More male bottoms then female tops?
January 20, 2006 11:01 AM   Subscribe

BSDMFilter : Is it true that there are far more male bottoms then there are female tops?

If not, why are men willing to pay so much money to see a domme?

If so, how did it get this way? What is a sub male to do?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

Well I don't know about that, but I've certainly read that it is quite common at BDSM parties for the majority of men to be bottoms. I'd take a wild stab in the dark and say that society casts males typically in a dominant role so it's not so extraordinary that they should seek the opposite in their sex lives.
posted by forallmankind at 11:14 AM on January 20, 2006

Paraphilias in general, as I understand it, are vastly more likely to manifest in men than women. The preponderance of male subs is just an extension of that, as well as the fact that (generally) men are more likely to hold positions of power and thus wish to (seemingly) give up that power under controlled circumstances.

What's a sub male to do? Get involved in the local BDSM community, of course. Make contacts. How fluid is your sexual orientation? In a scene, how important is it to you that your dominant be female? Would it be possible for you to see a male Dom to meet your kink needs, and continue a less-kinky relationship with a woman to meet you sexual needs?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:17 AM on January 20, 2006

A friend who has been in the scene for several decades observes that members of every group seem to perceive the objects of their attraction as being in short supply. Tops think (good) bottoms are scarce; bottoms think (good) tops are scarce.

And maybe they are. But so what? Personally, I don't find it helpful or productive to focus on scarcity. Instead, I imagine that the person of my desires is looking for me, and I try to do things that make me easier to find, and more likely to be noticed, and more desirable as a partner.

I also tell myself (as I do when looking for a job: I don't need 50 partners. Just the RIGHT ones.

So maybe there are lots of male bottoms. But intelligent, articulate, self-aware, considerate, hot-looking, erotically accomplished male bottoms? Those are rare, and will always be highly prized by those in the know.
posted by ottereroticist at 12:48 PM on January 20, 2006 [4 favorites]

A friend who has been in the scene for several decades observes that members of every group seem to perceive the objects of their attraction as being in short supply. Tops think (good) bottoms are scarce; bottoms think (good) tops are scarce.

Perhaps people don't know how to ask for what they want, don't get it, and then imagine x in short supply.
posted by Rothko at 12:55 PM on January 20, 2006 [1 favorite]

I have heard that the number of bottoms vastly outnumbers the number of tops in general. It was a common complaint on the BDSM discussion group I lurked a few years ago.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:14 PM on January 20, 2006

I think at least part of it is that only some role/gender combinations tend to participate in the scene in any numbers. Most of the female bottoms I've known (with, I must add, some wonderful exceptions) have been more into relatively private BDSM with a dominant partner (who they've often already been dating before talking about domination) than parties, scenes etc around other people. Ditto (straight) male tops (although I find a lot of dominant gay guys tend to move in gay-scene as well as BDSM-scene circles). I don't know if it's that one gender/role combination tends to be shyer and that their counterpart group has stopped bothering to participate in the scene thanks to a lack of their preferred partner-type, or whether it's more of a micro-cultural difference between strictly m top/f bottom and f top/m bottom straightkids - the two pairings definitely have a good few shared quirks within their group that're markedly different to those of the other.

As for what a sub male's to do, I'd be inclined to say 'get out there!' - if there's any truth in the stuff I've observed, you're in the group that's more likely to be found on the scene, not revealing your preference within an existing relationship and hoping your partner is compatible. Also what dirtynumbangelboy said - are you 100% certain your partner(s) have to be female? In my experience, the male-male BDSM scene, annexe of the mainstream gay scene as it can be, is often rather more welcoming and less colonised by creepy people than its straight equivalent.
posted by terpsichoria at 1:31 PM on January 20, 2006

I'm a male switch. It has certainly been my experience that there are more male bottoms than there are female tops. The reason? Hell if I know. If I had to guess, I'd say it was part nature and part nurture. Also, we should consider the possibility that there are a lot more femdoms out there than we realize and that they simply don't advertise because they've already got what they want.

Now, what should you do? Well, I'll say this: please, for the love of god, don't surrender your self respect.

Don't offer to perform manual labor for any female top who wants it. Don't post messages to local/regional BDSM group lists droning on and on about how women are superior and men are inferior. Don't automatically address every female top as "Ma'am."

These are all types of behavior that I routinely see from male submissives who - either correctly or incorrectly - see their chances of finding a femdom as quite slim. They become convinced that if they just kiss enough ass and if they just play their fantasy role with enough fervor, some female in high heeled boots will eventually choose them. I beg you: don't be that guy.

