We’ve Been Doing It Wrong

Mrs. Lion and I have been watching “Good Sex” on the Discovery+ streaming service. It’s a usually-dull sex therapist session where a Los Angeles sex coach helps sexually troubled couples. Most of the time, the information is useless, and the interactions between the lovers are bland as hell. Then, in episode four, the coach decided to teach a wife how to be dominant. It was a very short segment. Mrs. Lion was out of the room and didn’t see it. That was too bad. The coach made a point that resonated with me.

She was trying to teach a vanilla wife how to top her husband. Her instructions were simple and to the point. She told the woman to make him do things. The husband was told to obey silently. So, the woman had him kneel and kiss her. Easy stuff, but obviously profound for the couple. The reason it hit home with me was that I’ve been missing a seriously important point in our power exchange.

Mrs. Lion tops me as a service. She only does things that she believes I want.  Sure, she’ll put IcyHot on my balls. I love/hate that, and she knows it. Essentially, I’m the top. It’s true that I’m generally a dominant person and Mrs. Lion likes me to be in charge. I’m fine with that in most areas of our lives. Where I need her control is sex. I want her to top me.

One of the things that made male chastity fun for me was the loss of sexual control. Well, at least the illusion of it. I wanted Mrs. Lion to make the decisions regarding when I got teased or would be allowed to ejaculate. She did a good job with that. I know it was because I wanted her to do it. She never stopped looking to me for guidance on what I wanted her to do. So, the control wasn’t quite real. But it was real enough.

Over the years, her interest in taking control seems to have diminished a lot. My sinking libido could be related to this. This is partly my fault. The BDSM illusion is that the bottom is doing what the top wants. I spent most of my adult life as a top sex educator. The idea that the top gets pleasure from what she makes her bottom do isn’t often true. A lot of tops enjoy the power rush, but most do what they do because their partners want it. This probably explains why so many tops, like me, eventually want to change roles.

Topping is a sort of game, similar to the way Mrs. Lion approaches domestic discipline. She likes catching me and breaking rules. It’s fun (in a way) for her. Topping (being “dom”) is a different-but-similar game. Many tops enjoy seeing how they can change their bottoms’ world. For example, “training” a bottom to take larger and larger dildos up his ass. Or, training him to do silly tricks. The game for both partners is about expanding limits. It’s about demonstrating mental and physical control.

Mrs. Lion doesn’t get any particular pleasure out of taking control. I need to feel sexual control. It’s a big turn-on for me. Being a controlling top in a BDSM session is a skill, not a lifestyle choice. Watching the sex coach on that show reminded me that it’s a pretty simple skill to learn. The problem is that as the bottom, I can’t be the teacher for my top.

The simple fact is that the bottom (“sub”) controls the scene. That’s always been true. If a top goes too far and does stuff that the bottom genuinely can’t tolerate, the scene either ends then and there (safeword), or will leave a bad taste in both of their mouths.

It’s pretty easy to learn to top if you want to. The mechanics are so easy that anyone can get the basics down in a very short time. The hard part is to get mentally prepared for the role. It is a role, not a lifestyle. It takes desire, research, and practice. A good resource if you are interested is a book by an old friend of mine, The New Topping Book. It’s a lighthearted manual for novice tops.

I’m sorry that it took me this long to figure out what we are missing. I hope that Mrs. Lion will look into this.


  1. If a bottom (“sub”) controls the scene then they truly aren’t the bottom. Something I see online again and again are submissives who simply think that “dommes” are kink dispensers who cater to their particular fetishes. True submission is to find out what *she* wants, what *she* likes, and then obey. Related to this, safe words should be limited to situations where the submissive is in physical danger, e.g. circulation is cut off due to too-tight bondage.

    I think the biggest impediment to a successful relationship is learning as a submissive to simply submit, and as a dominant to simply dominate.

    1. Author

      I disagree. In my more than 30 years in real-life BDSM, the sort of thing you write about is internet fantasy. In real life, BDSM is an activity in which the bottom gets to experience loss of control. It is fully consensual, and, if the top wants to see the bottom again, she will do things that work for him. Consent isn’t agreement to be abused. It’s an agreement to accept a limited set of difficult and usually-painful activities. Your interpretation is pure Internet fantasy.

      1. I have a similar (actually longer) real-life experience in BDSM as well. I think this is the key:

        “if the top wants to see the bottom again, she will do things that work for him”

        While true, ultimately it means finding compatibility. As a submissive, though, I have no problem with the dominant stretching those boundaries and I *expect* that I’ll often have to do things that I don’t find enjoyable but she does.

        Take chastity as an example. When you’re servicing your wife while getting no relief yourself? You’ve found joy in doing something for her that doesn’t directly benefit you. This isn’t fantasy, right?

        1. Author

          I agree. If I’ve been taken (or have taken a bottom) a little past their limit and they handle it, they generally come back for more. The key is that topping is a service to the bottom. Right?

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