During my time for an university campus, a usually tricky destination to navigate permission and intimate attack, we saw the way that intercourse had been cleaned of its necessarily gluey nuances, and instead paid down to mutually exclusive dualisms of cis attacker and cis target. The testimonies delivered to quivering first-years were usually from heterosexual white women in new-student orientations. The teachers invoked stories of rape by which victims begged their assaulters when you look at the “active, top or”, roles to get rid of penetrating them. I became implicitly instructed that the penetrated is often regarding the verge to be violated.
It seems sensible, then, that topping could be fraught utilizing the anxiety of performing damage. Octavia said that’s another part of why this woman is hesitant about topping cis ladies. In those brief moments, she worries, “let’s say my topping is clearly linked to energy characteristics? Imagine if there will be something incorrect as to what i will be doing? ” Her fear comes from the possibility of violating her partners—and that, she would be implicitly positioned as a man by way of the dominant rape narrative that dictates only penetrative sex to be rape, and only men hurt women if she were to unwittingly violate a cis woman.
Topping and bottoming are bound up in relations of energy. That’s why principal and submissive functions, which are clearly focused on deliberate exchanges of energy, tend to be conflated with topping and bottoming, correspondingly. We don’t top possibly because We don’t get my kicks through the energy that topping claims, like real control or social dominance. But we don’t, by itself, find power regarding the base, nor do we always wish to.
For me, bottoming is aptly described as “what takes place ru brides when somebody or something else does your desiring for you personally, ” due to the fact critic Andrea longer Chu composed. Bottoming outsources the responsibility that is physical of to one thing or another person. I prefer bottoming given that it activates my capacity to refuse action by myself energy.
During my instance, topping can feel a lot more like bottoming—like the penetrator will be fucked by the penetrated. The underside determines the way the encounter will happen. This upends the misogynistic expectation of the hole as being a receptacle that is passive a thing that can simply just just take, and never provide. The opening may do the fucking. This basically means: When I top, every base is really a charged energy base.
This type of susceptible topping ended up being presented towards the public because of the trans icon no body desired: Transparent’s Maura Pfefferman. In a scene through the season two finale, Maura lies on a resort sleep, straddled with a likewise middle-aged woman whom most likely shares our protagonist’s love of shawls and NPR. Vicki, Maura’s cis partner, envelops Maura’s crotch with hers. Riding in cowgirl, Vicki heaves her human body upon Maura’s—and inspite of the penis that slides into her, Vicki is actually the most notable. Lavender-painted finger nails clutch the little of Vicki’s thrusting straight straight back as Maura and Vicki come faster than it is possible to say section wagon lesbians.
Maura bottoms while topping, a provocation that inspired this line. But this intimate contradiction is maybe not exclusive to a fictional character; it came back the very next time we topped. A couple of months once I bled all over my ex, a wallflower led yours-intoxicated-truly from a university celebration back again to their space where he mounted me personally like Vicki did Maura. Within moment, my nose gushed bloodstream once again, most likely through the overwhelm of topping a base who had been topping me personally. Decide to try when I might to say my proud bottomhood, intercourse is never that facile. Even though i will be in my favored position—on my straight back with my feet into the air—i could never ever be completely particular just what I’m going to get—or offer.