All the male subs (or switches) I know who have formed good relationships with female dominants have taken a different approach. They're honest about who they are and what they're looking for. They're intelligent and well mannered. They treat everyone with respect and expect the same in return. In short, they're the kind of people who everyone wants to be around.

But of course, there's more to it than simply being appealing. You've also got to network. Attend as many BDSM events as you can in your area. Let friendships develop naturally. It may take a while. Often, I've met people at a munch or a play party and then gotten to know them better over Instant Messenger or on the phone.

Make sure you have a profile on,, and I don't think is worth it; most of the people there are just looking for a quick fuck and have no interest in a real BDSM relationship. But you will sometimes find BDSM specific ads there. There are other venues for online personals ads, but the three I mentioned above are, combined, about ninety percent of the game.

And, of course, search the profiles on these sites and, when you find likely candidates, email them. In your email, just be as clear and straightforward as possible. Make sure they understand that you're not just interested in their breasts, their boots and their strap-ons, that you also want to be their friend/lover/spouse/whatever. Tell them about your kids or your hobbies or your first kiss; anything to give them a sense of who and what you are beyond a submissive. But certainly mention what you have to offer in that department as well. Never be pushy. If the woman wants to just talk for a few weeks (or even months) before meeting, you should respect that.

The first email you send is very important. And I'm tempted here to go on for several paragraphs about the asinine things I've seen male subs do when initiating contact. However, I don't want to make it sound like I'm assuming that you, anon, are prone to such behavior. Nothing in your question indicates to me that you are. So let's try it this way: I've been at this, actively, for about five years now. In that time, I've had countless conversations with femdoms about the e-mails and IMs they receive from prospective male submissives, have written my share of e-mails and IMs of that nature, and have talked to many male subs about the subject as well. If you'd like to hear all about the does and don'ts in this area, complete with examples, anecdotes and the like, you're welcome to email me. My address is in my profile. If you wish to remain anonymous, grab yourself a throwaway email address from gmail or yahoo.

To find the bdsm groups in your area, I recommend Caryl's list.

That's really all I can think of at the moment. It is difficult, certainly. But stick with it. There are plenty of guys who've been in your situation but who are now in full-fledged femdom/malesub relationships.
posted by Clay201 at 2:38 PM on January 20, 2006 [10 favorites]

Wow Clay201 - I wish I could mark that for best answer.
posted by forallmankind at 4:40 PM on January 20, 2006

I can't say if it's true statistically, but anecdotally it's absolutely true. Every party and dungeon and event I've been to (except the ones that don't allow single males, woowee, whole other can of worms, that) have been overpopulated with bottom men and shown a dearth of female tops.

why are men willing to pay so much money to see a domme?

I don't think this is for scarcity of supply alone. Quite a few bottoms find it hot to have to pay for sex(ual things). That's rather humiliating by a lot of standards, no? Don't write that off as just part of the observation of the scarcity of femdoms alone.

(Counterpoint to "Then why don't bottom women pay?" is I think that women deep down know that they really never have to pay for it and it's harder for them to trick themselves that this is oh so humiliating.)

Clay201 says more useful things about how to pick a mate within your defined role than I could ever know. He has some valuable information and resources.
posted by birdie birdington at 6:21 PM on January 20, 2006

Clay201, I think you ought to start your own BDSM "how-to" online. (And no, that's not a demand for you to GYOBFW!) Your extensive answers on this topic are consistently interesting, insightful, and compassionate.
posted by scody at 6:23 PM on January 20, 2006

Interesting, this week's Mistress Matisse column is exactly how kinky men should not present themselves in personal ads if they don't want to look like idiots.
posted by matildaben at 7:44 PM on January 20, 2006

Seconded on scody's suggestion. You rock, Clay201.
posted by By The Grace of God at 8:41 AM on January 21, 2006

At least in my experience, there seems to be more bottoms (across both genders) than tops.
posted by hopeless romantique at 10:56 AM on January 21, 2006

Do beware of one problem with sexual special interest groups: they tend to get caught up in status symbols and dictating fashion and taste. Maybe this is not an issue for you, I wouldn't know. Perhaps I am just more acutely aware of such things, seeing as I really loath black leather particularly, and most other trappings of the gay bdsm scene. It is also possible that my information is a couple decades out-dated.

One reason I'd like to suggest for the paying thing: Gear and toys don't come cheap. You want her to be well equipped, don't you? Or maybe gear and toys aren't something you're worried about. Good, very good. See the first paragraph.

I knew a guy once that was married to a pro fem dom. One could easily understand how the pay may have made a difference. Her encounters were therefore business.

It also occurs to me that many straight sub males might find comfort in the knowledge that when the money runs out, the scene is over and they are free to go. Fascinating idea, really.
posted by Goofyy at 10:36 AM on January 23, 2006

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