What is it that a Bottom needs from a Top? More than simply a smacked ass, a Bottom needs a world. Like it or not, a Top provides the world for a Bottom. The environment, the emotional milieu within which the Bottom can let go! A Bottom is most often (at least I am) a person who is very much in charge in their real life. It also takes a fair amount of self confidence to explore submission. So Bottoms are strong people, oftentimes too strong and too controlled, especially in the case of women. Many female Bottoms are caretakers; they “take care” of everything and sometimes everyone in their lives. Sexual power play, exploration of domination and submission, can be very cathartic and cleansing. But inherent in this partnership is a deep responsibility for both parties. The Bottom needs to be self aware, have defined, strong boundaries and the ability to communicate them. They also need to have a strong radar about their playmates and choose carefully – obviously! But the Top has, as I’ve said before, an almost SACRED obligation to the Bottom. The Bottom gifts the top with their TRUST. The wellbeing of the Bottom is in the Top’s hands for the duration of play; they need to feel safe enough to let themselves fall and know that they will be whole when they come out the other end of that rabbit hole! The Top provides that milieu, that safety net, as well as the stimulus (spanking, dominance, power) that provokes the letting go. A sacred trust, Tops!
Communication is an obvious element (hopefully! If it’s not obvious then you need some schoolin!). Boundaries, emotional, verbal, physical, need to be clear between the players. But beyond the spoken communication, there is an unspoken question that must be answered. That is: WHO are we? To each other, to ourselves? Formal roleplays seem to provide the answers - but even in unstructured, spontaneous play, the players need to know who they are to one another. Are we lovers? Boyfriend/girlfriend? Those roles are well defined. But what if we’re meeting someone new? Not necessarily sure that we are going to date, not necessarily planning on sexual contact, only planning to play? Who are we? Are we just there for an agreed upon transaction – the Top gives a spanking and the Bottom receives, thanks and goodbye?? Like getting a massage (well, lower and harder!)?? I’ve never been able to figure out how relative strangers play – maybe one of you out there can illuminate me??
I guess it’s becoming more obvious that I prefer to play with a Top who is a friend. A Top who cares for me. That is the dynamic that works best for me. This requires knowing each other obviously! Anyway, back to Topping. I think that any Top needs to create an atmosphere of caring and safety, no matter the relationship. In my blog on emotionally unavailable Topping, I wrote that an emotionally shut down Top will have a hard time creating a safe, caring atmosphere for a Bottom. It’s very difficult for a Bottom to let go and let themselves be vulnerable with a Top who is detached and uncommunicative. Tops need to talk (at least a little) – how much is up to both players and this should be determined ahead of time. Different roleplays obviously require different behavior from both parties. It’s not so much about the amount of words spoken but the atmosphere created. Caring, safety, control.
Maybe it’s just me, but I need to feel an atmosphere of caring from a Top. I need to feel wanted and taken care of as well as dominated and disciplined. I don’t need to be constantly flattered but knowing that you are WANTED is kind of important, no? Aftercare is essential as I’ve written before. This means touch, holding, gentle communication and reassurance from the Top – how much of this is “in character” (ie as the stern disciplinarian) is up to the players. I like a lot of communication, from start to finish – scolding, direction, more scolding during the spanking and stern talk immediately after. But once that is done, I need and love lots of holding and reassurance. This can often have me crying more than the actual spanking, out of pure release of tension and the final letting go. If I’m simply spanked and then let up – well, that leaves me insecure, confused and very unsatisfied! Again, maybe that’s just me…
Obviously people are different and you all may have different ideas about this dynamic – please comment if you feel moved to do so! Thanks for reading!