What is Topping from the Bottom?
Topping from the Bottom [TftB] can refer to several different things both in and out of D/s dynamics. In a Dom/sub relationship TftB refers to when the Dominant is penetrated by the submissive. Likewise, it also refers to gay men, when the bottom, or the one being penetrated, is commanding the penetrator and their actions. Power Bottoms are those who continually Top from the Bottom in play.
Topping from the Bottom is an offshoot of D/s play. Many BDSM purists have a negative view of topping from the bottom. It goes against the traditional power relationship of a Dom and sub dynamic. There are some in the BDSM community who feel that a Dom should never be penetrated by the submissive. This is more common in FemDom and ProDom circles.
When a Dom is Topped from the Bottom it can be for various reasons. Some common reasons are:
- As a reward to an obedient submissive. Males are typically the biological penetrators and much of their sexual pleasure is derived from it. Some Doms do enjoy sexual penetration and do not limit themselves to strict no-penetration dynamics with their subs.
- It can be a challenge for their sub to maintain an erection or continue to service them during punishment. If a slave cannot please their master and top at the same time, roles may switch and pleasure turns to further pain. It can also be used to edge or train a sub in orgasm control.
- Topping from the bottom can be done so that the submissive gets no real pleasure out of it. This can be done by forcing them to fist, finger, use a toy, or otherwise service a Dom for their sexual gratification. This can be humiliating to the sub, knowing that they cannot personally please their Top or Dom.
- In some cases, bratty or fake submissives can reverse the roles in a scene. Commanding a top to attend to them and their needs. This can be regular or variant on a dynamic or scene, allowing the sub to exert some control for their own comfort. This is most common with Service Tops.
Topping from the Bottom should not be confused with Switching or Service Topping. Switching is the consensual transfer of power between the Top and the Bottom. It is usually done by partners who want to try or experience being on the opposite end of the spectrum.
A Switch is someone comfortable with playing the role of both submissive and dominant. Service Topping is the opposite of Topping from the Bottom. A Service Top is one who plays the Dominant role but does not identify as a Dom, they are merely playing the role to fulfill the sub’s desires.
Dos, Don’ts & Tips
Topping from the Bottom is largely up to the players involved and does not have to be a regular thing. As mentioned, if a submissive is particularly deserving of a reward, their Dom may allow controlled penetration. TftB does not necessarily mean participants are switching in their D/s roles. The Dom may still exert control at all times.
- If Topping from the Bottom is to be included in a scene, it should be discussed beforehand.
- Bottoms or subs shouldn’t attempt to penetrate their Dom without permission.
- If done in a D/s scenario, permission needs to be granted by the Dom, and the Dom should instruct the sub in what to do.
- Bottom’s who penetrate their Tops outside of a D/s scene likewise should focus on pleasing their Top.
Related Fetishes and Practices
Topping from the Bottom can be done in many roleplay scenarios. This allows a traditionally Dominant role to receive penetrative pleasure from the bottom. Power Bottoms are those that habitually or prefer to Top from the Bottom.