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Bottom (BDSM)

In BDSM, a bottom is a partner who takes the role of slave or victim, submitting to such acts as bondage, flogging, humiliation, or servitude from the top.

A bottom is not necessarily submissive, and vice versa. At one end of the continuum is a submissive who enjoys taking orders from a dominant but does not receive any physical stimulation. At the other is a bottom who enjoys the intense physical and psychological stimulation but does not submit to the person delivering them.

It should be noted that the bottom is most often the partner who is giving instructions - the top typically tops when, and in the manner, requested by the bottom.

In order to explore BDSM sex, it is essential to be careful and choose a top who will be responsive to one's needs, feelings, and limits. (See safeword.) Failure to choose a trustworthy top can be very dangerous, and even a trustworthy but overzealous top can inflict severe pain or injury by failing to pay attention to the bottom.

Note that in BDSM sex, it is commonplace for two partners to switch roles from one encounter to the other, depending on mood and preference, a practice known as switching.

The term submissive or sub is more precise than "bottom", since the term "bottom" is also used in vanilla, especially gay, sex to refer to a receptive partner, or as an intransitive verb meaning to have receptive sex with. As above, it is very commonplace for partners to change roles from one encounter to the next or to have both insertive and receptive sex.

Bottoms sometimes identify themselves by wearing a set of keys on the right side of the belt or a color-coded handkerchief in their right rear pocket. This practice, called flagging, began in the gay male subculture but appears to be dying out.

In Japanese bondage and sexually-themed anime and manga (especially yaoi), a bottom is referred to as uke, a term from kabuki.



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