LilyLloyd wrote this amazing post about how “The whole born dominant bullshit is… well, bullshit”. It’s fantastic and you should read it right now. And it gets better! A Feminist Sub left this brilliant comment:
Really interesting post! I do have to say that I have a problem with the old Leather idea of bottoming as a step on the way to topping, because I think it conveys an idea that topping/domming is more valuable than bottoming/submitting. Like subs are simply people who couldn’t cut it as doms.
I don’t *think* that was the intended message with that tradition, but I do think that it’s contributed to domism in contemporary BDSM culture – I think the “standards” for calling oneself a dom are much higher than for calling oneself a sub. To be a sub, you just need submissive desires – to be a dom, you need credentials. Hence all the ranting about how there are no “real doms.” And I think that’s another reason that it seems like there are so many more doms than subs.
That blew my mind. It makes so much sense, but somehow I just never saw it before. Of course we don’t see submission as valuable in its own right if we treat it like it’s just a stage you go through before you reach the real goal of becoming dominant.
Why don’t we ever suggest that submissive/bottom type people try topping? We tell tops all the time that you should bottom before you top. It’s certainly true that there are lots of things you can learn by bottoming, but there are also plenty of things you can learn from topping. I can tell someone I really do want to hear about what my bottom wants until I’m blue in the face, but if they try topping it might click for them that’s it really is helpful to get some feedback.
Then again, it would totally destroy the dominant mystique if any lowly submissive could pick up a flogger and try it out for themselves. Anyone can bottom after all, it’s only the chosen few who can top. And if you actually believe that, there’s a Nigerian Prince who would like to speak with you, you poor stupid fuck.
Assuming that just anyone can bottom but topping is special is pretty much the dictionary definition of domism. With how passionately I hate the idea that I’m somehow more worthy because I decided to call myself dominant, I’m amazed and kind of disturbed that I never saw it before. I should know better, but I just didn’t see until A Feminist Sub pointed it out. This is how ingrained domism is in BDSM culture, and this is why I rail so hard against it when I see it.