Top/bottom and Dominant/submissive

Top and Bottom vs Dominant and Submissive:

First off it might be easier to explain a top and bottom:

It’s more the action that defines a top and a bottom. Generally, the person doing the action is the top and the one receiving is the bottom in a particular scene.

Now a Top can get a bottom to do things to them. For instance, let them give you a blow-job or a massage. But in the scene, you are the one controlling the “scene” or action.

Even a submissive can be topping in a scene.

For instance, you have three people involved in a scene. Tom, Dick and Harry. Tom is directing Dick and Harry and ultimately controlling the scene. So Tom is your Top. Dick and Harry are the bottoms of Tom.

Tom now directs Dick to spank Harry. Tom is still the top. But Dick is also topping Harry. But both Dick and Harry is still the bottom to Tom.

Confused yet? So to add drama to this scene lets change it up again.

After a break, Harry decides he would like to tie up both Tom and Dick and tickle them. Harry becomes the top and Tom and Dick the bottom.

So it is a role we assume in a play scene or during any interaction.

You still with me?

Now let’s add the Dominant and Submissive part to this.

A dominant is someone that likes to control things. They like and love to be in charge of things. You can be dominant in many different areas of life. From work, your life, your marriage on a project. You love being the one making decisions and being in the ultimate driving seat. Does this mean you are a controlling dick that only gets your own way? No, but that is a post all on its own.

A submissive is your counterbalance of a Dominant. It’s someone that likes serving the needs of others. They love to take care of you and nurture and will at times put their own needs aside to serve those around them. It does not make them a doormat. It also does not mean a Dominant can’t be nurturing. In fact, they both are. But the way they go around doing that is different.

So how does this play into BDSM? You often hear the title Dom and Sub.

A dominant or a submissive is not a role you assume. It’s your nature. You can be dominant in your work life but in your sexual life, you are a submissive. You like to give up control over decision-making in that area.

So in BDSM. Someone might be a dominant that is topping in a scene. Or even a submissive can Top in a scene. But their nature does not change.

So if a Dominant and submissive play together they might be topping or bottoming but if they go deeper or want more they will be moving towards a Dominant submissive relationship. Even if it is only for one scene. It is a definite power exchange. Whether for just one playtime or for a certain time period and even whole relationships can be built on it.

So let’s do another scenario. You have Sally who identifies as a Domme (a female Dominant) and Harry who is a submissive. They meet at a play-party and hit it off and negotiate a short scene of 30 minutes. He agrees to be spanked and handcuffed and teased.

The moment they start their scene there is a definite power exchange. Sally is in control and will decide (after looking at the boundaries of the negotiation) how when to handcuff and spank and to tease. Harry has given up the right to say no except to safeword. After thirty minutes the power exchange negotiated is over.

In this, however, Sally is still a Domme before and afterwards as well as Harry. You can see it that they Topped and bottom as well.

Now scene two with both people and we add Mary. Mary is a switch. (it means she identifies as a Domme and a submissive. In some play-scenes or people it will swing one way or the other). Mary agrees to bottom for Sally and play with Harry as well.

Same as above but Sally orders Mary to spank Harry. Mary is not Domming Harry but topping as the power exchange flows to Sally.

Still with me?

In short Topping and bottoming is the role we assume. Dom/me and sub is the nature of the people involved.

And if you look deeper into it, it can become as difficult as you want to make it. But it can be really simple. Look at yourself. Where are you most happy? Or are you more submissive with some play partners and more dominant with others? Then you might be a switch.

Are you happy just to have kink without any power exchange involve? Say the same scene as Sally and Harry but where they are just topping and bottoming. They decided beforehand that Harry wants to have a spanking and Sally might want to get teased afterwards. They both make decisions at the same time with no one in “control” of the scene throughout. There is no power exchange involved.

Some might say that with Topping and Bottoming there is a physical difference in control. And with a Dominant and submissive a psychological exchange of power exceeding the physical difference in control. You for the agreed upon time give up your right to the driving seat (until you use a safeword off course. You then as a submissive take the control back).

Or maybe you are the happiest on your knees in front of a dominant regardless of any of the particulars of the kink involved and you just want to serve. And perhaps you just wanna play and switch it up now and then.

All that matters is that you are having safe sane and consensual fun. From the occasional spanking to the couples deciding to base their whole relationships on some of the BDSM principals.

Still, confuse? Contact me and I am willing to have another go at it.

By: cheeky


Negotiation is a big part of playing safely.

How do you negotiate?

Well, a great start is by asking questions. Pretty much everyone knows how to ask questions.

What sort of questions should you ask?

A good one to start off with is what turns you on/off?

What are you interested in trying?

What are your hard/soft limits?

Are you Dominant/Submissive/Switch?

Who will be the Top/Dom/me and the bottom/sub?

Is there participation of any other observers? How will partners address each other?

What are you looking for in a play partner?

