I started reading the New Bottoming Book. I've only gotten through the first section, just describing what the book is about, and already I have lots of new insights.
What do I get out of being a bottom? And of being a top? Their suggestions followed by my thoughts, and then my own:
Lowering Boundaries leading to a more profound intimacy: Well, this is true, but it's not the primary thing. Anything that increases intimacy is something I like.
Feeling desired/beautiful: Definately! I often feel unwanted, left out, etc.
Feeling ok about my needs: I don't know if they are needs, but there are many things I like that I know are unusual at best. And I have felt a lot of rejection about them in the past. And having someone tell me that I'm ok, to accept me for who I am, is important to me.
Feeling nurtured and taken care of: This is a lot of fun, and can help the two above. Feeling loved, I would call it.
Place to relieve anger, fear, or frustration: Fear, yes. I have lots of fears. Sometimes it gets to the point where I deal with the fears mechanically, instead of facing any of them. Meditation/body control techniques to simply make the wash of anxeity go away.
Turning off my brain: This is often my goal. I want to stop worrying, stop thinking, and just feel, just enjoy the sensations whatever they may be. This is what I hope to get out of puppy play.
Pleasing people I care about: I feel very good about myself when I see that I'm making someone happy. Causing the person or moan or make other noises makes me feel all glowy inside :)
Achieving stimulus overdrive: Definately :) I like having sensations played off of each other until I reach a level that I haven't experienced or been able to endure before.
And about being a top:
Experincing a power rush: Rarely. Its more along the lines of a vicarious rush, knowing how much pleasure I'm giving to someone.
Permission to indulge in my "dark side": Hmm... my dark side is much lighter than most, I'd think. I definately get a huge thrill about indulging in the other persons dark side. For example, I'm not much of a sadist, but if I find someone who likes being bitten, I will eagerly bite them hard and often, and find what their real limit is.
Receiving service: Short term service could be fun as flavor. Long term service sounds interesting.
Nurturing and caretaking: I've never done it. I might enjoy it. I think it's something I'd really enjoy.
Achieving orgasm: Orgasm happens or not as it will. If I try to make it an event, it becomes harder to achieve, and can lead to dissapointing emotions if one particular fetish doesn't turn out to hold the momentary appeal necessary to trigger the orgasm.
Tops needing appreciation: This is not something I thought of before. I always thought of the moans of pleasure and such of the bottom being enough sign of appreciation. I think that's all the appreciation I would need, but I can see how a top could be very dissapointed if nothing mroe than that were received.
There are two types of bottoming I like. In one, I want to fall into sensations and/or animal behaviors and thought patterns, or perhaps very young child. I want to let everything go, and be lead to good sensations and emotions. In the other kind, I still want to feel young/simple, but I want to be doing things to make someone else feel pleasure, and not care much about my own pleasure.
As a top, I would most likely be nurturing/enabling, focusing on bringing the bottom the pleasures they want. Towards that end, it would be much like the second type of bottom.
Some activities that bring pleasure, I could do as a top but can't do as a bottom. Massages, for example, are a top only thing for me. Massages take too much thought, too much control. As a bottom, I want to not be in control, so trying to give a massage breaks me out of the mindset.
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