Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Romance Book Junkies: Book Tour: "Runaway Virgin" by L.C. Dean

Romance Book Junkies: Book Tour: "Runaway Virgin" by L.C. Dean: Today lets welcome L.C. Dean to Romance Book Junkies. She will be doing a guest post about riding motorcycles and promoting her new book "...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Topping / Teaching from the bottom in the bedroom

This is a hot topic in BDSM circles. It’s talked about all over the place. Everyone has an opinion and you know what, I’m not even going to bother touching on whether it’s disrespectful or wrong in most cases. I’m sure it is. I know if you want Dominance and submission to work, you don’t want a relationship defined by this. So why am I bothering with this then? Because all that other stuff, all that information on what to do and what might go wrong is irrelevant in certain circumstances.

By the way this part here is just me (Cari Silverwood) saying why I think this post is important. Skip down to the real story down below then come back if you want.

If you go to clubs, dungeons, play parties and educational nights or lectures or whatever, this isn’t about you.

So what does that leave? Bedroom BDSMers. Yes, I’m using that label because labels make it easier to talk about things. But, they should not create boundaries. Think outside the box. It’s what BDSM practitioners do all the time surely?

From talking to a lot of women, and looking at what statistics are out there, from thinking logically about people, I think bedroom BDSMers are the quiet majority. Those who go to clubs and form groups are certainly more visible and more vocal, but they are likely the minority.

And that is what makes this sort of post so important. This small exception to the “topping from the bottom is wrong” rule is actually a BIG exception.

There is no other way for some partners to learn, than by doing this along with learning from the internet, from books and from videos.

Fools, I hear some call them? Truly? If you take an introvert and they refuse to become an extrovert, are they a fool? Or a lesbian, and insist they become straight, are they fools? No. So why say those who won’t put their sexuality out there in public are fools, or wrong? We shouldn’t say that, at all, of course.

Sex and sexuality is an intensely private affair for many. And bringing BDSM into a relationship is already such a minefield anyway. My husband might go to a class on his latest hobby…might, but he won’t go to parties without being tasered, and go to a BDSM club or a munch? Is the moon made of cheese? Has hell frozen over? No. But he’s not a fool, and neither are the husbands of the many other women I’ve spoken to.

My last point. Risk. Safety. Some say learning by yourselves is wrong due to safety risks. I say RACK. Risk Aware Consensual Kink. The basic safety premise behind BDSM. Everything we do in life has some risk. There are some things I think you’d be mad to try at home without training. Or mad to do first off without a lot of talking and learning and reading. Like putting a gag in your partner first time, or doing rope suspension, or using a whip, or breath control. Weigh up the risks and decide what you are willing to try with your partner, if anything.

If we can consider breath control a part of BDSM, even if it is edge play, then bedroom topping from the bottom has to fit in somewhere, as long as you use RACK. Breath control is as close to asking to die as anything within the BDSM spectrum. A major risk, an unpredictable one, is cardiac arrest long after you’ve stopping doing it. It’s up there with self-bondage in risk. I used to do self-bondage when a teenager but stopped due to a sudden appreciation of the risk. Prior to that epiphany I was doing non-RACK for certain. Life is full of risks, we just need to minimize it as much as we can.

So here below is the true story of one woman ‘topping from the bottom’ because that was her only avenue. If you say this is wrong, you leave all those people in similar circumstances with nowhere to go at all.

A Real Story of beginning BDSM – reposted with permission

Like many women, I started out with the craving for BDSM in my totally vanilla relationship with my husband. I knew I needed some pain and bondage and was unsure about whether I had an inclination toward submission or not. But my first priority was experiencing the sensations – the confines of restraint and the pain from spanking, biting, hair pulling, etc.

So, yes, I did what people in the community call “topping from the bottom.” Mainly because I knew more about BDSM than he did. I was the one reading the erotic novels and joining fetlife and speaking with others in the lifestyle. So I had the majority of the information.

