On Top of the World: How Does Topspace Feel For Me?

Greyscale photo of Morgan, a white nonbinary human with piercings, holding a mini flogger and smirking at the camera to suggest they're in topspace

I’ve written before about all the difficulties I have with topping. It’s a headspace I find deeply nerve-wracking, which is part of why I don’t play with it all that often. But I do play with it – something keeps drawing me back towards topspace, despite my fear of it.

The thing is, I do have a sadistic streak. I love the faces that hot people make when they’re in pain. I love the way that bruises look on skin. I love the warm glow of pride at knowing that I did that, especially when a bottom is as pleased as I am with the results. More than that, though, I love the fact that someone likes me enough and trusts me enough to ask me to beat the shit out of them. The thing that really turns me on about sadism isn’t so much the amount of pain I inflict – it’s being permitted to inflict that pain in the first place. There’s something so beautiful about a bottom looking up at Topspace Morgan with wide, grateful, endorphin-flooded eyes, and it makes me giddy.

The same is true when it comes to other types of topping, including tying people up and bossing them around. I feel the same awe and childlike glee at my own power – physical or psychological – when I’m topping as one might feel when they’re in charge of the breaktime snacks in Year 6. And, just like with breaktime snacks, I also feel the full gravity of my responsibility to the bottom with whom I’m interacting – but that’s no bad thing. It adds to the sense of importance and effectiveness I feel, and makes the successful execution of whatever I’m doing even more satisfying. Plus, being in a position of responsibility automatically activates some primal, protective part of me, turning me into a nurturing (if slightly evil) top who only wants the very best for their bottom. When “the very best for [my] bottom” translates to “hitting them harder and spitting in their mouth”, it feels like the whole cosmos has aligned in my favour, because I can display my affection towards my partner by doing things that are going to get me soaking wet, whilst rendering them the same lust-drunk mess they turn me into just by whimpering and squirming.

Topspace is a much more coherent, “adult” headspace for me than any of the others I’ve included in this miniseries. I have to stay alert to every aspect of a scene – is my partner comfortable? Are their hands turning purple in their handcuffs? When did they last have a drink of water? How close are they to their limits? – which means that I can’t just let my brain melt into warm goo when I’m topping. Again, though, that has its advantages: namely, the vigilance that topspace forces me to maintain means that I enjoy every minute detail of a scene, rather than letting it all melt together from under a blindfold or through the blur of choking-induced oxygen deprivation. It makes me feel like a conductor, observing and managing every part of a gorgeous (and filthy) symphony. In topspace, when my anxiety lets me enjoy it, I feel so damn capable.

There’s also a hedonistic, super-indulgent element of topspace for me. There’s a human I fancy directly in front of me, and they want me to use them however I see fit. It’s like having an entire Terry’s chocolate orange to yourself, except sexier, slightly more challenging to navigate, and way less monotonous and sickening than eating an entire chocolate orange in one sitting would be. I feel a little bit like my arousal and satisfaction are the most important things in the world, or at least that they come in at a close second behind my partner’s enjoyment (and safety!). Topspace is a lot like some of my other headspaces in that regard, but the whole thing is flipped so that I’m in charge of whether and when I get fucked (or eaten out, or massaged…). It’s like the hedonism of pupspace put through a kaleidoscope, transformed and glittering and nearly unrecognisable, but still from a similar source, sharing a lot of the same colours and blurred shapes. (I recognise that this is extremely abstract, but it’s so hard to put words to these hugely emotional experiences!)

I love topspace in part because of how much it differs from other headspaces that I access more often. I also love it simply because it feels delicious, and I can wield it to make bottoms feel delicious, too. Writing this post has made me remember exactly how delightful topspace can be, and I’m glad I’ve put words to it, because these words will serve as encouragement next time I (or you, maybe!) really want to consensually beat someone up but feel frightened or inadequate or any-other-thing.


This post is the final-for-now installment in my Headspaces Miniseries! If you loved it, you could support me on Patreon, or follow me on Twitter to hear more of my thoughts about kink and sex and more!

Paws for Thought: How Does Pupspace Feel For Me?

A selfie of me, Morgan, a white nonbinary human with facial piercings, with a filter over it which gives me a little black nose, whiskers and glasses, to emulate puppy play and also as an excuse to make you look at my face.

