Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of whining about how terribly dangerous topping is, how a malicious bottom could pretend everything was fine, then change their mind after the scene is over and run around telling everyone what an awful nasty person you are.
So, you mean tops need to vet their bottoms and get to know them well enough to trust them?!?!?!111! That’s nothing like how bottoms need to vet their tops and get to know them before putting their physical safety in their hands. *facepalm*
Yes, topping can be dangerous. You might try something and end up really freaked out about how much you enjoyed it. You might make a mistake and hurt someone in a way they don’t enjoy. You might run across a trigger someone didn’t know they had and re-traumatize them through no fault of your own. You might ask someone to try something that you’ve fantasized about for years and get nothing but a weird look and “…you want to do what?!” and end up absolutely crushed. And sure, fine, there’s an infinitesimal but non-zero change that if the moon is in Capricorn and it’s the 4th Tuesday of the month and your “malicious” bottom has video footage of them using their safeword and you ignoring it, and they’re willing to explain in detail to the cops how they ended up at your place in bondage, you might possibly see the inside of a jail cell.
Or, in terms of things that might actually, you know, happen, a bottom might have their limits casually disregarded while they’re tied up and unable to do anything about it. If they’re new to the scene, if they’re playing with someone who runs an event or who “everybody knows is a good guy” then there’s very little chance that the asshole who hurt them will suffer any consequences whatsoever.
The more I read of this ridiculous fear that a evil meanie-pants bottoms who just so happen to be gifted actors will endure a traumatic scene while appearing perfectly happy, then turn around and accuse the poor, innocent dom of violating their consent after tricking them into thinking everything was fine, the more it reminds me of the sad little misogynistic trolls who are convinced evil, evil women are running around having consensual, enthusiastic sex with poor, innocent men just so they can ruin those men’s lives by crying rape the next day.
My advice in both cases is exactly the same: if in doubt, don’t. If you want to have sex with a woman and she isn’t enthusiastically participating, stop and check in. If you want to play with a bottom and they aren’t enthusiastically participating, stop and check in. If either one of them stops reacting, goes quiet, starts reacting differently, can’t promptly and clearly reassure you they’re having a good time, just fucking stop! It’s not that goddamn complicated.
Just like no magical mind-reading powers are necessary to tell if a woman wants to have sex, there are no magical mind-reading powers needed to figure out whether a bottom wants to play. Fucking ask them! If you trust them, problem solved! If you don’t trust them, either don’t play or get to know them better and ask again later.
If you can’t tell whether or not the person you’re playing with is having a good time and can’t be bothered to find a workaround then you are the goddamn problem, not some imaginary malicious bottom.