He was willing to try it, but he would’ve been satisfied with vanilla sex his whole existence. But because I needed it, and he loved me, he learned in the best way he could. From my teaching him. And this manifested in topping from the bottom.

Let me tell you what this looks like. I would either email or text him what I wanted him to do (i.e. bend me over the couch and spank me then handcuff me to the headboard and…). Or I’d lay out certain toys I wanted him to use. While we were in a “scene” I’d give suggestions (or as he called it, whine and complain). Maybe I could’ve gone about it better but it was important for him to learn how tight was too tight and how hard was too hard, and in the throes of passion it’s much easier to yell “that’s too tight damn it!” than “my dearest husband, though you hold me snugly in your heart, your bonds of love are cutting off my circulation.” Obviously I’m being a smart ass (one of the wonderful things about me my husband loves), but you get what I mean. Shit happens.

As we experienced BDSM together more and more, he learned what turned me on AND what turned him on. He learned my limits and how to be safe. Yes, I suppose some could lecture me about how he should have taken a class so he didn’t risk injury to his beloved bride. First of all, I’m not a delicate flower. Second of all, my husband is an introvert to the extreme. I have to bribe him to go to Christmas dinner with the family. Getting him to a BDSM how-to class would be a small miracle.

Most importantly, I learned how to trust him with my body.

For myself, and probably many others out there, trust is a big issue. As a victim of abuse, total submission is one of the scariest things we can choose to do. I’m not talking about the kind of trust that says “I trust you’ll be a decent husband therefore I’ll marry you and hope we stay together forever.” I’m talking about the kind of trust that says “I am yours completely – to use, to please, to take, to fulfill. And though you’ll have the opportunity to abuse me, abandon me, or betray me, still, I trust you with my very life.”

That kind of trust is bone deep. And it takes some freakin’ practice. Yes, you have to practice trust. Especially someone who’s experienced betrayal. And I challenge anyone who says otherwise.

So through topping from the bottom we learned our likes/dislikes, we experimented, we made mistakes, we had great times, we laughed, we cried, and that bone deep trust was born.

That’s how topping from the bottom worked for us. Here’s the other half of the story.

One day, I just stopped needing to. He knew how tight was too tight. He knew how hard was too hard. And me saying so was just starting to get annoying. He knew what I liked and didn’t, what he liked and didn’t, and everything in between. We reached the point where he was comfortable leading and I was comfortable following. He grabbed the role of Top and it was time for me to let go.

The first few times were difficult. Here’s what our dialogue sounded like.

“Make sure you – ”

“I know.”

“And I like to – ”

“I know.”

“And don’t forget to – ”

“Would you just shut up?”

It was shocking to realize I wasn’t needed anymore. Well, except for the obvious parts cause I had the…parts. But my input was no longer necessary, other than a safeword and sometimes feedback after. It was almost like watching a baby bird fly from the nest (my husband would cringe if he knew I used that analogy). And I had to consciously zip my lip from time to time (or risk a gag).

Now, here’s the important part so pay attention. I do not think it is dangerous to top from the bottom. I do not think it is wrong to do it. I do not think it makes the experience any less valuable than my own. I can only speak for myself, but I will say, it’s a much more satisfying experience when I don’t top from the bottom. I rarely get to let go of control. I have kids. I have a mortgage and a job and a dog and a lot of responsibility. I used to think I was less of a person if I submitted to a man, even in the bedroom. But now I realize how truly freeing it is. Not only that but it connects us on a level I didn’t know I was lacking.

BUT, and this is a big but, I could not have reached this point if I hadn’t topped from the bottom. I needed to know that if I let go completely, he would be there to catch me. I needed to experience his trust in me about what I needed. We needed to explore and learn and grow together, as equals, no one person more powerful than the other.