What are the safety measures ? are there any safety tools to prevent situations when something goes wrong. E.g with doing bondage do you have safety shears?

Will there be any Sexual contact? What type of sexual activity is accepted if any?

What are the safe words?
Is there a safe way to end a scene if the person is gagged and is unable to vocally say the safe word?

Do/will you have spotters to help if something goes wrong?

What type of play would you like to include in the scene? e.g Bondage, impact, sensation, sensory deprivation.

Do you want each other to be dressed a certain way?

Duration of the scene?
Do you have a safety call? Someone who knows where you are and will call to make sure you are okay at a certain time.

Are there any health concerns? Talking over existent health problems: allergies, chronic diseases, STD’s, taking any medications.

Do you know what each other needs for aftercare?

Do you know what aftercare means?

Another tool which helps negotiations is by using a checklist. See the example below

As Always,  S.S.C, R.A.C.K and P.R.I.C.K.

Loving BDSM Podcast

The Loving BDSM podcast is hosted by Sir John Brownstone and Kayla Lords. They cover a wide variety of topics ranging from the beginner level to more advanced topics. They are a 24/7 Dd/lg almost married couple.  They have gone down the path of long distance to moving in together and now planning for their wedding all while maintaining a 24/7 Ds relationship.

I highly recommend this podcast to anyone getting into this lifestyle with their partner or if they are battling to find their way. Or just for light listening pleasure as they host a great podcast in general.


So safewords. What are they and how do we use them?

First off never ever play without safewords negotiated and determined beforehand. If a submissive or a Dominant refuse to play with one then walk away.

Now for the explanation on the term safeword:

Safeword: Its a word that either stops play completely or halts it for the moment.

Now why would you need to use a safeword?

Me and Moc go with the green, yellow, orange and red system.

Green: The dominant can use this to find out of a submissive is still good to go. They are still enjoying the activity or would still like to continue further. It can also be used to check in with a submissive and how responsive they are to a question.

Yellow and or Orange: If a submissive or Dominant (yes Dominants can and should also use safewords) say this word it means check in quickly. Something is either not right or I just need to quickly have a word with you. It is our halt word. Play temporarily gets stopped or slowed down to determine the issue and to deal with it.

Now in our case yellow means the following: Something is wrong that I need you to adjust. For instance the rope is digging in too much here. I have a cramp and need a bit of release. Or I am feeling a bit light headed or dehydrated. It is a communication tool to let the Dominant (and vice versa) know that there is a physical or emotional need that quickly needs adjusted so play can continue. After all we like pain now and then but some pain is not really nice or erotic.

Orange: This word is more a word we use to halt the play and we need to have a quick talk. I either feel a bit apprehensive and worried about the current intensity or it might be that we are entering a new area of play and I am a bit worried and we just need to talk before playing further. Sometimes it is just that I need a hug or a cuddle and we right back into it.

Red: Either the submissive or Dominant feels that play need to stop immediately. If the submissive is tied up then release them slowly and go into aftercare. Sometimes a Dominant feels the need to stop the play as well as they feel that the submissive is too far in subspace and depending how long and how well they know the submissive they might not really utter the word but they will stop play even if the submissive is begging and go into aftercare. If they are still resisting they will use the word to get through to the submissive.

Now do you need to use the Traffic light system? No you can replace the words with anything. Your slow word can be for instance Turtle and your stop word can be Mercy. Reason why we go with traffic light system as it is more commonly known.

Now why don’t we use words like No or Stop or Please go slow? I mean they can slow and stop the play too right? They are not really good words to be used as safewords. Play can get intense and at times as you see the Dominant bringing nipple clamps out you are going NO NO NO. But at the same time you pushing your body towards them wanting it but at the same time dreading it.

If the Dominant ask you if you are green and you say yes then you didn’t really wanted the play to stop. You were just apprehensive.

So what words make a good safeword? Any word you won’t normally use in a sexual content and you can easily remember.

Bad safeword examples: NO, Stop, Justfuckinggetmeoutofthisihadenough. Timbaktoopoliticiantrumpandiloveicecream.

It needs to be an easy word you will remember and be able to utter.

But now you say what if I am gagged and I can’t utter these words?

This is where safety signals come into effect and this should be discussed at same time as safewords. And Dominants please remind your submissive before gagging them about the safety signals.

Good one for a safety signal can be using your say left hand and make a fist and let go three times in a row.

Another thing is (good if you are tied up as well): is a bell or a ball. If they drop it, it needs to make a sound. Get the gag out and find out where they are at with safewords. Is it Halt or Stop.

For those playing in the dark you won’t always hear a ball drop. (think in a BDSM party setting). A ball that can be dropped that makes a sound as well as light up is a good thing.

And if you are a Top or Bottom? Do you still need to use safewords? It really does not matter on the labels involved or how intensely you are intending to play. Safewords should and must be negotiated beforehand and in use. Otherwise a NO is a NO.

So please be safe, sane and consensual and always play with a safeword.