hello and welcome to part three of our series about what the hell we mean once we say “top,” “bottom” or “switch!”
fourteen days ago we spoken of bottoms and slaves
last week we talked-about tops and dominants
, and also this few days we’re obtaining switchy, in addition to speaking about people who avoid using these terms and conditions after all. let us enter it.

the best, bottoms and switches intercourse review

three weeks hence,
i delivered a survey about these conditions
, as well as 3.6k individuals arrived to generally share their unique covers and bottoms beside me. they are the respondents’ class:

demographics of sex survey respondents // age: under 18 (1.2percent), 18-24 (25percent), 25-34 (56per cent), 35-44 (14percent), 44 (4.5per cent) // intimate orientation: lesbian (43.4per cent), queer (30per cent), bi or pansexual (19per cent), gay (6.2%), additional (1%) // gender identification: cis woman (71.2%), trans woman (3.4percent), non-binary or genderqueer lady (9.5per cent), non-binary or genderqueer individual (7.6percent), different (8.2per cent) // commitment status: solitary or dating, devoid of sex on a regular basis (30.6per cent), single or dating, sex regularly (8.7%), in a monogamous commitment (32.6percent), in a non-monogamous commitment (9.3%), married & monogamous (15.5per cent), wedded & non-monogamous (3.2percent)

i am checking out the data gradually over the course of the month — in the future we’re going to explore sub-identities while the week next we’ll mention not-previously-discussed interesting trends within the information as one. every week’s data builds on a week ago’s, most of us have had a good nerdy hot time with this particular and will continue to do so.

what number of switches are out there?

despite all chat of surfaces and soles within queer area, the survey announced that those who identify specifically as tops or soles are located in the fraction all in all. we switches, but tend to be plentiful.

best: 12% // soles: 14.3% // changes: 51.6percent // none regarding the above: 13.4per cent // i’m not sure: 8.9%

understanding switching?

before queer ladies’ culture adopted top/bottom as language highly relevant to non-kinky gender, the terms had been primarily used by gay men, or even in kink or sadomasochism contexts by both right and lgbtq individuals. however, the term “versatile” or “vers” is commonly used in those contexts as much as “change.” (most see “versatile” and “switch” as compatible, other individuals you shouldn’t.)

there is obviously a lot more opinion here than for tops and bottoms as identifying “change” rests greatly on pre-declared definitions of “leading” and “bottom.” switches happened to be called being thinking about: topping and bottoming, giving and receiving, screwing and getting fucked, being the aggressor additionally the submissive, having control and never having it, giving and receiving satisfaction, leading and after. without a doubt, there are many intimate functions that are not easily described by topping/bottoming, although top/bottom dynamics can completely show up in side-by-side grinding or shared genital stimulation — possibly this is much less then when changes are involved, perhaps not! who is going to say!

exactly what do switches prefer to do during sex?

despite a stated equivalent curiosity about giving and obtaining most intimate functions, there have been some functions which is why the percentage of switches who had been down for providing exceeded the number who were upwards for getting. the biggest disparities of these character had been for genital fingering (13percent), vaginal oral sex (11per cent), nipple play (12.5percent) and rectal (8.7per cent).

what switches always perform between the sheets: fingering (vaginal entrance) 90.5percent like providing, 84% like obtaining // oral sex (penile): 88.3percent like giving, 79.9% like receiving // strap-on penetration (vaginal): 56.32percent like offering, 54.05% like obtaining // vaginal fisting: 19.9% like offering, 18% like obtaining // fingering (additional genital touch): 90.53percent like giving, 84.27per cent like getting // nipple enjoy: 86.4percent like providing, 74percent like obtaining // fingering (anal entrance): 22.78per cent like providing, 14.05per cent like obtaining.

we pointed out that in a lot of places, the percentage of changes thinking about a specific intimate act or dating conduct was actually normally only a little beneath the interest of clothes (for top-associated) situations, or of bottoms (for bottom-associated things). here’s an infographic about this:

switches: we pretty sure tend to be switchy!

so, becoming a “switch” can mean…

doing some both

“[a change is actually somebody] who uses amount of time in both parts,” had written one kinky lesbian femme, “but not merely ‘she fucks me personally however fuck the lady quickly afterwards’ but a person that loves just as hanging out in each part.”

preferring one, but being down for

other people suggested that an interest in both roles did not preclude an inclination towards one. one trans lesbian which in addition recognizes as a submissive described getting a change because: “a person that can play either part although not necessarily in a 50/50 capacity; some people can lean more towards top and vice-versa.”

a lesbian femme put into her description that “one can also choose being a top/bottom, yet still loves both.”

performing one or even the other depending on…

their unique lover’s inclination.