Total power exchange is scary as hell! And if you don’t think so, you need a wake-up call. Come here so I can shake you. If you have as much trust as it takes to hand your physical well-being and your heart over to someone else, then I applaud you. But is that reciprocated? Does your partner feel deserving of that power? Do they want that power?

Chances are, if they’re vanilla and you want more, if you hand them that power and do very little preparing, they’re going to be lost. And that doesn’t inspire confidence or safety or any of those other dommy things you want in them. So help them through it. Top from the bottom so they gain the experience and knowledge and confidence they need. If I had thrown Dh into the BDSM deep end with no swimmies on, he’d have sunk to the bottom of the pool.

And hell, if you always top from the bottom and you’re satisfied with that, I’m not here to judge you. I would’ve had a fine sex life if that’s what we stuck with. I’d have been tied up and spanked and got my hair pulled just like I wanted. All I’m saying is…for me, it’s a richer, deeper experience to go all the way.


Cari Silverwood here again :

I’d like to add that in my opinion, if you’re a masochist looking for some pain or impact play, topping from the bottom may still give you results you like. However, if you’re wanting Domination from your partner, you will probably find it a pretty hollow experience until and unless your partner learns how to control you -- how to Dominate, how to press your buttons, so to speak.

And not everyone wants to try BDSM. But you never get anywhere if you never never ask.

The people who will most benefit from knowing about this type of topping/ teaching in bedroom BDSM are the very people who are most likely to learn from posts like this. If you go to clubs, you can learn from others. If people posting about BDSM truly want to help others, and to educate about BDSM, this exception to the rule should be mentioned whenever topping from the bottom is discussed. Because otherwise you may be leaving a helluva lot of people out there in the cold.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Real life BDSM-TOPPING from the bottom by La Crimson Femme

 *note from Bianca Sommerland* I've reposted this from GoodReads with permission from La Crimson Femme. I share the opinion of the author, but keep in mind, this is an opinion. Thanks! :)

This was a question brought up from one of members, questioning about Topping from the bottom and why it's frowned upon. They are new the lifestyle and wanted some guidance.

This is my perspective on it and from personal experience. Please note - I'm going to use bottom and sub a bit interchangeably here even thought there is a difference. I'm also going to use the pronouns he for the Top and she for the sub/bottom. Both of this is for simplicity's sake.

Topping from the bottom is frowned upon in the BDSM community as a whole. (Individually, some may disagree.) It is frowned upon because the bottom is the one calling all the shots and controlling from the bottom.

This is actually a bone of contention among several. I tend to find a few writers creating characters in this manner and presenting it as the BDSM way of life. I don't believe they actually know they are doing it. But the way they set up their characters, the actions speak loudly of it. Some do it on purpose to get a point across. Those that do not, well, I have personally found the said writers have never been in a BDSM lifestyle and don't understand the impact of this type of behaviour.

Sometimes it's people new to the lifestyle scoffing at this point. And above all, I find that the bottoms who are Topping take offense to being told what they are doing is frowned upon. Because it is "all about them" isn't it?

Now why do we consider this behaviour detrimental to the D/s relationship? Here are some of the reasons I know of.

1. This undermines the Top's authority with the bottom ordering the top around. How is this a Dom/sub or Top/bottom relationship if the bottom is the one telling the Top what to do?

2. The lack of respect from the bottom for the Top is distasteful in many of the BDSM lifestylers's eyes. First, the thoughts are the Top obviously doesn't know what he is doing because his bottom is the one calling all the shots. Second, they find the sub to be someone with poor behaviour and self centered because it's all about them. The sub is focusing on her wants and needs. The Top is focusing on her wants and needs. How is this balanced?

A goal of a D/s relationship is for the sub to focus on the desires of Top and the Top to focus on the needs of the bottom. When these meet, it's a beautiful thing.

Now why is this bad? What if the Top is okay with the bottom directing?

Let me ask the question, why does a person want to bottom to begin with? Especially in a D/s relationship?

