Topping from the Bottom: Communication and Negotiation in BDSM Scenes

You can watch the full clip where I speak about topping from the bottom here.

I’m really excited to dive into the topic of topping from the bottom. First, let’s start with the basics. Sometimes I make the assumption that people know what certain BDSM terms and terminologies mean, and I’m trying really hard not to do that.

What is topping from the bottom in BDSM?

Topping from the bottom is when someone who is in the bottom role or the submissive role is guiding the person in the top role or the dominant role. It’s an inversion of power dynamics.

For me personally as a dominant, topping from the bottom isn’t really fun.

But one thing that I’ve noticed about people who say, “I don’t want to top from the bottom.” is that sometimes what they actually want is for their dominant to be a mind reader.

I want to break down some of the differences between topping from the bottom. There’s a difference between being a submissive who’s able to express yourself and set your Domme up for success, and just asking them to shoot in the dark (which is really serving no one).

“Whatever you want, Mistress.”

When people fill out my contact form, I ask, “What are you interested in exploring in session with me?” And I get so many responses from strangers that say, “Whatever you want, Mistress.” While that sounds really hot in theory, you don’t know me and you don’t know my interests.

If you’re saying that you don’t have boundaries, my immediate response is, “How about we make a snuff film?” I think that’s a really fast way to make people realize the importance of having boundaries.

So I want to give people a little bit of insight into what it’s like on the receiving end of those emails (and what’s really helpful for me as a Domme).

Over the last 12 years, I’ve spent a lot of time and energy crafting my contact form to provide me with the information that I really need to have a successful session. I have questions there that are a lot different than a lot of other dominatrixes.

One of my favorites is, “When was the last time you cried?” I think it’s a really fascinating question and if you feel so inclined, you’re welcome to message me on OnlyFans with the last time that you cried.

I find that gives me a little bit of insight into how in touch someone is with what they’re feeling, which gives me important information about the ways that I’m going to interact with the submissive in the session.

For example, someone might tell me that they haven’t cried—and I hear this a lot (especially from men)—since their dad died or something similar. It is something that I’d say around 20% of men say to me on my inquiry form.

To me, that says I might be working with someone who isn’t as in touch with their feelings, so there might be more checking in that I’m doing.

Checking in to make sure that what you’re portraying is what you’re feeling.

Checking in to make sure that we’re beginning to bridge the gap of what’s happening to the body and what’s happening in the mind.

Checking in to understand how it’s being perceived, both by the individual and by the person who is guiding the scene.

That’s something that I find really important.

I want to get back to when people say, “You can do whatever you want to me.” I have heard it so many times: “I don’t like to tell a Domme what to do because it feels like it’s topping from the bottom.”

I really find that people who top from the bottom don’t think of themselves as people who top from the bottom.

People who say that they don’t want to top from the bottom… what they really want is a mind reader, so I want to sort of break that down a little bit further.

What is a service top in BDSM?

A service top is a top who enjoys pleasing their bottom and gets off on enacting their bottom’s fantasy. Someone who’s topping from the bottom is often dictating the scene and guiding it. If you’re a service top, having someone who tops from the bottom can be really great.

But if you’re interested in exploring a real power dynamic and a D/s power exchange, I personally find it a hindrance.

There’s a difference between a submissive being like, “Mistress, this position is uncomfortable and unsustainable for me. May I please move?” and someone being like, “This is the only way that I want to receive pain. This is how a spanking should happen. This is how I would like to be positioned over your knee. This is X, Y, and Z.”

Both are fine. But the latter just doesn’t work for me in a session. I find it harder to access the dominant headspace that I personally enjoy.

Expecting your Domme to be a mind reader

I like to have a little bit of information about my submissive, to make the magic together. That’s just how I work.

I don’t think there’s anything necessarily wrong with topping from the bottom. I think it’s just something that you should be aware of, if you do it. I think that will help you find the Domme that works for you, one who will really enjoy having a little bit more guidance on what to do.

What I’ve noticed is that people who say that they don’t want to “top from the bottom”—and I use air quotes—are people who want you to be a mind reader. Worse, they usually actually know exactly what they want.

Then there’s also people who are too scared to ask for what they want.

Forcing someone to ask me for what they want is also a recipe for a hot scene, I think. Forcing people to articulate desires that they’ve never said out loud to anyone but me? That’s hot.

I want to tell the story of one person who I worked with who didn’t want to top from the bottom and instead set me up for failure.

Now, I still got to the bottom of his desires because I’m good at my job and I forced the words out of his mouth, but he was very adamant about not telling me what he wanted.

I was really annoyed with him because I could tell he knew exactly what he wanted. When I’m trying to figure it out what someone’s into, I’ll try different tactics and see how they land with that person.

