Understanding what it means to be a Bottom...

Excellent book that covers a wide variety of topics while emphasizing that bottoming is about your own sexual power and needs.
Published:
Pros:
The authors are well educated. The write with humor and many examples.
Cons:
Emphasis on BDSM only through scenes, rather than the physical aspect itself.
Rating by reviewer:
5
useful review
Written by Dossie and Janet, The New Bottoming Book|The New Bottoming Book covers many topics and is well written.  It’s a fantastic book to read and think about as your own sexuality grows away from anything considered “traditional” sexual roles.

Dossie and Janet between them have many decades of experience as both tops and bottoms.  Their individual identification includes bisexuality, polyamory, therapist, and instructor--making them well suited for a book of this magnitude.  After introducing themselves, they follow up with an introduction in BDSM. This includes awareness that scenes that we love to imagine as nonconsensual and abusive in the real world can be really hot when negotiated.

The next few sections are about who you are as a bottom and about maintaining safety (I know--some of you instantly yawned!).  I found this an incredibly thought provoking and eye opening section.  It talks about how you might want to experience emotions like “victimhood, abandonment, humility, nurturing,” or roles such as “victim, prisoner, martyr, object, animal, whore.”

Many of these ideas were beyond my own views of a “bottom,” and I think that was the point.  Everyone has their own perceptions, needs and goals which is why negotiation and communication is so important.  They also elaborate on the “power” inherent in being a bottom and that it is much more than being passive.  BDSM is essentially power exchanges and feeding off each other’s energy in different ways.

The next sections are about “The Bridge to Reality,” “Connecting,” and “Getting what you want and lots of it.”  These sections blend well together.  Most people initially start thinking about BDSM from a fantasy in their mind, or a scene in a book, movie, or picture.  Dossie and Janet emphasize that you need to give yourself permission to start where you actually are and move from there.  They then talk about different ways to gain additional information and connect with people.  This includes a section on the internet, local groups and resources.

The entire second half of the book is about scenes.  I loved reading through this section.  It has small vignettes in it, but it is filled with information about different types of sexual play.

One example that sticks with me: as a bottom, I want to retreat.  To get “smaller,” but others want to “get bigger.”  If you are playing out a prisoner and interrogation scene and the prisoner wants to survive any ordeal and the captor wants to make the prisoner submit, there is a conflict of goals.  Some other areas discussed are fighting back, forbidden thrills, pain, punishment, closure, bondage.  There is a discussion on after-care and checking in, which goes beyond the initial scene to help process emotions more than physical needs.

The only drawback with this book is its emphasis on all BDSM activities taking place as part of “scenes.”  It’s not how I view my own activities, but I’ve checked with a friend that is more active in the community and he says it’s pretty standard.

Some sites on Eden that would provide additional information about BDSM and related terms are:
BDSM Guide
BDSM Terms
Additional BDSM books on Eden
Follow-up commentary
When I took a second look at this book, I was once again struck by the author's emphasis that being a "bottom" is not something that is done because you are weak. It's something that you do because you are strong. It's not a position of being a victim. You choose to be a bottom because you trust the person you're with, because you're willing to give up part of who you are for a time being and experience feelings. This book is about so much more than anyone could say about victims who are helpless. The entire attitude of the book is actually of empowerment as a BOTTOM. A really cool idea to me.
This product was provided free of charge to the reviewer. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.
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Comments
  • Femme Mystique
    Femme Mystique  
    How would you rate it in explaining how to bottom for someone who is a top?
  • DevilBluedress
    "How to bottom for someone.."  Interesting point of view and valid question.  The book is about being an empowered bottom and getting what you need and want.  It's very strong on being able to communicate to others your expectations and desires. (emphasis on "scene" again.)  It does talk about the different types of relationships and how they will change over time.

    If you are talking about the physical or mental requirements for "bottoming" to someone else- it really gives a pretty minimal coverage.  It talks about breathing, and the different types of "subspace" that bottoms may go into as well as different ways individuals deal with pain.  However, there is an emphasis on each situation and relationship being unique.  How you "bottom" will be completely different from how I do, and both of us would be different with a different partner yet again.
  • Playful Grrl
    Hmm, I guess the wording of that was confusing... I guess I meant if it teaches people who are primarily tops ways of exploring being bottoms, if that makes more sense.  Sorry for the confusion, but good answer nonetheless!  :)
  • Devilbluedress
    Well, I understand what you're asking Playful Grrl.  Both of the authors identify themselves as tops as well as bottoms, and did so for many years prior to becoming a "bottom."

    The answer that you are looking for is perplexing to me personally.  I sense that what you are looking for is about physical techniques or adjusting mental attitudes.  To me being either a "top" or "bottom" depends a lot on either the "scene" (if you play that way) or the individual's personality, roles and the way movements and actions shift in any sexual encounter.  Some people have a very dominant personality sexually, but others might have had a plan and then find themselves as a bottom.

    I think that the way the book addresses this topic is more general.  The book could in many ways be read by either bottoms or tops and is applicable to both.  The emphasis is that you need to understand what it is that interests you personally, with many types of examples, and communicate your desires to your partner.  A "top" that is interested in being a "bottom" is a person that wants to explore being a "bottom" with additional knowledge of what it means to "top."  The first step in this would be to accept where you are and to think about what it is about being a "bottom" that attracts or interests you.
  • Airen Wolf
    Airen Wolf  
    I can agree with that DBD, I am a top unless I am with someone who I trust absolutely implicitely and even then he (I've never been topped by a female) has to be able to "make" me submit (or want to). I wonder if this book would be a good read for my lover who is very interested in being a bottom...and for me as I have never really explored with a person who truly want to submit.
  • Dragon
    Dragon  
    Airen, I think you would enjoy this book. You have embraced a great deal of your sexuality. It would offer new perspectives on a bottoming - particularly from the point of view that being a "bottom" does not mean being powerless, but very powerful.
  • Lady Neshamah
    Lady Neshamah  
    great review
  • lezergirl
    lezergirl  
    this sounds like great book - nice review
  • alayamae
    alayamae  
    Sounds like an awesome book. Thanks for the great review!!
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