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8. How can I learn to be a good bottom?

Headaches Begone! A Systemic Approach To Healing Your Headaches Book

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This article is from the Bondage FAQ, by numerous contributors.

8. How can I learn to be a good bottom?

It can also be hard to learn to bottom, if what you're used to is
topping. Giving up control, surrendering, can be a difficult thing,
when you're used to holding the reins in your hands. If you find
yourself manipulating your top, trying to coerce them into giving you
what you want, then you're what is called a "pushy bottom"--a bottom who
is not really submitting, but just trying to turn the situation around
to the way they want it to go.

Some tops get off on bottoms who are defiant or subtly disobedient, and
use it as an excuse to punish; but for other tops, especially
inexperienced ones, it can be anything but fun. Making your top feel
like they don't know what they're doing is no fun for either of you; I
know, I've been there, as the pushy bottom. The solution? The next
time you play, tell yourself that you are the top's property, that their
will is yours, and that your deepest desire is to please them. Before,
if they did something you didn't like, you might have suggested they try
it another way; now, they are doing exactly what they want to be doing,
and you are grateful they're doing it. Let go of your urges to be in
control; surrender to them, and let them have their way with you. I
guarantee you will have a lot more fun than when you were trying to top
from the bottom--I know I did!

If you are still not quite getting what you want, as a bottom, this
solution may not last very long; you will probably want to talk to your
top about what your needs and desires are, and about how you can both
have fun getting to them. But the time to negotiate about what your
bottom fantasies are, and how you might want to manifest them, is not
necessarily while you're in the middle of a scene which you've
pre-negotiated. Don't get into the "Oh, yes, Mistress, anything you
want--um, uh, Mistress, you're not quite doing it right!" trap. (Can
you tell I speak from experience here?)

Relax, and respond. Quite often a top will enjoy topping you because of
your reactions--the way you wriggle, and squirm, and cry out. If you
clench every muscle and strive to endure without giving _any_ sign that
you're feeling anything, your top may get frustrated with the lack of
feedback. Let yourself feel. And don't hold your breath! Or rather,
don't forget to breathe. (If, of course, you _negotiated_ a "stoic
endurance" scene, that's different. But don't feel you _have_ to act
that way. I like it when my bottoms struggle--they have a safeword
if they need it....)

Of course, nothing is cut-and-dried; just because you're on the bottom
doesn't mean you're a puppet. But there is a big difference between
being open and communicative, and trying to force things in your
preferred direction. A good bottom is one who is enthusiastic, devoted
to their top's pleasure, willing to surrender to their top's will, open
about their own desires (in a respectful manner, of course), and happy
to be bottoming.

There's a piece of common wisdom that's been around the scene for a long
time, which is: the best tops are those who started at the bottom. I
believe it's true. If you have been there, felt the bite of the whip,
struggled to get free as you were brought slowly and teasingly to
orgasm, tranced out as the sensation from the clothespins washed over
and through you... then you will be much better able to guide someone
else through that intensely magical space as a top, because you will
literally have been there. Plus, starting as a bottom means you'll pick
up a lot of hands-on (if you will) experience! (And as with any
generalized statement about SM, there are plenty of people whose mileage
varies; bottoms who've never topped and never want to, or tops who've
never gone under and are still damn good. But even such tops often
experiment with sensations on themselves before trying them with their
bottoms.)

 

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