“i have satisfied both roles (top/bottom) during my life,” stated one queer girl. “we seriously would rather bottom but will finest in the event the person i will be asleep with prefers to bottom part.”

“if i’m with someone that’s the base, i love topping all of them,” mentioned a gentle butch lesbian. “however if i’m with someone that’s outstanding very top, i love it if they peak me.”

sometimes, the change identification still is in theoretic phases considering a thought of insufficient knowledge about both, just like the lesbian whom composed: “my ex-girlfriend extremely strongly recognized as a base, therefore i finished up topping far more together with her, that i liked, but i am still unclear easily enjoyed that because i appreciated topping or perhaps because we enjoyed topping their, or perhaps because i enjoyed their, duration. i feel like unless you have a lot of intimate associates, it’s difficult to kind of nail these things all the way down.”

different aspects of their unique partner’s identity.

“we commonly wish to be principal with females more youthful than me personally and submissive with older females,” wrote a masculine/hard femme woman. “in general i’m naturally a lot more of a ‘top’ but i really do just like the concept of getting a ‘bottom’ when you look at the proper circumstance or with all the proper person.”

gender and gender speech factored in besides (which includes also been personal personal experience).  “i will be a lot more submissive whenever with another androgynous woman,” had written one genderqueer lady, “versus being dominant or willing to finest with femme females.”

the way they think day.

“i like providing and receiving — occasionally i’m in a more dominant feeling and often even more submissive,” said a lesbian femme.

“yourself, it really is sometimes attempting to only screw somebody up (in ways they like) and quite often it really is willing to end up being banged upwards,” composed a queer trans femme.

fluidly going between top and bottom in the same commitment or sexual encounter

“sometimes i enjoy be a lil more in control, occasionally i love to provide my companion a lot of reins; often i love to offer entirely and often i love to obtain and give,” blogged one queer smooth butch just who additionally desired us to realize their own venus is in gemini. “i’m like ‘switch’ will be the only phase that offers myself the space to move between different combinations for the above. merely topping or bottoming feels like a lot — like i’m not actually sure i would know how, or exactly what that could include, or if i’d get bored or feel unhappy?”

“i adore generating jokes when it comes to top/bottom things,” stated one lesbian. “in fact in my opinion queer girl intercourse is really more expansive and fluid (pun?).”

the preceding and much more

one non-binary queer noted: “[being a change] can indicate transferring between roles during intercourse with an individual partner. or could signify with partners you peak among others you base, or on confirmed day you could carry out one or the some other. turn could be lighting thing, where somebody does not occupy either character fully, but in my opinion of ‘true switches’ as individuals who have fully occupied both bottoming and topping parts. i think correct changes will also be very powerful, because we realize exactly what it feels like have full control and entirely call it quits control.”

kinky switches

27% of switches determine as perverted (when compared to 26per cent of surfaces and 41% of bottoms) and 55.5percent cannot determine as perverted but take pleasure in kinky intercourse (compared to 53% of covers and 44.4% of bottoms). “a switch is actually an individual who likes the prominent and submissive part,” says sophie st. thomas in

the amateur’s guide to bsdm keywords

. “get thee a lady who can do both.”

what do kinky switches like?

much like other activities about survey, changes tended to drop just a little closer to surfaces from the toppy tasks and only a little nearer to soles from the bottomy activities.

what exactly is interesting is that the

not liking anything

occurs when changes tend to fall into line with clothes, moreso versus taste of anything. 25% of surfaces can’t stand inflicting discomfort; neither would 25per cent of changes. 45percent of surfaces and 43.6per cent of switches hate consensually using somebody else for enjoyment. 1per cent of surfaces dislike in control — neither would 3.5% of switches. it doesn’t fall into line quite and with bottoms, but it is not too far off often.

in assessment with the help of our previous nsfw publisher
, we made a decision to split kinky switches from all changes, thus merely kink-identified survey-takers were put through an additional survey page with questions relating to dominants/submissives and sub-identities therein.

just how many kinky switches are online?

switching: additionally the most famous identity for kinksters!

