Our Definition

the party receiving sensation during a scene or sexual encounter.

Often conflated with Submissive, due to a large overlap and shared history in the BDSM community. However, the two concepts are separate, and bottoming does not necessitate submission.

In the LGBTQ+ community, 'bottom' refers to the person who receives penetration, with 'top' meaning the inverse.

Common Practices & Examples

Everyone is different! You'll see this repeated throughout our website and glossary. Common bottoming practices include, but certainly aren't limited to
  • Receiving impact (spanking, whipping, etc.)
  • Being bound or tied up
  • Receiving penetration
  • Being on the receiving end of sensation and/or pain play.

Hildebrand considers themself a bottom and a masochist, but does not identify with either dominance or submission; they prefer scenes that do not focus on power exchange dynamics.

Lulu is a dominant who enjoys “directing” scenes from the bottom.
Hortensius is a bottom and also a submissive.

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Real Life Examples

We're gathering short anecdotes on this topic from experienced kinksters!
If you'd like to be quoted in our glossary, please email us a single paragraph describing the practices you'd like to share, along with whatever name you'd like to be credited with.
If your definition differs from ours, tell us how and why! We want to illustrate as many sides of kink as we can to both normalize kink and the diversity within it.

Recent Glossary Entries


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