by Ms. Ryan of www.mistressofmean.com
If you have spent any time at all on any BDSM websites or in the company of Femdom Mistresses, then you have most likely heard the term “topping from the bottom.”
In fact, even my profile page on this site mentions it, in the context of things I will not tolerate. But what IS topping from the bottom, exactly?
In the BDSM world, the word “Top” has two commonly accepted meanings. It can mean the person who is in charge of the scene, which is similar to the term “Dom/me,” except that it implies that the Top is in charge ONLY for the length of the scene itself. When the session is over, the participants revert back to relating to one another on equal ground.
The other meaning for the word “Top” is less complex. It simply means the person who is “doing unto” in the context of the scene. In this case, if we’re talking about, for example, a spanking session, the person who is dishing out the spanking is the Top, regardless of who is actually calling the shots in the scene.
Similarly, “bottom” has two commonly accepted meanings as well, both of which are more or less opposites of the two meanings of the word “Top.” “Bottom” can mean the person who cedes control for the length of the scene, or it can mean the person who is “being done unto.” If we refer back to the spanking example from the previous paragraph, then the bottom would be the person who is being spanked.
In case it wasn’t quite clear from my wording, it is entirely possible for a person to be done unto while remaining entirely control of everything that is happening. A bottom who is telling his or her Top exactly how to spank, where to spank, at what speed to spank, how hard to hit, and so forth is the one who is in control, even if he or she is the one who is being spanked. This is an example of topping from the bottom. (One can also bottom from the top, which is the same thing, only in reverse.)
I should go ahead and say right now that topping from the bottom is not always a bad thing. To use the spanking analogy, if a Top is asking you how you want to be spanked, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with answering the question. The problem, however, is when topping from the bottom is non-consensual.
Consent is one of the cornerstones of BDSM relationships, whether they only last for the length of a single scene or for the rest of one’s life (in a Mistress/slave context). Without consent, all bets are off. If a Top does not ask you for your input or agree to being “bratted” beforehand, then you are topping from the bottom without their consent. And in my world, that is not tolerated.
Luckily, the easiest way to avoid it is to just await instructions from your Mistress. If she asks for your opinion or input, give it! If she simply wants you to keep your mouth shut and do what she says, that is what you should do (so long as your own safety is not at stake). Such is the way to keeping your Mistress happy…which also leads to you being happy as well!