s-types: Knowing the Other Side

For anyone out there who has taken the second class of my BDSM 101 class series, this topic will be familiar. I teach this concept as it is related to both sides of the slash. This article, however, will focus just on s-types.

When I first came into the BDSM community I identified as 100% submissive. My intro to kink was via kinky things in the bedroom as I started to date after my divorce. I was on the receiving end of those kinky acts and enjoyed them, therefore, embraced the “s” side of the slash. People who knew me then might recall that even the attempt to “Top” was accompanied by nervous giggling and declaring, “I can’t do it!” Even though this was the case, there was also something else true about me back then. I would go to any class I could fit on my schedule. My first ever class was on singletails. (You can read about that experience in another article I dedicated to it.) I didn’t really care about the topic. My time and freedom were limited. I had recently asked for/filed for divorce, yet still lived with my husband at the time and had 2 kids under 5 years old at home. So if I could make it to a class or a munch I went! Many of the classes I attended were classes on hard skills. I went to not only offer myself up as a practice bottom, but also to learn these skills from the Top side. I did this even though I never imaged Topping anyone. Boy a lot can change! Lol All that learning came in handy for a few reasons, even if I didn’t realize it at the time.

1) To start – safety. Understanding how an implement is meant to be used and actually learning how to use it is really important when it comes to safety as a bottom. Even if I never Topped ever in a scene this is super important. If someone isn’t using an implement correctly or doesn’t have safety precautions in place, you are much more likely to catch it if you know those things ahead of time.

2) Deeper understanding of what a Top experiences. Again, as a Top or bottom, learning how to Top or even trying to give Topping a shot once or twice in a scene, will give you some additional perspective of what a Top may experience. I know so many people that came to me during my class series who said to me, “Oh my gawd I tried Topping this past weekend and I have a whole new appreciation for my Top(s)!” Bottoms may not realize how much energy Tops put out.

3) Future use as a Top myself. Little did I know that fast forward a few years and I would end up Topping professionally and then personally. Knowing how implements are supposed to be used and learning how to use them also means that as a Top I can get creative. Kind of like playing a musical instrument – learn the notes, how to read music, how to play the basics. Then when that’s comfortable you can get creative. Add your own twists. Write your own songs. I don’t claim to be the best Top ever or have the most experience, however, spending that time as a bottom learning how to Top gave me invaluable insight and understanding.

Bottom line is, as an s-type – even if you think you will never be interested in Topping – in my opinion it is invaluable to “know the other side”. The tougher sell is usually this same topic for D-types – so I’ll leave that to another article!

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. Michael Gr8 says:

    thanks for the good reminders.

  2. Thanks for your great articles. As a new Dom I prefer to learn the Sub side on anything I’m not familiar with because it gets me more in tune with what my Subs might experience. We talk about safe words or Red Yellow Green color system and I also have lots of talks with my Subs to learn more about them so I can know them better not to mention i want to be responsible and responsive to my Subs during a scene. My most recent experience from the Sub side was fire cupping because I love fire and tonight I will get to experience mummification from the Sub side.

Speak Your Mind