Topping from the bottom

I realize that topping from the bottom is frowned upon. But why? I know everyone is different. But ultimately the goal  is the sub has to get what he wants. Yes I know that the domina is in charge and is responsible but is the sub always supposed to be silent about what’s happening?  I would think some subs get off just on being submissive,, but I think most like certain things.  Is this one of those bdsm philosophy things,. Or is it something  else?

Alright, so those not familiar with BDSM and D/s relationship dynamics may not know what “Topping from the bottom” is, or why it’s one of the biggest relationship killers out there.

But before I get into that, there is a slight issue with semantics.  Because there are occasionally specific situations in which something is discussed and agreed upon beforehand.  This is usually called “bottoming from the Top,” but different people say different things.

Generally speaking, “Topping from the bottom” is when a sub uses manipulative, deceitful, or passive aggressive methods to get what he wants.

Why is that bad?

Well let’s use a vanilla equivalent.  You’re married.  Your wife makes dinner every night. It’s something she likes to do, and with your work schedules, it makes sense, so she does it.

But she makes pork every night.  Without fail.  And you actually don’t like pork very much.  The first week or so, you just dealt with it because it’s what she wanted.  But as time goes on, it’s becoming a problem.

You have three options:

1.  Stay silent forever, while resentment slowly builds and turns to anger, and before long, you despise her and hate your life.

2.  Say, “I love your cooking, but I’m actually not a huge fan of pork.  Could we try chicken at some point this week?  Or maybe steak?  Whichever you’d prefer, really.  I’d be happy to help if you’re not sure how to make it.”

3.  Say, “Great.  Pork again.  What a surprise, since that’s apparently all you know how to cook.  And since it apparently never occurred to you to ask what I want.  You know, ever.  How about branching out, huh?  Or does your culinary prowess not extend to birds or cows?”

I’ll just come out and say it; Option 1 is unacceptable, and there’s not a whole hell of a lot out there that will piss me off more, or piss me off faster, than discovering my partner has had an ongoing issue they chose not to tell me about.  So we’re just going to throw that one out.

Technically, both 2 and 3 will solve the pork-every-night problem.  One solves the problem in a constructive, mature way, and the other is selfish, disrespectful, demeaning, makes your partner angry and defensive, and causes a great deal more problems down the line.

Topping from the bottom is Option 3.  It’s a childish, selfish, immature way to handle any given situation.

But there is this comment, which caught my eye.

But ultimately the goal is the sub has to get what he wants.

Absolutely not.  At all.

This is a mindset surprisingly common among male submissives (I have yet to meet a female sub with this mindset) and now seems as good a time as any to set the record straight.

No, the ultimate goal of a Femdom is not to have the sub’s wants and desires met.  Not even a little bit.

I’m serious.  That cannot be even remotely a priority in his mind.  At-fucking-all.

And I cannot stress this enough.  It’s something that is so hugely instrumental to the success of a Femdom relationship, and it’s something that a depressingly high number of submissive men just don’t get.

And this mindset kills relationships faster than anything else I’ve seen.  Even I can’t save a relationship from this mindset.

Now, I specifically look for it, and will not even enter into a relationship with a man who thinks this way.

Why?  Because when the sub’s focus is on his wants, his desires, his comfort, his happiness, then his focus cannot be on his Dominant.  What’s more, it stains and tarnishes everything he does.

Because every effort he makes to serve her is with the expectation of, and entitlement to, a reward.  His kinks and desires are forefront in his mind, and pleasing his Domme is merely a means to an end.

It’s a selfish kind of service, contingent upon what he wants, his moods, his libido.  It’s done at his convenience, on his time.

No.  God, no.

His focus cannot be on himself.  At all.  That’s not the way a D/s relationship works.

Now, does that mean he must stay silent?  Of course not.  In fact, I expect my subs to speak up, and am annoyed and irritated (if not flat-out angry) if they don’t.

Subs are people.  They have wants and desires.  They have their kinks, they have their likes and dislikes.  A responsible Domme knows what her subs like, what they want, and makes sure they are fulfilled.  It’s a relationship.  It’s give-and-take.  She can’t neglect her subs.

But she’s human.  She’s going to fuck up.  When she does, it’s the sub’s responsibility to tell her.  And it’s the sub’s responsibility to be tactful, polite, and constructive when he does.  Whether she’s neglecting a kink he loves, or focusing on something he hates, or an act causes an unexpectedly strong reaction, anything.  It’s his job to tell her.

