Skip survey header

Sudo SME

We would like to identify the elements of the Top and bottom experience -- what traits, proclivities or actions may be associated with this dynamic. We are coming to you as Subject Matter Experts, because you are the ones who know this dynamic well!

* Please note that this questionnaire is designed to focus on the experience of the Top-bottom dynamic (and may not necessarily include activities specific to sadism, masochism, dominance and submission).

This survey has 21 questions and is anonymous and confidential (see our privacy statement). It should take approximately 12 minutes to complete. Feel free to check it out, knowing that at any point you can discontinue without consequence.

Thank you for completing this anonymous survey contributing to our research into the Top/bottom dynamic in erotic play.

If you have any questions about or comments please contact Dr. Petra Zebroff ( or Dr. Pega Ren ( at
This question requires a valid email address.
2. My gender is:
3. My sexual orientation is:
4. My relationship status is:
6. What is your personal relationship to the Top-bottom dynamic (this includes all BDSM activities that embrace the Top-bottom dynamic)?
7. I have been involved with BDSM (power-exchange dynamic) for:
8. I get the most turned-on when:
9. I would get most turned on in an erotic situation if:"Taking control" in a sexual situation can be subtle, including introducing activities or changing positions, or more overt, such as using restraints or role-play.
10. In an average erotic encounter, how easily are you distracted from your erotic thoughts:  (distractions can be worries, thoughts or feelings, such as with your performance, body or everyday life).Choose your current partner. If you are not in relationship at the moment, choose the most recent partner.
11. Take a moment to imagine an ideal erotic scenario. I can get more turned-on if: *This question is required.
Space Cell strongly disagreedisagreenot relevantagreestrongly agree
I can feel self-indulgence
I can show vulnerability
I can surrender to the experience
I can feel an increasing intensity
I can feel "big"
I can feel a little exposed
I can trust my partner
I can feel my partner trusts me
I can be receptive
I can determine what happens next
I can lead the action
I can stay passive to the action
I can feel knowledgeable
I can defer to my lover
I am encouraged to let go
I can hold extreme focus
I don't have to make decisions
I can be inventive
I can enter a trance-like state
I can feel powerful
I can feel safe
I can feel floaty
I can be assertive
I can rise to a challenge
I can trust the experience will flow without me having to do anything
I can feel anticipation
I can have my sexual limits pushed
I can feel in control
I can feel cherished
I can "lose myself" in my experience
I can use my imagination
I can feel wise
I can let go of making decisions
I can decide on the pace
I can feel caring or nurturing
I can explore a "darker" side
I can feel independent
I can merge with my partner
I can be resourceful
I can let go of everyday thoughts
I can be responsible for what happens next
I can easily read my partner's responses
I can feel skillful
I don't have to worry about my partner's reactions
My partner is focused on my orgasm
I can feel forceful
12. How much of a turn-on are each of the following erotic activities (to think about or to do)? *This question is required.Be honest! Your answers are completely anonymous.
Space Cell Strong turn-onModerate turn-onMild turn-onNot a turn on
Taking charge, leading the activity
Letting go, allowing a partner to take charge of the activity
Spanking a partner
Being spanked by a partner
Tying a partner down
Being tied down
Initiating sex with a partner
Having my partner initiate sex
Pushing my partner against a wall
Being pushed against a wall
Submitting to a partner
Dominating a partner
Seducing a partner
Being seduced by a partner
"Forcing" my partner (in play)
"Being forced" (in play)
Rendering my partner helpless (in play)
Being helpless (in play)
Encouraging my partner
Being encouraged by my partner
Servicing my partner
Being serviced by my partner
Making my partners sexual dreams come true
Having my sexual dreams fulfilled
Evoking sensation in my partner
Receiving sensations from my partner
Playing with pain (receiving)
Playing with pain (giving)
13. Which erotic activities do you find the most sexually exciting to think about or do?
 Think about each of these sexual scenarios.  If you had to choose only one item in each pair, which one would be the most of a 'turn-on' for you?  Some of these may be mood-dependent, but choose the one which would overall be the most likely to be erotically charged for you. If neither really do not apply, choose the middle option.

Be as honest as you can (try to ignore what others think you should find interesting).
to create an experience to receive an experience
to render helpless to be helpless
to keep a calm level head to get out of my head
to lead my partner to follow my partner's lead
to dominate my partner to submit to my partner
to kiss to be kissed
to take charge to follow along
to push my lover against a wall to be pushed against a wall
to hold my partner down to be held down
to plan the next move to anticipate the next move
to service my partner to be serviced
to please my partner to be pleased
to control my partner to be controlled
to slap my partner's face to be slapped
to tie my partner down to be tied down
to force to be forced
to desire my partner to be desired by my partner
to focus my attention on my lover to have attention focused on me
to spank to be spanked
to assert myself to surrender to my partner
to seduce to be seduced
to encourage my partner to be encouraged
to humiliate to be humiliated
to give pleasure to express pleasure
to make my lover's dream real to have my sexual dreams fulfilled
to command my partner to be commanded
to position my partner to be positioned
to evoke sensation to receive sensation
to push my partners sexual limits to have my sexual limits pushed
to direct what happens next to be directed
to grab my partner to be grabbed
to take charge to let go
to know what is going to happen to not know what it going to happen
to give a massage to receive a massage
to give sensation to await sensation
to restrain my partner to be restrained
to talk dirty to stay quiet
14. I believe my partner may judge me if:  (choose as many as apply to you)
16. Think back to a favorite power-exchange encounter or fantasy that was strongly sexually arousing. Which of the following elements feel most accurate to you?
Space Cell strongly agreeagreeneither agree nor disagreedisagreestrongly disagree
I felt I was competent enough to meet the high demands of the situation.
I felt being competent was irrelevant to the situation.
I knew clearly what I wanted to do.
I enjoyed not knowing what I wanted to do.
I could tell by the way I was performing how well I was doing.
I did not pay much attention to how well I was doing as it didn't seem important.
19. Would you be open to participating in a follow-up study (in 2 - 10 years) to see how things have changed for you over time?