Topping from the Bottom: How to Deal with It?

This article discusses an aspect of BDSM that is away from the norm in this realm; topping from the bottom.
By
reviewed
Reviewed by
Last updatedLast updated: September 11, 2021
Joy Nights is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
Joy Nights is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here

The BDSM community has rules that the participants must abide by for the scene to fulfill the desires of both the dominant (dom) and the submissive (sub). The dom delivers commands to the sub and follows them to ensure a seamless experience for the parties involved. Topping from the bottom indicates a reversal of roles where the sub refuses to take instruction and may want to dictate what happens in a scene.

Several dynamics come into play in BDSM scenes. Therefore, determining when a bottom is topping may be a challenge, especially for beginners. The master or trainer should not ignore safe words. When a bottom raises the alarm because of such instances, this is not topping from the bottom. Having BDSM names to use during the scenes will help make the venture effortless and enjoyable for all the participants. Herein, we dive deep into the concept that is topping from the bottom and all it entails.

What is topping from the bottom?

Topping from the Bottom: How to Deal with It?
Topping from the bottom happens in a variety of ways. There are rules in BDSM that one should follow to ensure the safety of the other participant. Additionally, it involves a consensual agreement between the parties in the scene on the type of activities to take place and their roles. The submissive is to take orders from the master or the dom and execute them. When this does not happen, it upsets the dynamics of the play. Bottoms are to follow instructions without resisting or questioning the dom. When a sub is outrightly in violation of the scene and tries to control what happens, it topping from the bottom.

This is not to say that all disobedient actions by the sub qualify as topping from the bottom. The submissive participant in the play may be unable to execute certain instructions due to their agreed terms during negotiation. It is okay for the sub to raise the alarm, request better treatment, or communicate their limitation regarding a specific play. Safety is a critical component in BDSM engagements that the participants cannot overlook at any cost.

Examples

Submissive participants in BDSM can show their dissatisfaction or try to control the scene in different ways. As we mentioned above, not all protesting feedback from the sub equals topping from the bottom. However, there are specific scenarios where it is evident that the submissive is trying to take control of the scene by disregarding the instructions they receive. Here are a few examples of topping from the bottom:

  • Challenging the decisions of the dominant – doms are in control of a scene, and their word is final. If a sub tries to get a word in to alter or overhaul the decision, it violates the agreed-upon terms. In this case, the sub is trying to top from the bottom.
  • Ignoring requests and commands – a sub ought to listen to the dom and do as they dictate. However, some submissive participants pay no heed to the orders and requests of the dominant. This is not supposed to happen and is an obvious case of topping from the bottom. 
  • Negotiating details of the scene after an agreement – every act in BDSM play is pre-meditated and agreed upon by the participants. Once the details are ironed out, it is time for the parties to play their roles. If a sub tries to continue negotiations after reaching a consensus, it is an apparent disregard of the dom and what they stand for. 
  • Instructing the top – it is okay for the sub to dictate what they enjoy and are willing to do during negotiations. However, telling the dom what to do when a scene is underway is typical of topping from the bottom. 

The examples we give above are not the only cases of topping from the bottom. Making deliberate mistakes and trying to engage the dom for small talk are among the other violations of BDSM rules. Beginner subs should undergo training before they go into any scenes to prevent the topping from the bottom. It is important to note that begging is part of the process, and subs have to do it to please the master and get what they want. Using agreed-upon safewords will help distinguish between the sub topping and them requesting the dom to pause.

Is it bad?

Top and bottom are terms that refer to the power dynamics in any play. Respecting this makes BDSM thrilling for those who engage in the various activities that fall under this umbrella. A submissive who goes against the dominant defies the basic principles of this community.

During play, there is no room for disagreements as this ruins the course of the scene and the feelings evoked from the same. Subspace BDSM is one of the main goals for subs in any play. Disagreeing with the master and diverting from the script will hinder this and other satisfying moments for the participants. It is bad for the sub to start topping from the top as this affects a host of other factors derailing the scene in the process.

Ignoring commands and trying to renegotiate is a form of manipulation resulting in an unhealthy connection between the participants. Submissives know their role in the play; a discussion before commencing a scene will help eliminate instances of the bottom trying to top. Trying to outshine the master and taking control of a scene goes against the principles of BDSM. This will, in turn, ruin the experience of the participants and their trust in the process.

Why do subs top from the bottom?

Topping from the Bottom: How to Deal with It?
Certain circumstances dictate the actions of submissive participants. Below we discuss some of the reasons why subs top from the bottom.

They’re testing the dom

Some submissive participants want to know what the dom can do and what they will shy from. Topping from the bottom is the perfect way for the sub to test the waters and better understand who they are working with. Brat subs are stubborn and want the dom to bring them back in line. Disobeying order and refusing to follow instructions will force the dom to act in a certain way that excites the submissive. However, the sub should communicate this to the dom to avoid ruining the play. Not all participants have the patience to rein a sub back in, and this tactic may cut the scene short.

