Bottoms Up: Why I’m A Bratty Bossy Bitch

Sometimes, I’m sweet and submissive and can articulate my needs clearly in advance, and I’m always getting better at it. Outside of the bedroom, I can ask for what I want and get it; I’m forever remembering that those skills are transferable. If you can order a pizza, you can talk about sex.* Inside of the bedroom, I can take a deep breath and get vulnerable, tell my top du jour what I want to play with or don’t today. I can ask for the black paddle, get handsy with the strap-on straining in her tight jeans and say, “Daddy, that’s too big! But maybe a blowjob?” I don’t mind stepping outside of my comfort zone if I think it’s worth it.

Sometimes, I’m a brat. If I know we both wish a scene were kinkier but my top is not moving in that direction, I get bratty to get what I want. In the moment, I can’t always use my skills for talking about sex. Instead, I can force my top’s hand. I don’t have to worry about communication making me feel like I’m out of subspace; I don’t have to worry about subspace affecting my communication. I get to keep feeling like a bottom and keep getting what I want, and what my top wants too.

Here’s a real life example: During one scene, I suddenly really wanted to be fucked in the ass. My then-top and I had talked about that activity as reserved for naughty bottoms, so I did everything in my power to be naughty. I wiggled during a spanking because I wasn’t allowed to wiggle during a spanking. Strike one. I reached my hand back after a particularly stingy smack. Strike two. “If you don’t move your hand and stop wiggling, I’m going to fuck your naughty ass.” I wiggled more. Strike three.

I knew what I wanted and I was bratty until I got it. Sometimes, that’s the best I can do. Sometimes, the easiest way for me to communicate my needs as a bottom is to get more into being a bottom. Speaking up and being a bottom aren’t contradictory… sometimes I just don’t want to! A friend and I always commiserate over the fact that life would be so much easier if tops could just read our minds. Yes, please, smack me in the face and call me a slut, but please don’t make me ask for it. Not right now. Being bratty is a way to speak up without speaking up. I’m not in control of the scene, but I have control over the scene.

Sometimes, I pretend to be a top in order to get play moving in the direction I want it to move. Because sometimes, tops are shy about topping, especially if we weren’t totally explicit about our wants and needs prior to sex (as happens a lot with casual partners). They want bottoms to be happy, but they don’t want to cross boundaries — and in kink, it’s easy to cross a boundary unless everyone does the work to make sure that doesn’t happen — so they hold back. I hold their hand, and then place it on my body and say exactly what I want to happen: “Bite me.” “Slap me.” I reach for my toy bag, my sex drawer knob, some rope, and ask, “Are you gonna do anything?” I tease until they decide that enough is enough and actually take charge. And that’s the thing about most tops; no matter how shy they are, they want to take charge just as much as I want to submit.

Sometimes, I get accused of topping from the bottom. I know other bottoms don’t like being accused of that, and the phrase has the potential to be used against any bottom who communicates their needs. I know there are lots of ways to get my needs met, and scenes that happen when I act like a brat or top from the bottom feel different than scenes where I articulate my needs but let my top do the work. But there’s nothing wrong with communicating your needs as a bottom; in fact, it’s crucial. Submitting is a weird dichotomy of knowing exactly what you want but putting someone else in control of giving it to you. As a sub, there are very specific things that I want to happen in the bedroom and very specific things that I don’t want to happen. I may not overtly dictate how a dom and I spend time together, but I do need to dictate it. Topping from the bottom is just one way I communicate. Now I smile when I’m told I’m being toppy because it means I’m making sure I get what I want. And because being a bratty bossy bitch boi is fun.

* Thanks Ara and Ali for the analogy.

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Ari is a 20-something artist and educator. They are a mom to two cats, they love domesticity, ritual, and porch time. They have studied, loved, and learned in CT, Greensboro, NC, and ATX.

Ari has written 330 articles for us.


  1. Sometimes stating it out loud just kills my vibe! Ugh, I love this, and I’m totally emailing this link to my partner.

    Love this column. Thanks Alaina! <3

  2. Alaina, thanks for all these posts about bottom sex!
    I love being a bottom. I love getting it on the bottom and in the bottom, and feeling vulnerable! Sometimes I approach my gf all kissy and sweet…. and ask “please, Studbear, will you give me a good fucking???”… all needy for sex.
    Other times, all teasey … interrupting what she is doing, rubbing against her, and nibbling her neck, until she says “ok, you little bitch, you are gonna get it!!!”…pretending to be angry?! And sometimes I just pull my pants down and stick my bare ass up in front of her and say “well??!!”
    I love being bottom to a woman who loves me, and loves being confident and powerful in bed and likes to prove it with her strap on.?
    Thanks for giving us a place to speak.

  3. “I’m forever remembering that those skills are transferable. If you can order a pizza, you can talk about sex.”

    Just don’t accidentally mix them up! I’m too embarrassed to call the local Dominos now, it made a things awkward for both them and me.

  4. Oh, Alaina. Thank you. Ha! I absolutely LOVE being a brat. In fact, my Dom had a hard rule about “no brats” before meeting me. ;)

    My problem is that it’s often perceived as defiance, when I really just want my Dom to be more assertive and controlling without having to *ask* for it. It’s nice to read about from another’s perspective. I just hate coming out and saying it. It’s like someone stepping onto a movie studio and screaming, “CUT!” while film is rolling. It takes me out of the moment.

  5. “If you can order a pizza, you can talk about sex.” I have never heard this before and I fucking love it. Can Naughty Bottom also be your DJ name please?

    • it’s all just telling someone what you want and not getting in your feelings if the two of you want different things! it’s no biggy!

      um, and whenever my dj career begins (bc that’s something all queer grrrls in their 20s do at one point, right???) Naughty Bottom it is

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