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Submissive Behaviors: Topping from the Bottom

This week instead of addressing normal Talk Tuesday questions, I am writing on a particular subject that I feel will be very beneficial for many new submissives and Dominants. Next week, the normal Talk Tuesday post will be back so get your questions in to us now at

Topping from the bottom is when the bottom (submissive) directs how the scene or relationship goes. It is considered inappropriate behavior in most D/s circles. It can have many connotations, some of which make the dominant seem to be the less dominant person in the relationship. It also can be looked upon as the submissive trying to get the attention of their dominant because the submissive feels that they aren't getting enough.

Why does a #submissive #top #from the #bottom? This is the question that has many conflicting answers. Some suggest that it is simply to get attention from the dominant. Some say that it is to act out against the dominant because they don't want the control. Sometimes the submissive is naturally more dominant than their #dominant, so it comes natural for them to bottom top. And still, there are also cases of the submissive being trained by the dominant to bottom top. Each person is different, so it can't really be said that there is one reason that a submissive bottom tops without truly knowing them.

Some subtle ways that a submissive might control their Dominant is by denying things to their Dominant until they feel that it is the right time to give him what he wants (affections, completing tasks, service). One of the major pieces of D/s #lifestyles is letting your #Master stretch your #limitations, maybe trying new things you would have never let yourself try before out of shame or fear. Now I'm not suggesting that you should just put your life in a Dominant's hands and have no limits. Please have limits because safe, sane, and consensual play is always key. However if you do not trust your Dominant to #punish as needed or pleasure you in his way in his own time, then the relationship isn't what it could be.

How do you recognise if your submissive is topping you from the bottom?

  • They always ask 'Why' when given an order.

  • They outright ignore commands or requests.

  • They make all decisions on their own without following the dominant's directions. 

  • They tell the dominant what to do or how to behave during a scene. 

The above list is but a few signs that would be prevalent in these situations. If your submissive or yourself displays these signs, you should stop and ask yourself why. If this is a recurrent behaviour, then two situations come to my mind as a possible cause. First, you could be a switch and not know or understand that you have those tendencies. Second, you are not in a D/s #dynamic that allows you to submit for some reason; the sub is not sub enough or actually not submissive. In this situation, reasons are often that the submissive doesn't trust or respect the dominant or that the dominant is not strong enough in personality to keep the sub's submission.

The solution to this could be as simple as putting the submissive in her/his place. They could just be pressing the limits to see when they will be stopped. Once the law has been laid down again this can stop the situation immediately. However sometimes the issue is deeper and something to be addressed more formally. It could be that the submissive has deep trust issues, if this is the case then counselling maybe the only way to help the situation. Really it can be different for all Dominant/submissive couples so it is key to make sure that it is not a serious emotional issue before corrective measures are taken.

If you have anything to add to this conversation, please leave comments below! All creative commentary and diverse opinions welcome!

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