Topping From the Bottom Ain’t Always Bad

Topping a semi-heavy masochist is not easy. I know, I’ve been at both ends of the whip. By “semi-heavy masochist,” I mean someone who needs much more than some spanking and flogging, but who still has limits that fall short of the severe. For masochists like us, it’s a balance. We like to creep up to just this side of “RED,” and then ride the edge of that cliff as long as we can.

For the Top or Dominant of such a masochist, keeping them on that cliff isn’t an easy job. Speaking personally, my reactions to pain while riding that edge can be very intense and dramatic. Although I’m not uttering a safe-word, it can appear as if I’m really struggling to endure the pain. On top of that, my pain threshold fluctuates – sometimes from day to day. Mistress Oasis often struggles with just how hard to push me. She loves inflicting pain and savors my reactions to it. However, hearing a safe-word come from me really upsets her. She shoulders the “fault” for pushing me “too far,” despite the fact that neither one of us truly knows what “too far” is until we get there.

Several times throughout my years in the lifestyle, I’ve “bottomed” for newbies trying to learn or hone their skills. It was no big thing for me to coach them along as they would flog me. “It’s okay, you can swing harder.” “Don’t hit there, that’s my kidney.” “Try stepping back/stepping closer and make sure to aim your swing.” You get the gist. I was a training dummy who gave real time feedback.

The phenomenon of “Topping from the Bottom” is usually referred to in a negative light. Subs are not supposed to top from the bottom, because this is disrespectful to the Dominant. It’s viewed as not being a “good submissive.” For anyone who may not know what “Topping from the Bottom” is, imagine a sub, on their hands and knees with their ass in the air. Their Dominant is busy working on them with a flogger. Now imagine the sub saying, “Hey, try to hit more in the center, not just the right cheek. I like it more centered.”…”Why don’t you work on my back for a while? I like it on my back more than my ass.” … “Oh, can you switch to the heavy flogger? This one is too stingy.” That should give you the idea. The sub wants to be “dominated” by someone, but wants to call all the shots along the way.

It’s not just Dominants who look poorly upon this behavior. Many of us subs don’t like it either. Speaking personally again, I don’t like to have to engage my brain in a scene to the point necessary to actually speak coherently. I enjoy letting go and flying away while Mistress Oasis does her thing. Yes, sometimes she does things that I can honestly say I don’t “like.” However, as I explain in my book “ENERGY and BDSM,” enduring pain that I truly don’t enjoy for the sake of my Mistress’s enjoyment often melts me into a deeper submissive state in my own head. And the “not-so-fun” stuff doesn’t last forever. Eventually, we get back to something that I love, and the roller coaster ride goes on and on.

However, Mistress Oasis and I occasionally change things up a bit, she will let me run the show from a position of vulnerability. It helps us grow in our dynamic, because it takes the responsibility of “reading me” off of her shoulders. Basically, we do things we normally do, except I give more positive verbal feedback. During our regular play, I don’t speak much, unless something is wrong. During these occasional “Top from the Bottom” days, I can encourage her to do more, or to continue to increase the intensity, or even suggest new things that I’ve wanted to try.

I know it’s tempting to think, “Why can’t she just keep increasing intensity on her own as long as you aren’t calling a safe-word?” That would be a good question. And again, it goes back to her not wanting to get to the point of a safe word. Some sadists are perfectly comfortable pushing further and further as long as a sub allows them. However, in Mistress Oasis’s mind, once the safe-word has been uttered, things have gone too far and a sense of guilt and responsibility accompany that. She’s not as unique as you may think. There are lots of sadists out there who really, really get off on hurting someone, as long as that masochist is clearly enjoying the ride – but cannot stand the idea of truly causing someone “bad” pain. This is a very positive trait for a sadist to posses. So it is because of this that the occasional break from the norm can be helpful in a sado-masochistic relationship.

Another benefit of these sessions, as I mentioned earlier, is the chance to try some new things. I have a very fertile imagination when it comes to dreaming up creative ways for my body to be bound and tortured. Some of these ideas can be pretty complex. So, just telling someone the idea and having them try to act it out often doesn’t achieve the desired result. Mistress Oasis loves when I rig up a new bondage position, or a new CBT idea. We recently introduced pulleys to go along with our weight play. Using pulleys and weights to place a load on nipple clamps or a CBT parachute opens up all kinds of new possibilities. But one has to familiarize themselves with more knots, mechanical reasoning, proper weight placement, etc. Allowing me to guide the activity allows her to understand exactly the ideas I have in my head and duplicate, or even modify them.

Additionally, these sessions do not always remain academic. Some of our absolute best scenes have started out with me coaching her in a new idea. Once the ball gets rolling, she gets very “into” what she is doing, and I get very “into” what is happening to me. We basically both get so hot we fall back into our proper roles and play out a real scene.

So, if you’ve always thought of “Topping from the Bottom” as a bad thing, perhaps you should consider how much you, as a Dominant, could learn – or you, as a sub, could benefit from setting aside some time to let the “bottom” take the steering wheel for a few hours and test the waters. You may be shocked at the exciting new things you’ll discover.

 

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