Of course, if he tells her, and she doesn’t adjust, then that’s on her, not him.  That’s not something he can control, and it may be time to consider leaving the relationship if his needs aren’t being met.

But his job is to serve her.  Period.  End of story.  That must be his goal for any relationship with me (I obviously can’t speak for every Domme, but for the life of me, I can’t think of a single 24/7 dynamic where that would work), if it’s going to last.

It goes back to my favorite quote:

A sub sacrifices control for freedom, and a Dominant sacrifices freedom for control.

The whole point of a Femdom relationship is that he serves her, putting her needs unequivocally above his own, trusting that she’s going to take care of him.  That’s why it’s so important that the Domme be held to high standards, and that she be in complete control of herself, because if he’s not focusing on his needs, and she’s not focusing on his needs, there’s a problem.

And he puts the ability to meet his needs and his wants in her hands, understanding that sometimes, she’ll meet every desire, and sometimes, she’ll withhold it all.  Accommodating his desires is completely at her discretion, and she is under no obligation to tell him if/when/how she will accommodate his desires.  And should she decide to withhold them, she is under no obligation to tell him why, for how long, or what she’s working toward.

Should he start getting concerned, of course he’s welcome to discuss it with her in a constructive and polite manner, rather than topping from the bottom, and then it will be her responsibility to reassure him, comfort him, and remind him that she will take care of him.  But even then, she’s under no obligation to tell him anything about what she’s thinking.  Because that’s not the point.

He’s supposed to trust her even when he doesn’t understand why.  He’s supposed to serve her with the understanding that she could spend an entire weekend accommodating his every desire or fantasy if she wants to, or she could lock him in a dog kennel and leave him there the entire weekend, completely ignoring him.  It’s completely up to her.  Responsible Dommes understand that there needs to be a balance, and that every relationship is give-and-take, but that’s her job, that’s her focus. Not his.

That’s the ultimate goal in a Femdom relationship.  For the sub to serve the Domme, meet her needs, put her wants and desires about his own.

Because a well-served Dominant is happy Dominant, and a happy Dominant is an attentive Dominant.

5 thoughts on “Topping from the bottom

  1. Coyote from Orion says:

    If any bloke were topping any mistress from that Scarlett O’Hara bed…. he would be one very sick unit

  2. James says:

    Jen,

    Have you somehow managed to install a camera in our home?! You’ve brilliantly articulated a failing to which I have to confess, rather shamefacedly, that I fall prey to from time to time.

    Not quite as egregiously badly as your option 3, you understand. If I ever spoke to she who must be obeyed like that, I doubt that I’d be able to sit down for a week. Occasionally, though, I must own up to allowing the irritations of daily life to overcome me to the point that I omit to put my wife’s needs over and above everything else.

    It can sound as though I’m all about me and my preoccupations in those moments, which is, I swear, not the intention. I become too loud, too snippy and instead of respectfully reminding Mistress about something or initiating a rational discussion, I sulk. In short, I forget my place. As my wife then has to emphasise – I may be loved unconditionally but I’m also owned absolutely.

    I guess it comes with the territory of being a male, quite an Alpha one in many ways, and having some of the ego that goes with all that nonsense. Being aware of this doesn’t mean that I don’t fall off the wagon at times.

    Fortunately, I am owned by someone who knows me better than I know myself and who knows precisely how to deal with anything that even approaches topping from the bottom. I’m sure you don’t need all the details, but her approach is to activate certain measures that remind me in the starkest terms about the differences in our status and our responsibilities.

    These measures are not much of a pleasure but they are a salutary lesson. I’m not so lost to reason that they need to happen very often but I have to echo your point that serving, obeying and putting Mistress first should never be forgotten by a properly trained male.

    Slightly uncomfortable reading, therefore, Jen, but beautifully written, as usual, and thanks for shining a light on something that I’d sometimes rather stayed hidden!

    • Domina Jen says:

      Thank you for the kind words! We’re all human, we all have our shortcomings. The fact that you’re self-aware enough to recognize it and work to change it makes a big difference.

  3. Carly Quinn says:

    That was a fascinating read. You’ve put a very fine point on something that certainly confuses the newer practitioners. A post I’ll come back to for reassurance that I’m heading the right direction. Thanks Jen.

  4. thesecretheart says:

    Yes, freedom. It is that, I think. I also think you are right about the selfishness thing. It took me an era to get past that – no, say rather, actually to see it – after all, I needed to see it before there was any chance of getting past it. Great post, especially the stuff about pointing out where one or other of us falls short of what we seek – and our duty to do it for each other.

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