I don’t always mind when subs top from the bottom. I like knowing what they want – it gives me the power of withholding or awarding it. In fact, I get incredibly impatient with subs when I ask what they’re interested in and they reply, “Whatever Mistress wants.” Ugh. One of the best things about kink, to me, is the collaboration of minds; what fun is dominating someone with no backbone?! That type of submission does not suit my temperament; it often leaves me feeling used, not empowered; bored, not enthralled.
I recently saw Duke of Burgundy, a kinky drama (that’s surprisingly funny, and exceedingly strange), and I was instantly blown away by how accurate the depiction of topping from the bottom is. The two lovers are in an apparent Domme/sub relationship, but it is quickly made clear that the sub is running the show – and it’s quite a show; she’s written a script and everything!
The sub (Evelyn) wakes the Domme (Cynthia) up and says, “Tell me something.” Cynthia looks lovingly into her eyes and tells her how happy she is to have Evelyn there. Evelyn asserts, “Tell me the other kind of thing.” Cynthia hesitantly humiliates her lover, and when she runs out of things to say, Evelyn demands, “Just improvise!” so she can orgasm. Afterwards, the sub suggests, “Maybe say it with a little more conviction next time.” That, my friends, is topping from the bottom.
Grudgingly, I found myself relating to Cynthia’s inability to really embody the role her sub laid out for her. There have been times that my domination felt forced. Sometimes I just want to have some equal-power sex. Sometimes I’m too sleepy or lethargic to think up creative, humiliating things to say. Sometimes I’m feeling submissive instead. These moments make me question my self-proclaimed “dominant-leaning” tendencies, until I experience that familiar, potent, consuming urge to force someone to their knees before me; to see their eyes instinctively avoid mine; to bend a will to my own. I may occasionally revel in submission for its ease and comfort, but I never feel sexier than when someone willingly lays himself at my feet.