This person was definitely into heavy feminization play and they had a very specific phrase that they wanted to hear that aroused them beyond anything else I could possibly do.

They knew what that sentence was. They knew what that phrase was and they didn’t want to tell me because they didn’t want to feel like they were “topping from the bottom”. But from my perspective, they were setting me up to fail.

Instead of giving me the ammunition that I needed and desired to conduct a successful feminization scene, they just wanted me to run through things until I landed where they wanted me to land all along.

I forced them to vocalize their desire. I was using their erection as a barometer for my success in this particular scene (not always a good measurement tool, of course).

It would’ve been much more enjoyable for me—and they would have gotten what they wanted out of the scene much faster—had they been able to say the words they knew they wanted to hear during our initial negotiations.

“There’s a difference between topping from the bottom and asking for what you want. There’s a difference between topping from the bottom and knowing what you want. There’s a difference between topping from the bottom and setting your Domme up for success.”

Mistress Blunt

When there’s an individual who says that they don’t want to top from the bottom, often what they really want is a mind reader. Usually their desire is so concrete, but involves some sort of power exchange that they worry they’re somehow eradicating by asking for what they want.

There’s a difference between topping from the bottom and asking for what you want. There’s a difference between topping from the bottom and knowing what you want. There’s a difference between topping from the bottom and setting your Domme up for success to give you a scene that’s fucking amazing.

What to do if you’re topping from the bottom and want to stop?

First, I think that it is important to note that communication is NOT topping from the bottom. If you think you’re someone who tops from the bottom (and don’t want to)… or you’re annoyed by working with people who top from the bottom… or you have a desire that you want to share with your dominant… I think being more intentional with your communication can cause a huge shift.

Someone telling me, “Mistress, this phrase turns me to mush. I would be such putty in your hands if these words were to leave your mouth.” First of all, that’s hot. I like when people beg.

If you’re nervous about topping from the bottom, I highly recommend begging because begging is a super hot, erotic way of asking for your needs and learning how to articulate them.

There’s nothing inherently topping from the bottom about asking for what you want. If you think there is, I would encourage you to investigate your feelings around topping from the bottom!

I have my contact form filled out in a very specific way to very quickly and efficiently assess someone’s interests, where they’re at, what they’re saying to me, and—more importantly—what they’re not saying to me.

Over the years, I’ve gotten very good at figuring out what it is that’s not being said to me and then using that. But when I ask what someone is interested in, I’m not asking them to top me from the bottom. I’m asking them to give me the information that I need to efficiently and successfully conduct a scene that is enjoyable for both of us.

If you feel like asking for what you want is topping from the bottom, I’m here to tell you that you should enthusiastically ask for what you want.

Asking for what you want and subspace

I can only speak for myself as a dominant, but when someone tells me what it is that they’re interested in, I get really excited.

“I’m into whipping. I like humiliation. I’m into foot worship.” I get excited as they check things off my list! I’m like, “Oh, okay. You’re into foot worship. That is one way that I can get into your head.”

For me, a lot of my sessions are about D/s dynamics, about finding those really juicy altered states of consciousness through bringing someone into subspace. For me, if someone knows what they want, entering top space is so much easier.

It makes my work and my headspace so much more enjoyable when I know what someone wants because what I want as a top is to play with that vulnerability that’s being given to me. And if you know what makes you vulnerable, I want you to share that with me!

Altered states of consciousness in BDSM play

I don’t think this is true for every top, but I have specific activities that I’m interested in and I love when those interests align with someone else’s interests.

I have things that I’m not interested in and that I’m not going to do. So, a session with foot worship and whipping sounds great to me. But if you’re into X, Y, and Z other things I enjoy slightly less, it’s less about the specific thing that we’re doing and more about where it takes you.

I like having someone be putty in my hands. I like watching someone fall into an altered state of consciousness where their brain is completely malleable and they’re like mush. As someone who is interested in exploring D/s dynamics, watching someone fall into subspace is something that gets me off deeply.

It’s always been power exchange that has interested me about BDSM, and less the specific activity. I know a lot of tops that’s true for, a lot of tops it’s not. But when people tell me what they like, it’s just a way for me to get into their heads, which is my true desire as a Domme: to leave a mark.

Topping from the bottom: asking for what you want and begging in BDSM

Those are just a few of my thoughts on topping from the bottom as a professional dominatrix. I think we also got a little bit into asking for what you want and begging, which I can get into more at a later date.

In the meantime, I would love to hear your thoughts on topping from the bottom.

What do you think topping from the bottom is? How would you personally define it? Do you think you top from the bottom? If so, what does topping from the bottom look like from you? Are you uncomfortable asking for what you want?

If you are interested in chatting with me about topping from the bottom, I am free for web-based consultations and coffee dates! Book here.