Topping from the bottom - Myth debunkers refuted

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Topping from the bottom - Myth debunkers refuted

Recently I was searching for BDSM play that focus around Divinity and I accidentally stumbled over a nice blog called Diva Toolbox’s. The article in question is called‘ 6 Myths about BDSM Inspired by "50 Shades of Grey”’ and blogged by Ande Lyons from the website: ‘’.

Particularly the 2nd ‘Myth’ that the ‘dominant is in control’, made me perform the well known Mr. Spock eyebrow movement; ‘Fascinating’. Why does she think so?

Please understand, that I have no problem with Lyons expressing her opinion, I just do not recognize myself in it. For the sake of comfort, I simply take a chunk out of her explanation, so we do not have to switch between browsers tabs:

“A dominant’s job is to fulfill the submissive’s needs — that’s what brings the dominant pleasure. “Every good dominant knows that the submissive is really the partner in control,” says Jennifer Hunter. “All a submissive woman has to do is relax and enjoy the ride while delicious sexual acts are visited upon her. She’s the star of the proceedings. Someone is ministering to her needs for a change. Master is choreographing all the action.”

A good starting point would be to acknowledge that the Dominant indeed takes pleasure out of the interaction with the bottom and that he Dominant as Master indeed is choreographing the action.

The rest of the remarks are a bit harder to swallow. Concluding that a Dominant would  only be ‘good’, when they know that the bottom is really the one in control, is a bit far stretched in my opinion. Just as seeing the woman as the submissive of a Dominant male is a classic view for sure, but not the only option. Yet, for the sake of argument, we assume that the quote – as it is – does aim at the ‘classical’ D/s relationship, where the male is Dominant and the female submissive.

Now, let’s go back to the idea that it really is the submissive woman that is in charge. Is this so? It is certainly is a valid point of view and that this idea may appeal to many women is understandable, as it gives you a very controlled way of being served in a naughty fashion. It seems an exemplary instance of the strong woman that is sexually demanding and being in charge over her own experience.

However fascinating such a scene might be; it is only a view in which the Lady seeks someone to do a job for her (which is not really a mind-set of servitude). The Dominant is ‘ministering her needs’ and ‘choreographing the action’. And according to his job description – one is tempted to add. Nevertheless, there is nothing to be said about choosing this way of actions and it can be regarded as a form of power exchange too, when this is how the scene is agreed upon. But, to me - and without doubt to many others too - it more looks like topping from the bottom, which – as the Sadist bastard honestly admits - is not one of Sir Cameron’s personal favourites.

Perhaps I may suggest a lexical distinction with regard to the use of the words ‘control’ and ‘power’. If we say, that the Dominant is in control, what do we precisely mean by that? Does it mean, he controls the bottom and she is helpless, or do we mean that he controls the power that was given to or shared with him, or perhaps simply even taken by him?

It is not, that I do not recognize the truth in Jennifer Hunter’s words – that Lyons is quoting, unfortunately without reference – but I do not see how it would debunk a myth. It is simply describing one way of playing a scene, not the only way it can be played, nor the only sane one. There are certainly forms of control that do not fit into the description we read above.

If you e.g. take sadism in account, the whole picture easily changes. The delicious sexual acts – that are so naughty - may just not be present at all. The whole scene may last for hours and not involve sex, but only show how the slave is being subjugated to the sole pleasure of the Master.

The bottom is still the partner, with (respected) soft and hard limits and with the possibility to use a safeword to hold or even stop the scene, but to describe that as being in control is a bit overdone.

Maybe, a too theoretical approach of BDSM as an “exchange of power between a Dominant and a submissive” – mentioned in Myth 6: BDSM is primarily about pain FICTION! – is misleading. Some masochists that I know, do bottom to get their thing, but they are not submissive at all. Some Dominants need pain, in order to get in the right mindset to play effectively.

As true as it normally is - that the needs of the bottom play a huge role in guiding the scene - the real challenge that lies behind it, is the trust in the Master; in his integrity as a sound person, in his abilities, in his care and in his viciousness that is mean enough to play out your fantasy.

In my experience, giving trust is quite something else as giving yourself over to lust.
And if your little bottom is having a good time and you push it deeper and deeper and lead it closer to its limits; you also know from experience, that the whole idea that the bottom is actually in charge is a farce; it cannot think clear anymore, its sense of self is floating, its butt is hungering for another stroke of that massive bruising cane – and than the MASTER stops; as it is he that is in control, and that is his job, particularly when the bottom no longer has any control left, not over the body, not over its will, not over its health, yes, it not even has the power left to safeword out.

This may – and must not – be the way that BDSM is experienced by many of the kinky folk, but it is part of it. For me it is, and therefore the statement “Myth 2: the Dominant is in Control. FICTION!” is not debunking a Myth, it is not even debunking a reality, it is merely advocating one way of experience over another because it better suits with the ideas of Lyons and Hunter on how BDSM might be. They are entitled to that, but I doubt how many of the Masters and Mistresses that I know would agree with them. However, the advice of committing to a safe, sane and sound BDSM praxis I do heartily share.

Concluding I wish to stress the point, that experience precedes theory. Whether the experience is morally justified or not, is quite another question. Challenging experience by calling it a Myth is a theoretical stance one can take, but perhaps, we can easily find a more common line; let’s just say, that the Control of the Dominant over the submissive is itself not a myth, but of a mythological character. A distinction that in my opinion, better suits BDSM fantasy play.

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