Thursday, 12 February 2009

topping from the bottom

This phrase is often used to describe a situation where a sub uses her wiles to get her own way, perhaps sometimes in a manipulative manner. It tends to be regarded as very bad form - and implies a weakness in the Dom.

I am wanting to suggest that it may sometimes be no bad thing - and if communications are good should never be necessary.

I once talked with a sub who felt that tears could be used in a manipulative way to reduce a punishment and was critical of it as "topping from the bottom". However she was happy to talk of how she would leave a longer time in counting the strokes in a caning to indicate the effect of each stroke to her Dom. Was that communicating or was she too topping from the bottom?

Yes the dynamic is of course all about the sub being controlled, of the Master's wishes being all important. But surely in a good, trusting and respectful D/s relationship the Dom has a duty and responsibility to try to meet the needs and desires of his sub. Surely that is part of the agreement. His sub has given herself to him - but in the expectation that doing so will also meet her needs. Is finding a way of communicating her needs to be dismissed as topping from the bottom?

If she is reduced to trying to manipulate a scene - or even fundamentals of the relationship ... then couldn't that imply that quality communication has broken down?


Anonymous said...

"The Dom has a duty and responsibility to try to meet the needs and desires of his sub. "
I'm glad you said that. There seem to be some who think that their subs are entitled to nothing. If they really believe that to be true, as opposed to an appearance, a fantasy, then the relationship won't last.
When a dom has that attitude it's not surprising that subs will start to 'top from the bottom'. It's a sure sign of an unhealthy relationship where communication has broken down.

Tp xx

Pygar said...

I'm pleased too that you agree Tp.

But in some ways it encapsulates some of the ethical issues about D/s for me.

If the sub is actually taking control "from the bottom" as it were - then hasn't the whole point of the relationship been reversed?

It is somehow finding the balance. Clearly each will in their own relationships.

I had expected a few more comments to this post. I wonder if I haven't because few subs want their Masters to know how much they as subs are really controlling events!


Anonymous said...

Dear Pygar,
I think this is an interesting question, but as I am not in a sub/dom relationship I don't have much to say. I made a promise to myself many years ago that I'd never fake again. If I don't have an orgasm, that is okay. No big deal. Why act like I did? It makes the whole act of love-making inauthentic to fake it. I feel the same way about "scenes." If the pain is more than I can bear, I will communicate that. If I'm enjoying it, why pretend it is bad? He needs to be able to trust my feedback to be authentic to that moment. That doesn't mean he'll always give me what I want, but at least he'll know I'm honestly expressing myself.

Pygar said...

Thank you Maryann. Your emphasis on the importance of honesty is right I think. Without honesty the trust essential to this kind of relationship would be lost.

Nice to see you commenting again.


littlemiss96 said...

I'm new to the BDSM lifestyle and in a relationship with my first Dom. My natural personality is aggressive and dominant, so I find myself trying to "top from the bottom" quite often. Fortunately, I have a strong enough Master who calls me on it and won't let me get away with it. I wouldn't have much respect for him if he let me run things. The whole point is for me to surrender control, and I'm glad I have a savvy enough Dom who makes sure I do surrender.