The Tao of a Top

Fizzy recently used a phrase in one of her forum posts — she referred to “the Tao of Tops” — and it made me wonder if there was such a thing. According to Wikipedia, “Tao or dao is a Chinese word meaning ‘way,’ ‘path,’ ‘route,’ or sometimes more loosely, ‘doctrine’ or ‘principle.'” Obviously each top is different, and I’m not going to pretend to speak for all of them, but I think maybe there is something to that. Wikipedia says that Tao is “the underlying natural order of the universe,” and I think a lot of tops feel their views should be described in exactly this way. ๐Ÿ˜€

Furthermore, the site goes on to say, Tao can “be known or experienced, and its principles (which can be discerned by observing Nature) can be followed or practiced. Much of East Asian philosophical writing focuses on the value of adhering to the principles of Tao and the various consequences of failing to do so. In Confucianism and religious forms of Daoism these are often explicitly moral/ethical arguments about proper behavior.”

Well, there you go! Tops’ guidance can surely be experienced, their instructions should definitely be followed, and the consequences for failing to do so are well known, aren’t they? And “proper behavior” is frequently a top’s main focus as well. So if there does exist the Way of a Top, what would that be? Again, just basing it on my own tendencies, I have jotted down a few principles:

  1. Do as I say, not as I do. I’ve joked about this one before, but let’s be honest: Yes, brats, we expect you to realize we have your best interests at heart. Emphasis on YOUR. That is, the focus is on your behavior, not ours. If we wanted it to be on ours, we wouldn’t be the top.
  2. Sometimes we do stuff which makes us very glad we’re the top, and not the brat/bottom. This is sort of a corollary of #1. I’m not saying we’re PROUD of it. In fact most of the time we’re ethical and responsible enough to feel very guilty over any hint of a double standard. But all the same…it’s a good thing you can’t see us.
  3. We get off on spanking. Okay, there…I said it. I’m not saying we enjoy punishing you. (Sure, some of us do, but then some of you enjoy being punished, so I figure that balances itself out.) What I’m saying is (as if it was any big surprise) that spanking can be just as enjoyable from the top half of the equation. Especially if you wriggle and yelp for us. That’s fun. *vbg*
  4. We don’t always want to be in charge. Most of the time we do, but not always. Sometimes, we’re tired. Sometimes, we’ve had a lousy day. Sometimes, we just need a break. And at those times, you being a well-behaved brat…or just a friend…is the most welcome thing in the world.
  5. Sometimes we get a kick out of your naughtiness. I’m not talking about extreme behavior, or tiresome antics to get attention. But a cheeky quip, a harmless prank — yes, it can make us laugh. But not enough, contrary to rumor, to weaken our spanking arms!
  6. We do like it when you’re good. Don’t worry, it’s not boring at all. (Okay, maybe it would be if you were good 100% the time. But trust me, that’s not something you’ll ever be in danger of achieving.)
  7. We get a lot out of the relationship too. I think brats sometimes wonder about what tops get out of it. I know I wondered about it when I was inย a more submissive position. (Not a brat, mind you! But my “sometimes top” is definitely a Top.*) The fact is, it’s wonderfully gratifying to be able to make a difference in someone’s life. It’s not just the affection we have for our brats, it’s that their welfare is important to us. We share in their triumphs, we feel their pain. (Especially if we use our bare hands instead of implements. *eg*)

Seriously, though, being a top is like the Peace Corps: It’s the toughest job you’ll ever love. The Tao of a Top is not exactly like a religion. But if you want to worship us, that’s okay too. ๐Ÿ˜‰


It’s Love Our Lurkers Day, and so I want to mention how much I love all my readers, and how grateful I am for all the feedback. And if some of you have been visiting and have never left a trace before, please feel free to do so! But either way, thank you to all of you for stopping by. You are the wind beneath my….er…computer chair. ๐Ÿ˜€

*Thank you,ย Aer,ย for showing me the other things a top can be: Caring, demonstrative, honorable, full of integrity, courageous, inventive and sexy. Your tao is definitely one to follow! ๐Ÿ™‚

This entry was posted in Philosophical Stuff, Topperware. Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to The Tao of a Top

  1. micah says:

