“Topping from the bottom” (TFTB) is when the person in the s-type position takes control of the power exchange by manipulation & disobedience. TFTB can be intentional with the “sub” purposely breaking the rules, doing a task incorrectly, and acting disrespectful. The s-type will do this to gain control, get out of doing a task or to get “punished”. This is not submissive behavior, and depending on how it is done, I personally look at it as predator behavior. If a D-type manipulates a s-type to get what they want, regardless of the rules that were negotiated, we would label that as a huge red flag. The s-type should be held accountable for their actions, just as any D-type would.
TFTB can happen unintentionally as well, especially with newbies. A new Dom might enter a dynamic with a more experienced submissive. It would only make sense for the s-type to help their D-type, except the s-type is manipulating the D-type to be *their* D-type not *a* D-type. It’s ok to show them articles, suggest websites/books/groups, or introduce them to other D-types. They must learn on their own, forming their own thoughts and opinions. If you influence that, you are manipulating the dynamic to go your way, which puts you in control.
Another way someone can unintentionally TFTB is when they lack vetting & negotiations, but submit anyway. The s-type submits without negotiating and now they have rules/tasks they know they dont want to do, or even can’t do. The s-type will TFTB to get out of those rules or tasks, again manipulating the dynamic to go their way. For some reason a lot of newbies think there is this set of rules we all follow, we all have the same tasks, and the same punishments. This is not true. Rules, tasks & punishments are personal to that dynamic.
When you are vetting for a D-type, you are equal, there are no rules or punishments. Those happen AFTER negotiations are completed, submission is offered and then accepted. The D-type does have to earn the s-types submission, don’t forget, the s-type has to earn the D-types dominance as well.
If you TFTB on purpose, stop calling yourself a s-type, there is nothing submissive about TFTB. An s-type’s job in this lifestyle is to serve their D-type, not manipulate their D-type to serve them. If it’s unintentional, stop what you are doing and communicate what you are feeling, and then educate yourself better. The dynamic does not have to end, but I suggest renegotiating the terms of the dynamic.
For those of you that are thinking “well my D-type lets me TFTB”, that is totally ok, you can do what you want. You are NOT a sub, you do not have a BDSM dynamic and are role playing a s-type to a D-type that has no clue what a BDSM dynamic should look like.