“Hi Daddy Kenneth, This is a question I’ve researched on the Internet with conflicting responses. I am writing an erotic BDSM eBook and I need a good definition of ‘topping from the bottom.’ As indicated, I can’t find consistency for that, other than the obvious – the bottom directs the scene or controls while being penetrated. Is that the extent of the term?”
The problem with finding a universally accepted definition of anything in BDSM, is that there are hardly any universally accepted definitions within the BDSM culture. Even a word as simple as “sir” has different meaning to different people. While some of the meanings may overlap or have similar themes, you would be hard pressed to find two people (from different leather families) with the exact same definition of “sir.” Doing so with complicated concepts is even more difficult.
Most commonly, “topping from the bottom” is a derogatory way to describe a submissive who doesn’t know their proper place; as in, “he claims to be a slave, but all he does is top from the bottom.” This is when a submissive wants to tell a dominant how hard the dominant is allowed to hit, where, when, how many times, and with what instruments. This can be very frustrating for dominants who like to have, you know, control.
A positive definition of “topping from the bottom” is when the submissive penetrates their dominant for the purpose of giving their dominant pleasure. This can also be done with other tools of BDSM that the bottom is skilled in. In this case the dominant would be in the receiving role for the scene, usually called the bottom, but would be directing the scene the way they wanted, usually something the top does.
Outside the BDSM Sub-culture, sometimes the penetrated person in a sexual encounter is really the one driving the encounter, and the penetrator is the more passive participant. Power bottoms and liberated women do this a lot, I’ve noticed. There’s nothing wrong with this practice, and it’s only worth mentioning because it is opposite of the cultural norm.
This brings me to the most universally acceptable (and because I said that someone is going to contradict me) definition of “topping from the bottom” that I can think of. “Any scene where the roles of the participants are opposite of what is expected or typical.”
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