Non-Sexual Play from the Top


At the end of March I wrote an article about non-sexual play from the perspective of the s-type, or bottom. I feel it’s only fair to write about non-sexual play from the D-type, or Tops, perspective as well. Because I can’t assume you read the previous article, I will paste an excerpt here regarding sexual vs non-sexual play.

“First I need to break down sexual vs. non-sexual the way I will use it for this article. I am going to be very literal. Many people would argue that every scene, all play, is sexual. If it turns you or the other person on, it’s sexual. Well, first of all, not all play is about sexual arousal. However, that is a discussion for another day. For my purpose I am using non-sexual play to mean that no sexual acts are performed during the scene. No “naughty bits” are touched, no kissing, etc.”

There are some reasons a Top would play this way that is similar to a bottom playing this way. For example, the scene could be for a demo or performance where the primary focus of the Top is making sure technique is correct and/or that it looks good for the audience.

But how about for a personal scene?

Personally, I’ve done many “sampler scenes” – showing the bottom (regardless of how they identify) how various implements or types of play feel. They may be new to the scene or perhaps they identify as a D-type but want to understand implements from a bottom’s point of view (experience how things feel). Tops may also be doing it for practice – so focus is on technique, aim, etc.

Training can be another reason a Top plays non-sexually. He/She may be focusing the scene on training their s-type in certain positions and commands for service.

Getting out some physical (not sexual) energy through play. Just as bottoms can enjoy cathartic release and stress relief during play, a Top can enjoy the same benefits.

Sadists, by definition, enjoy inflicting pain or humiliation on another human being. Therefore, a sadist can absolutely play non-sexually, yet walk away with tremendous satisfaction.

Control is a huge element of BDSM, power exchange, and play. It is easily separated from any sexual element – if sexual play is a part of the scene. Either way control is a huge factor. Maintaining the lead in a scene, knowing the bottom will follow your commands, do what you want, etc. (within limits and consent of course) is a huge ego boost and psychological turn on.
It is easy to have a great time playing with someone we aren’t necessarily sexually attracted to. Maybe we are just friends. Perhaps there is a friendship energy that includes playfulness, fun, and trust. These are all wonderful things and more than enough reasons to play without sexual activities. Play does NOT have to be serious!

Are you a Top or D-type who enjoys non-sexual play? Tell me why you enjoy it in the comments below!

Jennifer Masri is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, specializing in Alternative Lifestyles for individual and relationship issues. She also teaches the BDSM 101 class series at Sanctuary LAX in Los Angeles every Monday evening. Read more about Jennifer on her blog, A Kink Shrink.


  1. Mjoliiner says:

    Spot on!

  2. Georgia L says:

    this was much needed. yes!

  3. Thank you! 🙂

  4. Mistress Chaos says:

    Finally, someone who understands that there are no-sex Dominants! I am so sick of people jumping the gun and assume I’m having sex with my ‘boy’. It’s all over my profile that I’m a no-sex Mistress and so many people, both D’s and s’s ignore it or don’t believe it. I’ve even dealt with the sub’s wife assuming I’m having sex with him and I’m tired of repeating that I don’t have to have sex to Dominate someone!

    • spankingfemme says:

      Here, here! This seems to come in context a lot with female tops I notice as I have had issues with significant others becoming jealous and assuming that there is a sexual connotation because I want to spank a man (or woman.) I tend to prefer non sexual scenes since I’m mainly attuned to the psychological aspects and emotional release.

  5. Steve Funk says:

    Thank-you that has been enlightening

  6. Bob Ritchey says:

    I do a lot of play where arousal isn’t the point. I do ‘ordeal’ scenes where the goal is to allow the bottom to experience something intense for their own growth. I am a facilitator of the experience but their journey is the goal.

    When I’m playing for my own satisfaction, there will often be a sexual energy present. We are engaging in a seduction. Those types of scenes are often very arousing but we might have agreed before beginning that sexual contact was not an option. This can come from many reasons. Perhaps they have a rule that they don’t mix play and sex. Perhaps we don’t know each other well enough to include that level of physical intimacy. Whatever the reason, it is a choice that we choose to honor throughout the scene. Honoring that builds trust which is the foundation for much greater intimacy in the future.

  7. Thank you all for the wonderful feedback! 🙂

  8. Ms-sputnik says:

    Good article… new to this but love the no sex idea as it keeps me focused on observing the other person and where we are heading next since i get to be the director of the scene. Thanks for sharing your wisdom….

  9. I enjoy non sexual play, and in other cases denial of sexual gratification, it take alot to make me feel sexual towards a person, so not doing things in a sexual is perfectly fine for me

  10. I agree – non sexual play is amazing and creates a different focus!

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