    As always Alyx, you’re dead on in your comments. You’ve illustrated what makes the Top/Brat relationship so special…
    I’ve been lucky enough to experience everything you mentioned with my brat. RIght now she’s going through a rough time. When you’re brat is hurting, you feel it too. Your Top instincts kick into overdrive and you try to cover her like a blanket to protect her from whatever is causing her pain. Even though mentally you know you can’t prevent everything negative from happening, emotionally, it’s another story.
    This is the first time I’ve dealt with this as a Top. I’ve been surprised at how intense my emotions and protective instincts are. You really feel responsible for her welfare, and the inability to control the situation is totally maddening.
    And yes, boss lady, you’re right as usual….it may be a tough job but I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

    • Alyx says:

      Aw, thanks for those nice comments, Micah. I know you must be going through some hard times right now, and Tigger is lucky to have you supporting her. *hug* It’s true, the protective desire gets very strong. Good luck to both of you, sweetie! *hug*

  2. Hermione says:


    I’m a regular visitor to your blog, and always enjoy your posts. Thanks for being a part of LOL 6.


    • Alyx says:

      Hi Hermione! Thanks for delurking to say you drop by! I’m a sometime lurker on your blog too, so I’ll go over there now and out myself. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Fizzy says:

    I like your Way. ๐Ÿ˜€ But…”Not a brat, mind you”? *cough cough* Google doesn’t seem to think so. If you google “Alyx is a brat” (without the quotes) your blog is the first result!

    But it’s also the first result if you search for “Alyx is a wonderful top.” ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Alyx says:

      Are you sure you didn’t type “Alyx HAS a brat”? *bg* Cuz when I use the free thesaurus to find synonyms for “brat,” YOUR name appears! ๐Ÿ˜†

      But the word “wonderful” also appears before it too. *cuddle*

  4. I never cease to be amazed by the clarity of your vision combined with your wonderful sense of humour. Your writing is pithy, touching, serious and funny – just like you. You are a touchstone for so many… Surely you realise the Tao of Tops I follow, Honey, is you! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thank you though *very touched*
    ๐Ÿ™‚ ~ Aer

  5. tigger0011 says:

    You know, Alyx, I realize what a lucky brat I am to have a loving Top who really cares about me. But, I have worried about what she gets out of the equation, and I worry that I ask too much. Thanks for this post and explaining thing in your clear and precise way. Thanks for all the guidance you give us…brats and Tops…
    And…yeah…sometimes it is important to just be good for a while…if I can manage it!

    • Alyx says:

      Tigger, I think Micah is a lucky top too. *hug* Hang in there, but don’t strain anything trying to be good….Micah might not be able to recognize you! ๐Ÿ˜‰ *LOL

  6. alsyn says:

    Alyx!! it’s true, it’s true, it’s true, (big smile here) your blog does come up when you type in “Alyx is a brat” giggle, I’ve giggled all morning.
    “But my sometimes top” You have a TOP!! Hmmmm ๐Ÿ™‚
    When I grow up! I’m gonna be just like Fizzy! heehee
    I love you Alyx, really and I just wanted to make you laugh. alsyn

    • Alyx says:

      Hello, Alsyn, growing up to be just like Fizzy seems to be a common brat aspiration! And to be honest, she’s a pretty good example to follow. ๐Ÿ™‚ (Except when she tells you to type in stuff like that to Google! *stern look* *swat!* Then you shouldn’t be following her!)

    • Fizzy says:

      aww thanks Alsyn, I am proud to inspire the next generation of sweet brats like yourself to ever-greater levels of wiseassery and mischief. *bg*

      • Personally, I just love the phrase ‘Tao of Tops’ โ€“ kudos to you Fizzy for that one!

        I first learned the word ‘phenomenological’ from a footnote in the Tao – as in ‘the phenomenological universe–everything that can be seen, touched, felt, or experienced. It is the sum of creation.’** In terms of TTWD, I’ve always thought it to have a โ€˜phenomenologicalโ€™ quality: how the psyche merges into the physical and vice versa; how understanding and trust between top and bottom become intrinsic; sensation-al, yet delicate and fine. Stepping back out into the world, something has been gained, a sense of self, a greater sensitivity, a strength.

