This article is addressed to the more advanced Masters/Mistresses among you, especially those who are involved in – or want to be involved in – Master/slave relationships. As opposed to many of my other articles, this one is mostly my own personal opinion. You might or might not agree with my observations; but I am presenting it as food for thought. (For the purposes of this article, I will use Master, Mistress, Dom, Domme, slave and submissive interchangeably. I have covered in kinkweekly.com – and will cover in more detail – the differences between these terms.)
On the surface, Master/slave relationships seem pretty simple. But the dynamics of maintaining them can be a bit tricky. In previous articles, I have addressed the many common problems of maintaining BDSM relationships. Here I will discuss a more obscure problem I have noticed in some Master/slave relationships. I call it “bottoming from the Top.”
In any relationship, be it vanilla, D/s or M/s, both participants want it to work. This seems pretty obvious. But how you make it work is the trick. Theoretically, in a Master/slave relationship, the Master requests, the slave obeys — within, of course, the negotiated limits. And except for times when the Master makes an asinine demand outside those limits — like the “bus question” (below) — this should work just fine.
(For those of you unfamiliar with the “bus question,” which I referred to in a previous kinkweekly.com article, I will repeat it here:
The infamous BDSM question, “Would you walk in front of a bus if your Master ordered you to?” is usually answered, “Yes, but Master would never ask me to do it.” That is fine in theory. It sounds good. It works great online. But in reality, ask your submissive to walk in front of a bus and the answer will be “F*ck you, Asshole.” Notice, the word Master was quickly replaced by Asshole. Make a demand that can’t be honored, control can disappear in a N.Y. minute.)
But the obverse of making insane demands — “bottoming from the Top– can create problems, too. In this scenario, the Master/Mistress only asks for things they know the bottom will like or are easy to execute. “Master orders you to drink Coke, not Pepsi.” If this is done occasionally, then there will be few problems. It is when the Master/Mistress is constantly skewing his/her requests in such a way to please the slave that problems arise. Being a “Coca-Cola Dom,” as I put it, eats into the dynamics of the relationship and takes the “top” out of the Top. There must be some challenge for the submissive; predictability and dullness are not what BDSM should be about..
So why is “bottoming from the Top” as widespread as I have observed? Most times I have noticed this is done out of fear of upsetting the relationship; fear that if the Master screws up and asks for something the slave will refuse to do, he will lose the relationship. It is a totally justified and human fear and a hard one to overcome. To a greater or lesser degree, this fear is always present in any relationship. But being a Master or Mistress requires the ability to work around this tendency.
Naturally, a Master/Mistress should not ask for things that the slave would find abhorrent, even if not pre-negotiated as a hard limit. On the other hand, the Master should not be constantly thinking of only “what the slave will like.”
Ideally, Master/slave means the Master asks without guile, without over-thinking the request and without skewing his/her demands out of fear that the given request will not be precisely what the slave wants.
The closer you can come to this ideal — and it is an ideal — the closer you will come to a solid Master/slave relationship.
After a ten year run as head writer for the legendary bondage.com, and an equally long run as the host of the hit internet show “Baadmaster’s Dungeon,” we are pleased to welcome the one and only Baadmaster to KinkWeekly. His thoughts about all things BDSM will now appear regularly on these pages. From the mental aspects of D/s to the nuts and bolts of S&M play, Baadmaster will cover every facet of this ever expanding lifestyle.