This, exactly this!
Sometimes, as I’m trying to figure out how to phrase something, I come across an example so well articulated that I am relieved at having nothing further to say on the subject beyond thank you for finding the words I didn’t have. I’ve been contemplating how to talk about active bottoming and explain why I wanted to see more skills classes aimed at bottoms beyond Pain Processing 101 when I found this post by maymay from 2008 in which he writes:
My goal was the same as hers: to push limits. We push each other, we always have, and it’s part of what keeps us moving forward together. Though the willingness to push a bottom’s limits is almost a prerequisite to advertise yourself as a top or a dominant, very rarely does anyone seem to recognize the value of pushing a top’s limits as a bottom, and I think that is a grave oversight for all involved.
…[w]hat I mean when I say that I like to push my top’s limits is that I respectfully and incrementally encourage them to explore their sadism, their cruelty, their willingness to impose their will on my body, perhaps in ways that they may not feel entirely comfortable doing but that I do
To which all I have to say is hell to the yeah! I suppose I can add something more constructive, perhaps going back to an earlier statement of my scenes are better when they are collaborative, but the main points for me are 1) tops have limits too, we are humans not latex-clad amazons and if you want scenes that are fulfilling to you as a bottom, especially if you like to play on the outer edges, that requires patience, support, and some respectful and gentle nudging on your part. And 2) just at topping is full of learned skills, bottoming is not a passive sit-there-and-take-it art. Educating and supporting bottoms (by which I do not simply mean educating about basic negotiation and providing after care, though that is vital) and further empowering bottoms to teach and advocate is essential.
This is a nice twist on where my blog reading was going when I found a 2008 post by Unspeakable Axe about being a submissive not a doormat that sent me into waves of despair about the fact that we were having the same conversation about the value of male submission almost four years later with all new voices and nothing had changed, which I really hope is not entirely true.
Lastly, and I hope this doesn’t get lost in an already scattered post, but I need your help. In 2008 there was a TNG conference in San Jose, California at which a male bottom presented on CBT making the specific point that it was important for him as a male bottom to present on the subject rather than having a dominant present due to the experiential perspective he had; does anyone know who he was and how I find him and/or his writing?