I apologize for the delay in replying to blog comments. I will try to get to those soon. I haven't been in a very good mental space but had someone ask a question to me as a possible blog topic and I will write about it.
The request was to get my thoughts on a bottom vs. a submissive.
In many ways the two are similar, especially when it comes to styles of play/sex but I believe the differences make the distinction rather crucial.
I believe that most males that associate themselves with being submissive are actually bottoms. There are a good number that are submissive, but this term often gets used loosely in regards to a "requested role during ______" vs. "lifestyle."
To start out with a basic definition, I consider the role of being a bottom is someone who likes to be in the submissive/passive/bottom role during sexual or kink-related activities. They are the receiver. The catcher to the top's pitcher. They react to the top's lead.
I always hate trying to describe a bottom in a sentence or two because there are always words/terms used that aren't adequate descriptors (e.g. I hate the use of the word "passive" in regards to being a bottom/submissive).
If you are reading here you probably have some idea of all this so I probably don't need to beat it into the ground.
To start the next part I should probably say that "All submissives are bottoms, not all bottoms are submissives."
In my opinion a handful of factors push a bottom into the realm of submission:
1. The first factor that changes the dynamics is relinquishing control. A non-submissive bottom may wish to have certain control over what is going on. A submissive understands they have given up this control and they can hope that they will enjoy what is going on.
2. The second factor is freedom. I believe that a non-submissive bottom sees their actions as free. While they may temporarily give up some of this freedom in the heat of the moment, they still see themselves as someone with full freedom. A submissive loses at least part of their freedom when they submit, the extent of which is determined by the Domme.
3. While ideally, kink-overlap will lead to mutual pleasure, there is a fundamentally different view here. A non-submissive bottom will expect the experience to be mutually pleasurable. A submissive gains satisfaction from submission, but whether an activity is pleasurable to them is up to the Domme. For a submissive there are cases where pleasure will be purposefully withheld, times when pleasure may be used as a reward, and times when the sub's pleasure is a byproduct of the activity and not the focal point. To state it more simply, I believe a non-submissive bottom's pleasure is more physical, while a submissive's pleasure is heavily rooted in the mental realm.
I guess I see these things as being the key differentiating characteristics.