I used to be sort of intimidated by the notion of puppy play. Like many people, when I first encountered it, I saw images of people in leather hoods, with their hands bound up in mitts to imitate paws, and I felt disconnected from the notion of being a pup. It didn’t help that so much of the imagery I saw only featured cis gay men, either – it seemed, from the outside, more like a leather community subsection than a kink in its own right.

Unbeknownst to me, though, I’d already been doing bits of puppy play in my everyday life. My friends loved to fuss my head and ask, “Who’s a good Morgan?” to witness my excited response, wherein I would flap my autistic little hands and proclaim, “I am! I’m a good Morgan!” I responded to my dominant partner at the time whistling to get my attention. I loved to follow orders (naturally) and to chew on things. I already was a pup – I just didn’t know it yet.

Being a puppy, for me, is akin to being in littlespace in that it’s very sensory-seeking and it feels very self-indulgent, but it’s a touch more primal. Little-Morgan will follow instructions because they want to be good, and because they don’t really have a reason not to, whereas Puppy-Morgan will follow instructions as a result of some instinctive drive to submit (and to obtain head pets). Little-Morgan will engage with sex stuff because a grown-up told them to and they’re an anxious-preoccupied people-pleaser, whereas Puppy-Morgan has the sex drive of, you know, an animal. (Incidentally, humping a wand vibrator is the number one way that I get myself off, and there is something deeply animalistic about humping things.) When I’m in pupspace, there is no logic or self-doubt or apprehension between myself and what I want. Pupspace is an unapologetically horny, impulsive, rowdy headspace for me.

With that said, though, it’s a bit trickier for me to access pupspace. That might be because it’s a little further removed from my ordinary headspace, or it might be as a result of some internalised shame – both because petplay is regarded as weird in a way that Daddy kinks, at the very least, are not, and because of the aforementioned disconnect I feel from other puppy players. I have no interest in dropping large sums of money on hoods and mitts (partly because they look like sensory hell for me) and I don’t feel connected to the cis gay male community, since I’m not cis, not male, and only “gay” in the nebulous, queer sense of the word. I still have a degree of Impostor Syndrome around my experiences of puppy play and pupspace, which is part of why I’m writing this – to reassure other puppy players that their way of engaging in puppy play “counts”, even if it doesn’t look like what other pups are doing.

There are a lot of ways I can pull myself into pupspace, especially with external help. I often have to ask permission to get onto the furniture, and having that permission denied and being forced to sit at my Daddy’s feet makes me feel very much like a pet, rather than a person. Head pets are always a good bet, too, but tummy rubs (on days that my eating disorder isn’t acting up too much) feel more pup-like to me and therefore more pupspace-inducing. Another great way to access and indulge in pupspace is through “training” – there are particular commands that Puppy-Morgan is learning, like “sit” and “paw”, and carrying those out successfully often earns me a puppy treat (note: in my case, these are usually things like Maltesers. Do not eat actual pet food, because it is bad for human tummies. Cadbury’s do some excellent, very dog-biscuit-esque treats called Joy Fills if you’re absolutely desperate for realism whilst you’re playing as a pup). I sometimes worry that maybe my need to induce pupspace, rather than falling into it naturally as I do with other headspaces, is a sign that I’m not really a pup, but logically, I think it’s obvious from my protective, playful nature and the joy that I access through pupspace that I was destined for puppy play. Plus, kinks don’t come with entry requirements! You don’t need gear to be a pup and you don’t need to play or feel any particular way. There are as many types of puppy players out there as there are actual breeds of dog, and you can play however you like as long as it’s consensual, risk-aware and fun.

(And, if you were wondering, I’m a miniature American Shepherd, and a damn cute one at that.)


This post is part of an ongoing project called the Headspace Miniseries, where I explore the different subtypes of subspace I experience. If you like this, share it around, look at my Patreon, and check out the other posts in the series – you know the drill!

Rest as Radical Resistance

I play with LEGO as a means to rest, so this photo is of a little LEGO housefront with a window and a door, atop a piece of green LEGO, with an above-ground pool, a fence, a flowerbed and a windmill also made of LEGO. Also, my hand is in this photo because I fucking suck at photography.

I have been on hiatus.

I’m actually not sure if I can call it a hiatus. I didn’t really intend to take a break from blogging, much like I didn’t really intend to take a break from working, talking to my friends or showering when not absolutely necessary. My mood took a bit of a nosedive a few weeks ago, and I’m slowly recovering the ability to function to my usual (and still less-than-optimal) degree.