16.2% dominating, 35per cent submissive, 41percent switch, 4.9% none of the above, 2.9per cent i am not sure.

in the 1,909 changes on all of our study, 358 identify as perverted. 68.6per cent of those changes determine as changes within a kink framework, 17.6per cent as slaves, 7.7% as doms, 4.3per cent as “none associated with preceding” and 2.3% are not yes. therefore, the “dom lack”/”sub excess”
we spoken of a week ago
is inspired by certain places: more soles than tops determine as raunchy and the ones which do tend to be extremely more likely slaves, plus switches identify as slaves than dominants.

what does it mean as a kinky change?

kinky changes reported numerous experiences based on how changing played out in their own intimate life. “i truly enjoy both domming and subbing in relation to gender,” wrote one bisexual femme. “during the rest of my entire life, i definitely desire the same union with everything and might be very uneasy with any common energy change, but i find power like a superb wine — it feels delicious, so there’s one thing actually breathtaking about some body surrendering for me and obeying my personal sales. but i additionally love letting go of control. bottoming is among the just occasions within my existence i actually actually prevent fretting about every little thing and just be concerned about attractive my lover. using the right leading, it quiets my personal worries and makes me feel so cozy and cared about.”

“i’m at this time in a d/s commitment where im the sub-type person and are generally subbing lately,” blogged a queer femme. “but we have knowledge and needs that revolve about dominance also, for this reason my personal detection as a switch.”

although our review was actually particularly about sex with others who don’t identify as cis males, a few switches told you in the wild reaction location which they top men but base for women. “bottoming and subbing for women makes my gay little center quiver with joy,” penned one. “topping/domming men is quite rad too.”

some change inside of their present relationship, just like the queer non-binary tomboy femme whom informed united states, “my spouse and i switch functions, sometimes in the same program, depending on the way we’re experiencing that time. she leans more subby than i really do, therefore i wind up domming more frequently.”

some days the flipping is actually act-specific. “in general, i enjoy to control my partners vocally, but have always been not too into inflicting pain (unless someone really likes that),” penned a gay femme. “alternatively, i am pretty simple about being ruled, but would prefer to get discomfort (having my personal butt slapped, cunt spanked, hair pulled an such like). obtaining pain isn’t really as much about d/s for my situation as it is about sharpening feeling thus i get off my personal head and start to become contained in when. it feels like turning off my head, and grounding myself personally, via my human body. ”

“regarding energy i like control,” typed a poly genderfuck girl. “but once considering feeling i’m versatile. various folks reveal actually various stresses of experience personally.”

or, perverted flipping is a working part through the entire experience. “i love switching ~by itself~ as a sex act/move/style!” typed a queer soft butch switch. “like, ‘

oh you believed you were in control? surprise i am in charge now’

– or however,

‘oh shit that thing you began doing truly put myself in a unique spot nowadays i’d do practically whatever you tell me and have always been getting totally any idea you receive or work you choose’

i enjoy that force & extract.”

“none associated with the above” vs. turn

a question i managed to get over and over when sharing the study effects with pals ended up being “what’s the difference in none associated with preceding” and “switch?” isn’t really it the same?”

well… no.

as with most things that include lgbtq folks, somebody’s attachment to


marking on their own is frequently as important and important to all of them as somebody else’s attachment to labeling.

several stated their particular communities or connections did not make use of top/bottom/switch language, other people felt a little bit mad at me personally, some were aggravated by the terms’ popularity yet others had been excited for more information on these identities despite not feeling personally attracted to all of them. 7percent of notas familiar with recognize as tops, 7percent as soles, and 11% as switches; but 81percent never made use of some of these conditions.

the majority of who provided added commentary to their none-of-aboveness might be split into five camps of thought:

1. these terms and conditions aren’t suitable conditions for how lesbian & queer women have intercourse because [they’re for gay guys, they may be kink-specific, they can be phallocentric, they might require entrance, etc.]

“i’m not a ‘i really don’t carry out labels’-believing person,” had written one bisexual lady, “nevertheless these terms and conditions are all really and totally something i’d never use though we were a homosexual dude/super into sado maso. yeah you can find quick truthful choices, but there is also the strange homophobic/misogynistic back ground of splitting ‘roles’ since about the old greeks.”

another queer lady had written, “seriously, i don’t know precisely why the queer ladies neighborhood has followed these conditions, and i also’m partially having this test out of protest from the appropriation of gay male vernacular when queer ladies currently had terms because of this.”

“i believe want it’s an effort to manufacture queer intercourse imitate or determine more with straight cisgender gender,” had written another queer woman.

2. the type of intercourse we have is simply too fluid for bottom/top/switch terminology.

“no union i had has actually called for one of you end up being selected a penetrator or person who is actually penetrated,” typed equivalent queer girl i just cited. “and that’s what i believe is actually wonderful and delightful about queer/lesbian sex, there exists no guidelines or demands of how everything is ‘supposed’ become.”

“i like less control and [my companion] favors much more, but neither people recognizes jointly and/or different, therefore we both ‘give’ and ‘receive’ equally,” penned one bisexual femme. “‘switch’ is like an identity in which you’re versatile on becoming a leading or bottom part, but doesn’t really capture the in-between.”

“gender is actually collaborative, although those terms and conditions never denote usually, i do believe that most of the time the mind-set is that gender has been done to someone fairly an a collaborative, cooperative work,” blogged a non-binary queer person. “this is why i really don’t like these terms and conditions.”

“if you ask me, folks will explain and explain what they are into sexually instead use a label to spell it out those sexual preferences,” mentioned another queer lady.

3. i prefer these terms and conditions in kink, yet not away from it.

“easily’m having kinky intercourse next certainly sometimes these roles/terms apply,” blogged a bisexual genderqueer exactly who recognizes as a switch within a kink framework, “however in the context of non-scene intercourse, i typically don’t end up in singular part.”

“we strongly hate the boundaries of intimate functions outside a kink dynamic,” blogged a bisexual woman. “kink & intercourse are two individual issues that meet different desires and needs for me personally. gender must be approached as material, energetic, involved, and new and various different each time.”

4. i’m nevertheless figuring it.

although “i’m not sure” ended up being an option, some which thought not sure regarding their recognition did actually pick “none of preceding” because anxiety alone was not their own primary concern to spot.

“i enjoy say ‘we bottom in my own existing commitment,’ because i actually do — but that does not *make* me ‘a bottom,'” wrote a survey-taker exactly who didn’t finish their unique review. “i want to check out my personal dominant area besides. i really don’t think about me a switch because i’ven’t encountered the possibility to find out if i really like topping but.”

5. i identify with an expression perhaps not incorporated right here.

this is most frequently “vers,” but sometimes were kink-specific terms. (at that time when you look at the study, survey-takers weren’t however aware they’d have a chance to mention kink identities afterwards when you look at the review.)

“i truly can’t stand these brands,” wrote a perverted nota about top/bottom/switch. “they can be just close adequate to kink as confusing without a few of the clarity of most bdsm labels. sometimes folks believe they imply your character in specific sex functions, they generally imply kink and it’s really really unclear.”

exactly what do “nothing for the aboves” will perform between the sheets?

there had beenno remarkable differences right here between notas also teams. more compact percentages of “none with the above” survey-takers were followers of several intimate activities than covers, soles or switches, but it’s additionally likely that notas showed much less association for anyone tasks due to sensation length from giving/receiving characteristics typically. strap-on penetration encountered the most significant regular difference — around 44per cent of notas were into giving or obtaining it, in comparison to 72per cent of covers who like offering it, 65per cent of soles that like receiving it, and around 55% of switches who like giving or obtain it.

nothing associated with aboves & kink

notas were a lot more expected to maybe not recognize as kinky or like perverted intercourse than many other study takers — 45.2{%|