They want to be the one who doesn't have to call the shots - to live in the "fantasy". If the sub is still in control by calling the shots, how are they going to meet this need of letting go of control?

A common result is the bottom no longer respects the Top in a dominant capacity. This can cause a myriad of downstream effects.

1. The bottom is disrespectful to the Top.
2. The bottom is still not receiving what they wanted in the first place, so they become more unruly and dissatisfied.
3. The Top is also unhappy. They don't know what they are doing wrong. This sometimes causes the Top to question if they want to be in this lifestyle or if they are even a Top. This can spiral into insecurity. When a Top is insecure and not confident, it shows in his Topping actions. His nonverbal and verbal actions come across as tentative which causes the bottom to become more irritated and disrespectful.

Will this kill the D/s relationship? What if our is working just fine? BUTT OUT!

Every relationship is different in the BDSM lifestyle, just as it is in Vanilla. Could this work? I've had a couple of people defend that this is just fine. From my personal experience, it does not work. And when I say personal, I mean ME.

I Topped from below without understanding this when I first tried this lifestyle out. It wasn't pretty. I don't know where that ex-boyfriend is today but I hope I hadn't scarred him for life.

I did exhibit all these behaviours, disrespect, bitchy and mean sarcastic remarks. Not only did it impact our kinky play, but it also impacted our gf/bf relationship. I ended up not respecting him at all and he felt like he was always walking on eggshells around me. Not a good thing. Neither one of us were happy. At the time, I just though, "God, what a fucking pussy. Grow a pair of balls." Now I look back and shake my head at my callousness. I tried to force us into roles that didn't work for us.

In my current situation, I've done the same thing. Not purposely. And it shows. Several of the Dom/mes gave me very disapproving looks in class. My DH was embarrassed and frustrated. I was pissed off. Then I was angry afterwards because I behaved in a shameful way. Let's just say, we haven't gone to another rope class again. And my DH once again backed away from BDSM because of this behaviour. Shame on me!

Still the question may be, well it didn't work fo you, it works for me. F off!

True, this can still work. Let me give another example that may help.

Have you seen those kids who are running all over their parents? "Mommy, I want that NOW!" "Daddy, buy it for me NOW! I want to do it!"

What is your gut reaction when you see kids treating their parents this way and the parents just conceding to the kid's every demand?

On the flip side, what about those parents who just don't have it together? The kids are the ones cleaning the house and working a part time job to help the family have food and shelter. The kid is the one trying to keep the parent from wildly spending money or drinking excessively.

In that situation, who is the parent and who is the child? And how do you feel about this situation? 

For more from La Crimson Femme, visit

I'd like to thank La Crimson Femme for letting us share this thoughtful post. Feel free to discuss in the comments, but please keep things civil. I'll see if I can get La Crimson Femme and others with experience to come answer any questions. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Your way is the ONLY way? Sit down, and stfu.

This post is literally a copypasta from a post I put on a discussion thread on Goodreads after a mod contacted me regarding complaints they'd had about another group member who was coming off as "won twue way" and pissing people off.

You know me, little Miss Wallflower *snort!* so I waded into the fray with my opinion. The poster was complaining about authors who didn't have real-life BDSM experience, or who "claimed" to yet didn't do x,y,z, etc.

(Please excuse typos, because I posted it from my iPad. LOL)


I am a real life BDSM player. I started out strictly Dominant with my hubby, then transitioned into switching with both him and my Sir. I bottom sometimes to hubby for senusal play, or if he's cotopping with Sir. I only submit to Sir, and I have worn His collar locked on my neck since 10/16/2010. Yes, I'm real life poly as well. Sir is a sadist, hubby isn't. Sir is a maso, hubby isn't. I'm not a maso as in a pain slut, but I do use the pain of impact play for pain relief from my fibromyalgia.

I remember how Dear Auther slammed "The Reluctant Dom" as not being twue (done on purpose) because NO ONE they know plays like that.

