Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tops Need Reassurance Too

EmmaJane has written a very insightful piece in which she says:

"Not every top is comfortable with this. Tops need reassurance too. They need to know that they haven't gone too far, that the scene worked, that the tears are ok, that the tears will stop".

This has resonated with my own thoughts on the subject. One of the things I find challenging is managing the boundary between authoritarian disciplinarian and being a compassionate lover or play partner. The problem is that in TTWD we are administering punishment, often genuinely painful, because its what the bottom wants. The want may be as obvious as the desire for the endorphin rush and the bodice ripping thrill or it can be as serious as a need for genuine atonement for nasty or selfish behaviour. Whichever, it is still done to satisfy some need in the bottom. If that were not the case, we would be dealing with straightforward criminal abuse.

Therein lies the rub. To maintain our own self confidence that we are not abusive sexual predators, tops require supportive feedback. The post scene hug is as much for us as for you. An intense scene can leave me trembling. There is some deep truth in the old chestnut "this is going to hurt me more than it hurts you". The more you care for your subject, and if you don't care you shouldn't be doing this, the more intense the shared aftermath is going to feel.

EmmaJane's revelations will help us to understand why, sometimes, we may feel rejected at the very point of climax. For a top, a period of isolation after the event can seem like a rejection, like a judgement that they "got it wrong". We are humans too, with emotional needs, and I think that we need reassurance that we didn't overstep the line into abuse, nor left our subject underwhelemed. For me, I detect that reassurance in the body language of an embrace much easier than in the possibly stilted language of some spoken words. EmmaJane has taught me that, sometimes, we need a little patience before we can be given our answer.


  1. Well stated. This is especially true with a new partner. That can be true long after a scene is over too. After thoughts, feelings and emotions get processed... nothing wrong with coming back and offering feedback. It really does help.

    ~Todd and Suzy

  2. Nice to get the top perspective :)

    And it just highlights once again the importance of proper communication and trust between play partners.

  3. @Todd & Suzy, thanks for the comment.

    @EmmaJane, I liked your communication!