        โ€ฆ Of courseโ€ฆ Miss Fizzy, I do hope you werenโ€™t thinking of the endless references in the Tao to how โ€˜The submissive and weak will overcome the hard and strong!โ€™ I wouldnโ€™t put that past your โ€˜mischiefโ€™ either! *vbg*

        *sideways look*
        ๐Ÿ™‚ TMT

        (**This refers to the ‘Myriad creatures’ in the Tao, which The Way is ancestor to.)

        • Fizzy says:

          Moi? *innocent look* I have the utmost respect for the hard (hand) and strong (arm)! Your description of “phenomenological” is lovely and insightful, though, and is an interesting way to look at TTWD.

          Me, I learned about Taoism from the book The Tao of Pooh. I was attracted to the concept of “non-doing.” Alyx, sadly, does not consider my way of non-doing (homework, sleep, chores) to be oneness with the universe, but rather oneness with the corner. *g*

          • LOL!!!

            Er… with regard to Alyx’s view of of your ‘non-doing’… may I (subtly) draw your attention to point (1) above? It is probably just as well that you are far too tactful to mention it to Alyx yourself… *vbg* (But -damn- that corner would be crowded without that principle being worked a *lot*!)

            • Alyx says:

              “Non-doing” and “oneness with the corner,” eh? Okay, that made me laugh. ๐Ÿ˜†

              She is not being tactful, Aer, she is being wise. She values the Tao Principle called “the ability to sit.” Or maybe that was the Top’s Principle. One of those. *g*

              And I’m sure you referred to point 1 in a general way. Meaning ALL tops and not any SPECIFIC one. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. cras says:

    I think that I know a Top who would definitely agree with items 1 and 2 on your list. We’ve even had a conversation or two lately that had me grumping a little bit about how much trouble I’d get in if I did certain things that she’s done recently. Though I suppose you might have a good point about the focus not being on the Top’s behavior.

    I enjoyed reading this list and found that I agreed with many of the things you said. I used to wonder quite a lot what Tops got out of the whole thing but I had a Top once a few years back who helped me to understand that a lot of it was about knowing that she was helping me become better at the things I wanted/needed to be better at, especially the things that helped make me healthier and happier. (That was a frequent question actually: “Are you healthier and happier?”) And my current Top definitely agrees with item 5 on your list…though words like “soap” and “mouth” have been used in combination to remind me that while a little cheekiness is appreciated, a lot will have consequences.

    I am de-lurking in honor of LOL Day. Then again, I lurk here far less than I do on many other sites, but I figure most of those are unlikely to swat me if I don’t de-lurk. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Alyx says:

      Cras, somehow it doesn’t surprise me that your top has realized she has a cheeky brat on her hands! Do let me know if the soap solution is effective? ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thank you for delurking, and indeed, for being a reader. I do appreciate your insight and *cough* observations. And please do take note of #1, which is an important principle in the Top’s Manual. The focus is on your behavior, and from what I’ve heard, it could use a LOT of focus! ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. alsyn says:

    Wiseassery! I love it! heehee I’m gonna use that phrase. Your welcome Fizzy, I love you too ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. lola says:


  10. cutey1991 says:

    This is awesome. I showed it to AAL. She likes it to. Tops do have a way about them that’s very alluring and scary.

    i’ve been lurking a lately but I’m still here. Appreciating everything you write.

  11. sandy says:

    How about writing down some principles for “the Tao of Brats”, which surely must also exist considering everything has a complementary opposite!
    I did try and read a bit about all that stuff on Wikipedia, but my brain started hurting and I had to stop…you did a much better job of explaining it though!

    Hope all’s well with you Alyx.


    • Alyx says:

      Sandy, I think YOU’RE much more qualified than I to write on “the Tao of Brats”….how ’bout you send me some suggestions? ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m nearly through all of my health trials, so hopefully will be back to writing soon. Hope all’s well in your corner of the world too, sweetie. *hug*

  12. rainesage says:

    \ thinks it’s about time to stop creeping around and say something

    That’s a wonderful post, it’s always fun to see the other side of the relationship. It’s really amusing. ๐Ÿ™‚


    • Alyx says:

      Welcome Raine! I’m very happy you decided to stop creeping. ๐Ÿ˜€

      Thank you for your comment. I’m sure there are lots more things that will occur to me…but I’ll save them for future posts! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. recidavist says:

    ah, you have learned much grasshopper…


  14. Pingback: Love Our Lurkers day! | Domme Chronicles

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