though, I want to expressly say that you should always feel comfortable asking for what you want in any relationship – ever. BDSM doesn’t negate consent (except when it does…. more on that later). However, when you enter into a dom/sub dynamic, there is an expectation of adhering to certain roles. If you’re not comfortable adhering to those roles, that’s TOTALLY OKAY, but you’re not a submissive and shouldn’t purport to be one.
This probably calls for a brief aside regarding submission and domination. Submission, in my professional opinion which is informed by personal experience, is a preference for and delight in relinquishing power. Domination is a preference for and delight in wielding that relinquished power. There are myriad flavors and aesthetics in which these preferences manifest, but that’s what it boils down to for me.
So when you come to a Dom(me), especially professionally, and ask for domination – we will expect you to, you know, actually be a submissive person.
Big idea, but many fail to grasp it.
There’s such a thing as incorporating BDSM play without prescribing to a particular role or entering a contract. But when you contact someone who dominates professionally, request her services, and pay her fee… you’ll get what you paid for.
Going to a Dom(me) and topping from the bottom is like going to a hairdresser and telling them in the middle of it to make you a sandwich – and then expecting them to do it!
Speaking for myself: topping from the bottom is maybe my biggest pet peeve. Do us both a favor and don’t do it.