They’re a novice

Dominants who are new to the BDSM community may have a hard time instructing the sub and keeping them in check. The sub may top from the top in instances where the dom has no idea what to do to them. Strong-willed subs may overpower the dominant for various reasons. The dom may also be lenient towards the sub as they are unsure how much force they can use to avoid hurting the other participant. Training will help novice doms understand the power play and exert dominance without causing bodily or psychological harm.

They’re not really submissive

Not every participant who takes on the role of a submissive is one. Beginners in BDSM may have the challenge of identifying where they stand Trusted Source Fifty Shades of Grey: what BDSM enthusiasts think | Fifty Shades of Grey | The Guardian Women who want to explore the naughty side of it will just see the sexual tension between the couple. That’s what they’re getting off on. They’re not getting the deep underlying storyline; they’re not understanding what the implications are. You’ve got to be very careful who you invite into the world of BDSM. It could all end in tears, huge tears. www.theguardian.com . It is common for someone dominant to find themselves in the submissive role. They will try to get their word in during a scene dictated by who they are. This leads to instances of topping from the bottom before the person identifies that they should be in the dominant position. Reading the rules of BDSM and understanding the power play involved will help individuals pick a role they are well-suited for.

They’re switches

In the BDSM community, an individual has the privilege of being a top, a bottom, or both. Switches are participants who can play the dom or sub role without a hassle. Such participants understand both sides of the spectrum and may try to guide the dom on how to handle the scene. When the dom is naturally less dominant than the switch, it is problematic, and topping from the bottom may occur in some instances. The sub, however, should try their level best to remain in their assigned role and give feedback after the scene.

They have trust issues

Trust issues are common in many forms of BDSM play, especially when the submissive is meeting the dominant for the first time. Failing to trust the other participant will trigger the sub to try and top even though it is not their role. Letting go is another vital aspect of BDSM. If the sub cannot get to the point of trusting the dom and letting go in a particular scene may lead to failure in achieving the desired effect of the play. Communication with the dom will help put the sub’s mind at ease before they engage in any way. Additionally, the dom should start the scene with the less rigorous parts before getting more profound.

How to stop topping from the bottom?

Topping from the Bottom: How to Deal with It?
Submissive participants can work on this on their own, but it may not be effective. Working hand in hand with the dom to eliminate this trait is a more effective and long-lasting solution. Training is the first step that a sub should take to help curb topping from the bottom. The participants should not assume the vital BDSM rules. A submissive participant with knowledge of the guidelines will trust the dom and let go. Basic, intermediate, and advanced training are all necessary to guarantee participants a wholesome experience.

During training, the participants get to understand the power of communication. The dom cannot get into the subs head to know what they can accommodate. Communicating is key in negotiations. The sub should be clear on what they can take and how. The dom should request any modifications at this stage to be on the same page with the sub. BDSM aftercare for both parties is something they ought to discuss before the scene.

All the conversations should take place during or after the play. During a scene is not recommended for many reasons. It is not the responsibility of the sub to initiate conversations. The dom should also take charge and understand what the other participant is going through, which may be informing their behavior. Walking away is ideal during play to avoid anger which may spark other issues. The dom can take a break to deny the sub the stimulation they crave to establish dominance and pick the appropriate punishment.

Final thoughts

BDSM relationships require both parties to be fully aware of what is going to happen and consent to it. A conversation before a scene helps lay bare the details of the play for both the sub and dom to agree. Topping from the bottom involves situations where the submissive partners abandon their roles and try to fit into the shoes of the dominant. Instructing the dom or defying commands is a common type of topping from the bottom.

Communication Trusted Source Never tried BDSM? Go on, it’s good for you | Brad Sagarin | The Guardian Across our studies, from before to after their scenes, both bottoms and tops show an increase in relationship closeness, decreases in psychological stress, and evidence of altered states of consciousness. Bottoms and tops differed, however, in the type of altered state they appear to enter. www.theguardian.com before a scene is vital in preventing the occurrence of the same. The participants should agree on the activities of a scene from the beginning to the end. For instance, a dom who is into rigger in BDSM should find a sub who enjoys the same. Training is another essential aspect for both doms and submissives. The participants should have the relevant skills and knowledge to be part of a scene.

References

1.
Fifty Shades of Grey: what BDSM enthusiasts think | Fifty Shades of Grey | The Guardian
Women who want to explore the naughty side of it will just see the sexual tension between the couple. That’s what they’re getting off on. They’re not getting the deep underlying storyline; they’re not understanding what the implications are. You’ve got to be very careful who you invite into the world of BDSM. It could all end in tears, huge tears.
2.
Never tried BDSM? Go on, it’s good for you | Brad Sagarin | The Guardian
Across our studies, from before to after their scenes, both bottoms and tops show an increase in relationship closeness, decreases in psychological stress, and evidence of altered states of consciousness. Bottoms and tops differed, however, in the type of altered state they appear to enter.
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *