Topping From The Bottom – Part Two

So last week we discussed topping from the bottom. I described what it was, and why it’s often not such horrible thing. But what we didn’t discuss is how to tell the difference between communication and topping from the bottom.

As I’ve said, sometimes Doms confuse asking for things with topping from the bottom. Those are two very different things. There is nothing wrong with asking for what you want. Communication is the sign of a healthy relationship.


Read more: Topping From The Bottom – Part Two

Am I topping from the bottom, or am I just communicating?

That’s the big question, isn’t it? Sometimes the two things can seem very close. For many submissives it almost feels wrong to ask for things. Being accused of topping from bottom can hurt badly. It can leave lasting emotional scars.

And it’s very easy for a Dom to misunderstand what’s happening and think you’re trying to take control when really you are just trying to get your needs filled.

In the end it’s a very subjective thing and a question that only the people involved will be able to answer. I can tell you that the phrase is overused and also that it can be abusive. I can tell you that some Doms use it to cut off conversations about things they don’t want to have to deal with.

And I can balance that with the other side, explaining that yes, absolutely some subs top from the bottom. Whether on purpose or by accident.

What I can’t do is tell you which you are doing. That requires reflection on your part. If it’s something you’re concerned about, or have been accused of, then you should take some time to think about it.

 These questions might give you some things to think about.

Is there a power vacuum?

Ever hear the phrase ‘nature abhors a vacuum”? It basically means that if there’s a hole, it won’t remain empty, something will rush in to fill it. (No sexual reference intended, but yes, I giggled.)

If the submissive is holding onto control and not letting go… it might just be because the Dom isn’t taking it. New or inexperienced Doms can often be hesitant about taking the reins, especially if they know the sub has more experience than they do.

New relationships can also be tricky. Even if you both know a D/s relationship is what you want, it’s perfectly natural for the Dom to hesitate before going hardcore.

But if you, as the Top, do not claim the control and make the decisions, then someone will. Someone has to. If it’s not you, it will be the submissive.

Many submissives are strong-willed and fairly independent on their own. They aren’t giving their power to you because they are weak and need you to do things for them. They are doing it because they choose to.

If they give and you don’t take, then plenty of them will default to taking charge.

How do you try to make your needs known to your Top?

Do you demand things, or do you ask for them? As a submissive you are giving up control to your Dom. When you do that they become responsible for filling your needs, and you have to communicate to them what those needs are.

It sounds simple, but sometimes it’s not, especially when you get frustrated about something you’ve been lacking. It’s easy to snap out a demand, but it’s always better to try asking first.

Try taking a quiet moment when you’re both relaxed and in a good mood, to have a discussion about how things are going. Bring up things you have been wanting or needing, but try to do it without being accusatory.

It’s okay to list things you’d like to experience and make suggestions, but if you wait until you are frustrated or annoyed and snap at them, they will get defensive. Doms don’t react well to demands. Asking, maybe even begging a little, for what you want will go a long way.

How do they react to a respectful conversation about the needs that aren’t being filled?

If you are trying to be honest and open about the things you would like and need, and they snap at you or accuse you of topping from the bottom that is a big red flag. Submitting doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to want things or ask for things.

You should never be guilted into giving up what you want just to please your Top. Even in a 24/7 TPE (Total Power Exchange) relationship, you should still be able to express your needs without being shamed. Your Dominant should want to fill your needs, in the same way you want to serve them and fill theirs.

Do you find yourself trying to guide or force scenes to where you want them to go?

When your Dom starts a scene and it goes in a different direction from what you were hoping for, do you start whining or pushing them to switch to what you wanted? Do you sulk when you want a specific scene and they say no?

Do you use your safeword to end scenes because you’re annoyed your Top isn’t doing what you wanted? Do you try to micromanage the scene, telling them what to do next?

Asking for what you want is fine. Accepting ‘No’ is sometimes an important part of being a sub. You should sometimes get the scenes you want, of course, but other times they get to do the scenes they like instead. That’s the balance of a relationship.

Do you break rules on purpose because you want attention?

Purposely breaking rules to get attention, or punishment is topping from the bottom. If you are a sub who doesn’t usually act out in that way, it can be a symptom that you have needs that are being neglected. Maybe you are feeling overlooked, and the frustration is causing you to misbehave.

It might be a good time for a conversation about what you aren’t getting.

Also remember that topping from the bottom might not be wrong for your dynamic. A brat is expected to do this now and then. So is a Little.

If the Dom calls you out for doing it, that could be a sign that they don’t understand the bratting dynamic. It might not be a fit for them, or they might have thought that they could ‘tame you’ into being more sub and less brat.

MANY Tops think they can do that, and sometimes it works. Plenty of subs only brat because they don’t know how else to get their needs filled. They grow into a more submissive role over time, but not always. If you are happy being a brat, then your Top needs to understand that.

You can’t go into a relationship as the Dom of a brat, and then accuse them of topping from the bottom because… duh. That is the role. It might not be the role you want them in, but that’s a different story.

However, it can also be a sign that you are bratting too much. When you punish someone for acting up, and an hour later they are doing it again. And then a couple hours after that… yeah. It can get exhausting for some Tops. Even Brat Tamers have limits.

So now what…

If you’re not a brat or Little, and you have an experienced Dom who knows what they are doing, there shouldn’t be any reason to top from the bottom. Unless… something is wrong.

In the end, trying to control things from the bottom, is a sign that there is a problem. There is almost always a reason for it. You just have to figure out what that reason is.

In my experience… often it comes down to a lack of trust. As a submissive it can be hard to let go of the control if you don’t fully and totally trust your Dom. Trauma baggage can sometimes be the cause of that, or it could be your instincts are telling you something.

Either way if it’s happening and either of you are unhappy about it, it’s time to sit down and figure out what’s going on.

As I wrap this up, I want to say that the reason can usually be resolved, if it’s causing trouble in your dynamic.

A new Dom will eventually gain experience and not need guiding.

If needs aren’t being met, talking about it can help.

If a submissive simply has trouble letting go of the power, even when they want to, there are ways to help them do it.

So when it comes to topping from the bottom, the first step is to find out if it’s happening and why. The why part should make the solution pretty obvious in most cases. But I want to say again, it’s not the huge crime people make it out to be.

It’s just an issue that has to be resolved.

Submissives shouldn’t be shamed for this, because there is probably a reason… and most of the time that reason is that they aren’t getting something that they need.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: