I'm pretty excited to be writing about this topic and it’s largely because it's a topic that is not expanded on very much. Plus, it's quite new to me. As someone who makes a living off talking about everything sex, I pride myself on having almost no subject I wasn't well-versed in. Until Tik Tok humbled me. Yes, I accidentally stumbled on the subject of soft tops on the most influential app on the planet right now. It was amazing how many other people knew about it before me. I didn't have a shortage of content to consume on the topic of soft tops. And I'm smarter for it.
Mind open and super curious, I checked out hashtags and slurped tons of videos from users of all orientations and all walks of life. Very clearly, we live in a generation that's very liberated sexually. You can be sure there were tons of people with something to say on the topic.
But I'll start this article with the textbook definitions I found online. A soft top is someone dominant sexually but gentle and nurturing to their partner outside of sexual preferences.
Interestingly, the topic of soft tops was mostly lukewarm on message boards until earlier this year. Its popularity spread so widely that Urban Dictionary recently made an entry on its definition. Soft tops can be of any sexual orientation though the term is more common in the LGBTQ community. Generally, one may identify as a soft top for several reasons. And any of these could be interpreted in different ways.
Soft tops rarely want a dom/sub as most of their partners often assume. Reddit user, aspriationallopside says:
"...I've had relationships with guys who were disappointed I wasn't a tough guy."
They would dominate in bed and may look very intimidating, but soft tops are big softies. Another Reddit user Pyrollamasteak gave me an interesting angle on soft tops. They said: "I think 'soft top' should apply to anyone who has bottom energy but enjoys topping." I was equally intrigued to find out that other folks define a soft top as a "submissive top" or the inverted version of a "power bottom."
On the other hand, some folks take comfort in the term "soft top" to bypass the expectations and macho trappings of taking the insertive role during sex with their partner. It used to be widely accepted that specific masculine or feminine mannerisms indicated who was top and who was bottom in queer relationships.
This is due to the fact, the majority of people in the world irrespective of genders they identify with or sexual orientation are or have been largely exposed to heterosexist, cisgender narratives or scripts in which men are portrayed to be the insertive, masculine, and dominant partner during sex while women are scripted to be submissive and on the receiving end.
Despite huge strides the LGBTQ community has made, these antiquated examples find their way into the sex lives of folks who do even identify as cis-hetero. The script is everywhere, even in queer media. The average top is depicted as bigger and more masculine while bottoms are depicted as submissive and physically smaller or leaner.
With the term 'soft top', men who don't conform to heterosexual, cisgender tropes have a role that works for them. I think there are several ways to have sex and the more we pay attention to co-creating sexual experience, the more fun partners will have because instead of having the sex they think they should have; they get to enjoy the sex they want to have.
Granted traditional gendered roles during sex work for some people, the notion that tops should not be nurturing or compassionate no longer serves a lot of people. And this has extended to cis-hetero women who are embracing autonomy over their bodies and becoming more confident and sexually empowered.
While we have a standard definition for what a soft top means, it can also be adopted as an identity that offers a modern alternative for people who wish to free themselves of the restrictions placed on them by gender norms and expectations. The goal is the liberty to explore alternative options to foster deeper connection and intimacy in romantic or sexual relationships.
This freedom levels the playing field and makes it wide enough to experiment without limitations. This way, people get to discover what gets them off. Are there people who want the dom/sub or masc/fem dynamic? Yes, there are. These sets of people don't appreciate a partner that identifies as a soft top and may be disappointed by one.
But folks who are comfortable with nurturing outside sexual preferences or who find this identity a suitable alternative is also here to stay. And we are breaking the bias further as we discover more layers to the concept of human sexuality.
In the LGBTQ community today, labels have been used to help people of different genders and orientations find people they wish to connect with for romance or just a good old roll in the hay.
As of writing, a host of micro labels have popped up here and there, especially on social media. Examples are gray sexual, demi girl, aceflux, demiromantic, etc. Labels are important for helping LGBTQ members navigate the community. And though they strongly define queer relationships, I believe folks should be careful not to get too hung up on labels in the context of sexual relationships.
You should determine who you are as a person and what you like, not scripted labels or stereotypes. With this in mind, exercise your liberty when experimenting and exploring the top/bottom dynamic. Lots of folks believe that to be a good top, one must learn to be a good bottom or at least learn how to be a good top.
This could be done in several ways such as learning the anatomy of a butt, alternating thrusts, knowing when to pull out, using condoms, knowing how to talk, and just generally taking care of whoever, you're topping. I don't think I need to go into explicit details of good topping. I'm confident that comes naturally to you if you identify as a soft top.
My takeaway points are pretty clear. You're not less of a top because you don't follow the straight, chalk line of what a top is expected to be or do within and outside sexual preferences. Labels are great but relationships are even better without them, especially in the context of sex. It's all about being comfortable and being free to explore what you enjoy without losing sight of who you are.
So, if you're sick of the outdated tropes and limitations, go right ahead to break them. There's a place for you. And I'm glad more people are coming out of their shells and getting to understand this.