I’ve had a lot to contend with, too: first, I graduated from uni (with a 1st class degree in English, baby!) and then I had a birthday, and then I had a tribunal about disability benefits to attend, and then I had to move out of my old flat. Note that I did not mention moving into any sort of new accommodation – because student tenancies are stupid, I am technically without a fixed address at the moment. My possessions are mostly in a storage unit, apart from a stash of clean knickers and sex toys at my Daddy’s house and some other bits and pieces scattered across the homes of my mum and my other two partners, 60 miles away. In case you were wondering how my autistic ass has been coping with the change: it’s been 19 days since the move and I’m still having nightmares about leaving possessions behind.

I’ve been feeling so angry with myself lately about letting my blog fall to the wayside. I love blogging. I’m passionate about sex and disability and relationships and kink. I feel so at home in the sex blogging community and I feel a sense of responsibility towards the people who read my content to churn out some more. But I don’t want to churn out crap, and I’ve barely been able to assemble a coherent Tweet lately, so I’ve been forced to let my brain have a break.

There’s been one other factor complicating the whole blogging thing: the seemingly imminent end of the world. There are children in cages in the U.S., Bitcoin setups using the same amount of energy as Denmark and so many more crises unfolding all at once. On the one hand, this makes writing about how much I love puppy play seem embarrassingly futile. I sometimes feel as if I should be chaining myself to something or scaling a monument or flying to America to vandalise ICE vans, but I can barely drag myself to the corner shop at the moment. I have to accept my own limits.

And then, on the other hand, I feel an enormous amount of self-imposed pressure to do what little good I can manage by writing about sex and kink, and hopefully making other people with non-mainstream sexual proclivities feel a little bit less alone. I would never devalue the work that other online activists do, and I do regard my blog – especially the bits about disability and queerness – as a form of activism. But I just haven’t been capable of writing anything that makes any fucking sense as of late (as evidenced by the three garbled documents in my Drafts folder right now, taunting me every time I open WordPress). That’s a limit that it’s been harder to accept, because “blogging more often” sounds like such an achievable goal on paper. In reality, though, I don’t even have the executive function to charge my laptop half the time.

In spite of knowing I need it, I’ve been regarding this accidental period of rest with a festering resentment. I know I need to slow down, I know I need to rest, and I know that I’m holding myself to standards I would never hold another person to, but I’ve still been beating myself up about not blogging, not working, not “achieving” anything. I also know, from therapy, that I’m supposed to ask myself, “What would I say to [insert loved one here] about this?” whenever I’m beating myself up. And I know what I would say.

Rest is an achievement. It’s not just a passive state of being; in this late capitalist hellscape, where we’re always under pressure to be doing something, it takes some real effort to allow ourselves to rest. I sometimes regard my own rest as a means to an end: if I can just rest for a while, I’ll be able to do something again soon after, and that makes resting worthwhile (if uncomfortable). But actually, resting doesn’t need to be a means to an end. Your rest doesn’t have to make you more productive in the long run, or better at your job, or any other thing besides rested.

There are bastards making money from our reluctance to rest. Employers who exploit their employees are an obvious example, but anything which is designed to keep you busy is also preventing you from resting. (This is one of the many, many reasons that diet culture is entirely, well, a cultural construct, and wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for several fucked up aspects of capitalism.) To consciously choose to rest, to just fucking chill, is to spit in those bastards’ proverbial faces.

And my rest, I suppose, is particularly profound because I’m multiply marginalised. Homophobia, transphobia, ableism, bigotry in general, they keep their victims on their toes. Being queer and AFAB and disabled means that I’m expected to work harder than my cishet, male, abled counterparts, and there’s something that feels quietly radical about just… not doing things. I’m not financially privileged enough to completely stop doing things, but spending a couple of weeks just taking some deep breaths and surviving as a queer, AFAB disabled person is not what bigots want me to do. Bigotry relies on us being exhausted and distracted and miserable, and taking some time to rest patently defies that. And I like to be defiant.

I wanted to explain my unexpected hiatus to y’all, but I also wanted to share my thoughts on rest because it really is difficult to rest and not feel guilty about it. I hope this blog post has helped to reassure at least one person that their rest is not just a state of inaction, or a means to boost their productivity – it is an act of self-love and of resistance, and I am exceptionally proud of anyone who is currently pulling it off.


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