Home > No Stupid (Kink) Questions > No Stupid (Kink) Questions: Episode 17 – Topping from the Bottom

No Stupid (Kink) Questions: Episode 17 – Topping from the Bottom

NoStupidKinkQuestionsGandhi said that if you want to change the world, you have to be the change you want to see. To that end, Insatiable Desire brings you No Stupid (Kink) Questions, a series of questions asked by novice kinksters around the web. If you have a question for us, leave it in comments, or send it to rayne (at) insatiabledesire (dot) com with “NS(K)Q” in the subject.

Question 17:

Everyone’s always talking about “topping from the bottom”, and how a submissive should never do it. There are things I feel I need, but I’m afraid to ask for them because I don’t want to be a “bad submissive” and disappoint my top. What is topping from the bottom and how do I avoid it?

I get so tired of hearing this phrase. Mostly because the first time I heard it, it was from a bunch of catty submissive women on IRC sitting in a private room for “the elite” going on and on about this slave or that slave who isn’t really a slave because she tops from the bottom all the time.

Hell, it still happens, all these years later. There’s this one popular kinkster who has the balls—and the right, in her relationship—to ask her dude for what she wants, and he gives it to her, and people are constantly holding that against them. “She’s not really a slave because her man does everything she asks.”

Apparently, submissives and slaves aren’t supposed to have needs, and if they do, their dominants and owners sure as fuck aren’t supposed to cater to them. God, catering to your submissive’s needs would be awful! Why would you want to do that?

I’ll answer that question another day. Today, I’m here to talk about what “topping from the bottom” is, and how you can avoid it.

What Topping from the Bottom Is

Topping from the bottom, put simply, is when a submissive manipulates a situation so that he or she gets what they want despite (and sometimes contrary to) what their dominant wants. And a submissive can’t be successful in their attempt without their dominant’s participation. (And I found a couple articles, today, that agree with me, so I’m not odd man out this time!)

Sorry, alphas. That’s just the way it is.

Here’s how it works.

SubA wants to be tied up and beat, but DomA has other plans. SubA does whatever she can to get DomA to change his mind, even going so far as to try to disrupt his plans for the day. That is attempting to top from the bottom.

DomA allows SubA’s temper tantrum to ruin his plans to avoid a bigger problem with her. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how topping from the bottom is achieved. Notice both parties had a hand in it.

What Topping from the Bottom Isn’t

Repeat after me: Topping from the bottom is not respectfully asking for what you want or need.

I don’t care what it is that you want. I don’t care why you want it. I don’t care if it’s something you’re pretty sure your dominant isn’t into. I don’t even care if it’s something you know for a fact you’re not usually allowed to have.

As far as I’m concerned, it only becomes an attempt to top from the bottom when you refuse to let it go, and try to force your dominant’s hand. And it only becomes full-fledged topping from the bottom when your dominant allows you to do so even though he doesn’t want to do whatever it is you want him to do.

How To Avoid It

Avoiding topping from the bottom is simple.

If you’re submissive, don’t make demands outside of what is allowable by your personal agreement with your dominant. Don’t throw temper tantrums or give the appearance that not getting your way is going to cause a serious rift. Don’t try to manipulate the situation in any way. Just simply respectfully ask for what you want and respect your dominant’s decision.

If you’re a dominant, don’t give in to the demands of your submissive unless it’s a) something you agreed upon with them in relationship/play session negotiations, b) something you really don’t care about, or c) something you want your submissive to have. No matter what.

<3 Some stuff I read before writing this: 

  1. Raine
    August 9th, 2013 at 22:55 | #1

    Interesting, I like the ‘No Stupid Questions’ posts you’re doing. I’ve never heard of the term so I’m glad this question was posed. Personally I find that tantrums or obvious, deliberate disobeying is very annoying, I have no tolerance for whiners and/or brats. Not just in a sub/dom relationship-I can’t stand that personality anywhere. Thanks for the info, opinion and links to what else you read.

  2. August 10th, 2013 at 03:42 | #2

    @Raine Yeah, I find the whiners and brats of the world a little too self-centered for my liking. But then, that’s something I battled with, too. I think we all do at some point in our lives.

    Thank you for the comment. Glad you’re enjoying the series. Hope it’s helpful.

  3. Camryn
    May 15th, 2014 at 23:43 | #3

    So that’s what it is! I only read one or two things on it but it made TFTB sound like a sub asking for anything was bad. I mean, apparently the only way for a sub to get what ey want is to beg and beg and beg and then apologize for being bold enough to beg. >.<

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