The two terms Top ( English , above ') and Bottom ( English , below') denote its importance as BDSM roles of the two possible roles that a person for a limited period of time, the duration of a single game scene (session) up to an entire relationship. The top takes on the dominant, usually more active role, while the bottom plays the submissive, often more passive role. To this end, the German-language terms “play up” and “play down” have been developed for the roles of top and bottom, respectively.
Both bottom and top can be male or female; the term only says something about the chosen role.
People who play such games but are not fixated on either role are called a switch .
The essential content of the various forms of BDSM practiced is a distribution of roles, since one partner lets himself be consciously inflicted, disciplined (e.g. bound and / or chastised ) and / or controlled by the other. The difference in the various role-playing games, practices and life models has developed a separate name for the two play partners or life partners for each species, for example, pet / owner is spoken of in pet play , dom / sub in D / s , and mistress / sub in femdom. Slave. The boundaries are fluid and the use of the word pair Top / Bottom is only an aid to remove the conceptual barriers between the different types of game. As a value-neutral word pair, the use of top / bottom in BDSM-related discussions has established itself.
The term bottom originally comes from homosexual jargon , where it describes the receiving partner during intercourse. In English , the term expresses pair top / bottom not only up / down from, but bottom is derived from a term for the buttocks . The word bottom thus suggests a double association. It is believed that the terms have evolved in the various English-language BDSM newsgroups and spread over the Internet with the increasing communication between BDSMers.
The term Sub , which is often used as an alternative, is derived from the English abbreviation for Submissive . It is used synonymously for bottom, especially in the area of dominance & submission . The expression is mostly used in connection with dominance and mostly indicates an existing preference for elements of submissiveness and general status games.
Understanding of roles
The terms top and bottom only describe whether it is the dominant / active or submissive / passive partner within a session or a relationship. In addition, the term does not include any rating, does not describe any character trait or type of game. For example, a bottom can act as a masochist within a scene, but have no further interest in submitting to his active partner or being humiliated by him. Conversely, it is just as possible that a bottom only feels a submissive tendency and has no interest in the infliction of pain by his partner and rejects these varieties.
The reverse also applies to the top. At one end of the spectrum there are dominant partners who enjoy giving commands, but are indifferent to negative about the addition of physical stimulation. At the other end of the spectrum is the sadistic top who enjoys physical and psychological manipulation of his submissive partner, but has no interest in his submission.
In order to show the status of the sub within a BDSM game to all participants or viewers, all kinds of fetish-like attributes are often used, such as leather or iron collar, mask, muzzle, gag, handcuffs and ankle cuffs, etc., next to a practical function often have a high symbolic value. Wearing a chastity belt makes z. For example, it is clear that the bottom has given the dominant control over his own sexuality. In addition, the inequality of the two is often emphasized by a whole series of specific behavioral rules for the bottom (standing, sitting, speaking, etc.), which can represent a kind of BDSM etiquette.
The noise-like, psychological state in which a bottom or sub can find themselves during a scene is called subspace or "flying". To "immerse" in the subspace, to experience the ecstatic feeling of being defenseless for a limited time and relinquishing all power, is of great attractiveness for bottoms / subs.
Topping from the bottom
Topping from the bottom : This expression describes the bottom's attempt to manipulate the top (provocation, deliberate misconduct) into the bottom's wish-fulfiller (vicarious agent). Such a bottom is called a wish list sub or wish list bottom in the German BDSM scene ; in the English-speaking scene, the expression pushy bottom is used for this . If the BDSM role play takes place at the request of the bottom (and) in the way the bottom wants it, the active partner is also called the service top . There is a very purist school within the BDSM scene that regards such a topping from the bottom as incompatible with the high ethical standards that they believe should be applied to BDSM relationships.
A person who only appears to be in control of a session, but in reality strictly adheres to the bottom's instructions, is also called a service top in English-speaking countries . In contrast to the service top, there is the purely dominant top, which gives commands to the submissive partner within the session or submits them using physical or psychological control techniques.
In BDSM, it is also common for partners to switch roles ( to switch ) from one game (session) to another , depending on their mood, partner or preference. This practice is known as switching (more rarely also as switching ).
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- Datenschlag - collection of terms from the BDSM area