At the time it killed me that I couldn't out myself because hubby wasn't retired yet, but EVERYONE I know plays like that. In fact, Sir and I are considered edge players in our group because we play a lot heavier than most people they know.

What really pisses me off is someone who can't separate fiction from fact and gets personal with an author just because they are a won twue wayer who refuse to acknowledge that there is a wide diversity in the kink world. I know D/s'ers who only do a little light bondage, all the way up to heavy S&m'ers who do flesh hook suspension with NO D/s in the mix. Then I know some people like us, who mix everything from puppy and pony pet play to heavy S&m to M/s in the mix and make the bell curve our bitch just because we can. :)

Bottom line is, most readers of erotica WANT sex in their story. It's what sells. Someone writing about a rigger NOT molesting his rope bunny... *snnnooorrree* or a top doing fire cupping and nothing else, or a needle top doing a corset piercing on a bottom, etc, is not going to sell. Period. Mix it in with other sexy aspects, sure. In fact that's what I'm currently working on now in Tony's story.

TPE does exist. Just because it's not living up to someone's definition isn't my problem. When Sir and I are in a scene and I'm bottoming, unless I'm having a physical problem, there is no coding. I trust Him not to take me somewhere we didn't already talk about going. And likewise, when He turns Himself over to me and becomes My pup/slave/pony, he doesn't code unless there's a problem. There is nothing more intoxicating than total trust.

Everyone gets to define THEIR labels. No one else gets the right to tell them they're "wrong" unless it's an issue like in one book where I read a Dom used metal handcuffs for over-the-head suspension. Wrong, and dangerous.

But when it comes to relationship dynamics, in fiction, just like in real life, when someone uses absolutes and tells me I'm wrong, I tell them to sit down and stfu. My reality is not your reality. Some people insist switches are "wrong" because you have to be Dom or sub. I say that's bullshit, because switches exist, and someone else's insecurity and narrow-minded definitions do not define me, and they can go stfu.

I can look around my group of local friends and see real life players who, no, aren't romance characters, they have flab and stretch marks, etc., but their real-life antics, if I wrote about a fraction of them, wouldn't be believed. Like our switchy female friend who loves BBC gangbangs, and her HUGE boyfriend, who is former military and literally looks like Mr. Clean, loves being cucked. But when it's his turn to top he breaks out their toys and I've seen more uses for golf balls and children's metal baseball bats than you can shake a stick at. We usually start chanting, "Hey batta, batta, suh-wing!" when the toys come out.

Or even one of my own scenes, one night at the club we frequent, I finished topping Sir, with him in pup mode, and we switched right there without me even changing clothes, and He fisted my hair, put me on my hands and knees between His legs, and the pup started spanking me. LOL 

My motto is, RACK. Risk Aware Consenual Kink. If you don't like someone else's style, you don't have to play with them. But don't tell them they're wrong, because if they're like me, they're likely to tell you to sit down and stfu.

Just because it's not the way YOU do it or define it, it doesn't necessarily make it wrong. And if you don't like my opinion on that you can sit down and stfu because you are pixels on a screen that have no more meaning to me or my life than any other pixels on a screen. And if you let someone else's FICTION rile you up that much, perhaps you need a reallife to get back to.


Tymber Dalton is a Siren-BookStrand exclusive author, and has over thirty books to her credit under all her pen names. Her website is 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Daily Dose of Decadence: Why Madame Eve?

Daily Dose of Decadence: Why Madame Eve?: by  L.C. Dean & Deanna Wadsworth Yesterday, we spoke with two interesting men who have worked with Madame Eve through the years to help ...

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Daily Dose of Decadence: The Perks of Working With Madame Eve

Drop by to visit with Deanna Wadsworth and I.

Daily Dose of Decadence: The Perks of Working With Madame Eve: Today we have two of Castillo Resorts employees, hotel manager Jagger Castillo and head concierge Martin Baird. They are going to give us a...