If I Grant Her Fantasy, Am I Still the Top?


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ASK THE THERAPIST

October 1996

by William A. Henkin, Ph.D.

Copyright © 1996 by William A. Henkin

<Q> I am the male top in my heterosexual relationship. My bottom has a fantasy in which two men have sex with her at the same time. If I were to grant her this fantasy, would I be giving up the control of my dominant role? And: how will we feel and act toward each other afterwards?

<A> If your bottom asks for a drink of water and you give it to her, have you given up control of your dominant role? What if she calls her safeword: if you honor it and interrupt or end your scene, then have you given up control of your dominant role? If she asks you to hold her gently after a prolonged punishment scene and you assent, have you given up control of your dominant role?

Your job as a top is neither to give your bottom everything nor to deny her everything, but to direct the scene according to your negotiation, using your intelligence – as Nero Wolfe likes to say – guided by your experience. If you are successful both your needs and the needs of your bottom are likely to be met, and to a greater or lesser extent both of your desires may be met as well. Ideally, this is not a question of ego versus ego.

Sooner or later your role as a top is likely to include making choices and decisions you find difficult, and maybe even some you do not like. It is the top's responsibility and privilege to make those choices, but exercising that responsibility and enjoying that privilege does not mean giving or withholding something the giving or withholding of which might reasonably be expected to damage the scene or the relationship. If you think you would enjoy fulfilling your bottom's fantasy, and if you think that doing so will further your lives individually and together, you might well want to give her this gift. If you don't think you would like the scene, or if you have reason to believe it would damage your relationship or either of you individually, you might prefer to skip it. In either case a bit of honest dialogue will help both of you to know as fully as possible what is or isn't going on and why.

Since I don't know who you are I can't very well guess how you might act toward one another after such a scene, but in the broadest sorts of ways I can make a set of likely observations. If you and your bottom have a mature, sophisticated, open, and/or genuinely casual play relationship, then bringing in a third person may be lots of fun: his presence can change the patterns of your play, alter the energy flow between you and your bottom, and add the spice of a fresh perspective to the play you usually enjoy.

If you and your bottom do not have a clear and fairly untroubled relationship, however, bringing in a third party might easily provoke feelings of jealousy and competition that will cause more trouble than the experience will be worth. And if you are one of the many men who finds it difficult for his female partner to be sexual with another man, fulfilling her fantasy is more likely to complicate and even damage your relationship than to enhance it.

If you do decide to go ahead with the scene, pick a second male with whom both you and your bottom are comfortable, personally as well as sexually. Particularly because you seem to feel somewhat insecure in your top role and uncertain of its perameters you may especially have to beware of jealousy: my guess is that you are fairly new at this game, and in your uncertainty you might easily respond to the scene you suggest as if it were a challenge to your

dominant position, even though it's not. If that is the case, this is probably not the time to include a third person in your play.


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