Unclean! Unclean!

Brace yourself.  I’m going to say something terrifying.  Something that will make you run screaming from the room.
Ready?  Here goes-

“topping from the bottom”

While we wait for those who fled in terror to return and those who fainted to gain consciousness, let’s talk about this.  Topping from the bottom is reviled, jeered at, and the antithesis of the One True Way™.  But I don’t think it deserves quite the level of disdain that it gets.  In reality, it’s simply a communication issue, just like the myriad other communication issues out there.

Having desires, needs, and wants is not “unsubmissive”.  A bunch of online doms with no real-time experience may scream at you for daring to voice your desires, but don’t listen to them.  It doesn’t mean you’ve failed as a slave.  Your card is not being revoked.  You have desires.  Own them.  Vocalize them.  Otherwise, you’ve got no one to blame when you have unfulfilling scenes that don’t push any real buttons for you.  If the other person doesn’t know what you want, how do you expect to find any common ground?  When you just flop down and say, “Do whatever pleases you”, you’re saying you’ll be happy with whatever the dom does.  But will you really be happy with that?  Or do you have those certain desires scratching away at the back of your head, those things you yearn to do with her, the things that make your eyes glaze over?  Yeah.  Those things.  Tell her.

However, in the middle of a scene is not the time to tell her what you’d like to do.  At that point, she’s driving.  If you try to grab the wheel and turn the car in a different direction, she won’t be too appreciative.  Outside of the scene is the time to talk about this stuff.  Maybe over dinner, maybe cuddling in bed, laying on the couch, or out for a walk.  Or maybe saying it in person is awkward for you; if that’s the case, try e-mail, instant messenger, text, or a phone call.  You could save a document on your computer (and continually update it) and give her access to it.  You could journal, either in a physical paper journal or online.  How about a handwritten note?  There are tons of ways to communicate what your secret and not-so-secret desires are.

We all have that list of things we want to try, as well as those things that scare us but we can’t quite shake the thought of.  How do you expect to live it if you won’t do your part?  Your dom is not psychic; you can’t expect her to jump into your brain and pull out all the sexy bits.  If you’d like to live your fantasies, the first step is to take those fantasies out of your head and share them.  Just be sure to pick your timing; don’t start making demands in the middle of a scene.

Even bringing things up or asking for certain things outside of a scene can sometimes feel like topping from the bottom, at least for me.  It can be difficult to ask for what you want, especially if you’ve faced negative reactions or apathy when doing this in the past.  It is worth it though.  When you’re with a partner who listens, cares, and wants to have mutually mind-blowing scenes, communication is the only way to make this happen.

Making your desires known without being pushy or annoying doesn’t have to be a difficult balance.  I see a lot of people on both extremes- Some take the me-me-me approach and don’t care about what the dom wants; others refuse to let any tidbits of their desires out lest they be accused of the dreaded topping from the bottom.  Neither approach is sustainable long-term.

By seeing topping from the bottom as some horrible incurable disease, people make the problem worse than it already is.  Topping from the bottom is not leprosy.  Rather, it’s a simple communication problem requiring just a minor tweak.

Push It. Push It Reeeal Good!

Individual growth and change is part of what we do.  Our interests/fetishes change over time and often become more intense.  Likewise, the collective interests of the bdsm community as a whole change over time.  I’ve seen certain forms of play become trendy and incredibly popular, only to later disappear from sight altogether or slowly fade into one small corner of the toybag.

Cell popping is one that was very popular locally a few years back, and it seemed there was a workshop on that every other month.  Everyone wanted to try it, and people who did it attained near celebrity status at parties.  Within six months, the fervor had dissipated; now, a few years later, half the people out there don’t even know what cell popping is.

Knife play and cutting took a similar path.  They were taboo for a long time when I first got involved in the community.  Only one or two couples did it, and they rarely talked about it since it squicked lots of people out.  But slowly it became more talk-about-able, and more people experimented.  There were demos.  Everyone wanted to try it.  Over time, interest waned.  Now, it’s just one more interest among many, and knife play doesn’t have legions of people who want to do it at every single party.

Breath play, watersports, and fire play went through similar rise-and-fall cycles.  Littles play and rough body play have recently exploded onto the scene locally.  Over half of these fetishes previously had a taboo status prior to their resurgence.  People tend to latch on to the newest flavor of play, especially if it’s edgy in nature. When so many people suddenly become aware of it and develop a curiosity or interest in it, this “new” form of play becomes very visible.  Everyone talks about it.  You see it everywhere at parties.  There are countless demos because there is demand for said demos.  Over the years, these things slowly slide out of view until they’re just one more tool in the repertoire.

This makes me wonder what other now-taboo forms of play might one day enjoy this surge of popularity.  Branding?  Gun play?  Making the sub eat other mens’ cum?  Scat?  Hook suspensions?  Food play/wet-and-messy?  Something else entirely?  There’s really no way to know.  There sometimes seems to be a competition among presenters at the larger events- Who can be more extreme and more shocking?

I do enjoy the fact that the community’s interests fluctuate rather than staying stagnant.  My own interests fluctuate and grow more intense, so when the community mirrors that action, it makes me feel like I’ll have a home here for years (or decades) to come.  The community can grow with me and teach me new things, just as I can help the community grow and learn.

I have a fetish for trying new things (which is why the perv list is a mile long.)  I also have a fetish for being pushed hard in every form of play I do; I relish that the bdsm crowd embraces and helps with that.