Bottom (BDSM)

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Note: This article is about a role. For other meanings, see bottom.
A blindfolded woman wearing a collar, clearly in the bottom role of a power play.

In a spanking or BDSM scene, bottom is the role of the person who receives physical punishment from another person, the top. The term originates from a more general use of the word, especially among the gay male community, to mean receptive partner.

The term bottom has significant connotative differences from submissive or slave. A bottom is not necessarily submissive, and vice versa. The term merely says that the person is on the receiving end. In a spanking scene, the bottom is the spankee and the top is the spanker.

Types of bottoms[edit]

The following lists a few typical types of bottoms in adult spanking play, from highest to lowest status.

non-submissive 
A bottom who is equal or higher in status to the top. The top acts to fulfil the bottom's requests or instructions. This practice is also known as topping from the bottom.
Human footstool training as post-punishment humiliation (from "Punished Schoolgirl" by Jameslovebirch).
brat 
A bottom who is cheeky, defiant, resistant or insolent. A brat likes to show lots of little disobediences which are designed to culminate to a point where the top will decide he or she now really "needs a good spanking".
submissive 
A bottom who is submissive, willingly obedient and does his or her best to follow all instructions in order to please their top, usually a dominant.
slave 
Similar to a submissive, but the imbalance of power is taken to a maximum.

Motives of the bottom[edit]

Submissive female bottom - presenting her rear to the Master

Bottoms can enjoy getting spanked for many different motives, such as:

they like erotic spanking
Erotic spanking is a form of sensation play. That means, the partners enjoy the physical sensations without much psychological dimension such as humiliation or punishment.
they want to be punished
For example, to get rid of guilty feelings they may have, or to help them change their bevavior (e.g. to stop smoking or drinking). This can be a motive for a domestic discipline agreement.
they like the humiliation
These bottoms are turned on by the humiliating aspects of a spanking scene, rather than the physical ones. They like to get scolded, lectured, put in corner time or embarassing positions, made to wear embarassing costumes, put in humiliating states of undress, having to count the strokes, kissing the implement, etc.
they like the catharsis
Spanking gives them an outlet and a protected environment to release pent-up emotions, for example by begging, struggling, crying, or showing rage — intense emotions they can't let out in normal life.
they like the ordeal
This is another variant of sensation play; these bottoms like getting spanked hard without showing much signs of discomfort, to test their strength. They feel powerful afterwards because they have shown they have taken the ordeal bravely and it hasn't broken them.

See also[edit]