Can we please, please retire this concept?
Listen, there is such a thing as being an asshole in bed, no matter what kind of sex you’re having. These types of behavior might make you an asshole (depending on context):
- constantly insisting on getting your own way
- not letting your partner finish the sex equivalent of a thought before correcting them
- trying to force your partner to do things they don’t like and don’t choose
- pouting or whining that things aren’t exactly to your liking
- giving your partner long lists of changes you’d like them to make
- refusing to play along with any idea you haven’t thought of yourself
When bottoms do things like this, it’s sometimes called “topping from the bottom.” But the behavior listed above is equally obnoxious from a top or dom.
Listen to your partner. Give them space to try things. Be “good, giving, and game” (as Dan Savage puts it). Be willing to try things yourself. Prioritize your constructive criticism and give it at a pace your partner can handle. Recognize your partner as a fellow human being with their own needs and desires, which have an equal claim to be fulfilled.
And, whatever side you are on, don’t worry about “topping from the bottom.” If you’re worried that you’re impossible for your top to satisfy, work on that. If you’re distracted by your bottom’s constant comments, talk about that. But let’s get rid of this concept that I’m pretty sure causes a lot more stress, grief, and reluctance to communicate than it could ever possibly be worth.