Topping refers to individuals on the left side of the slash who tend to take on a more dominant or leading role in their kink identities and expression. This role can be temporary in a scene, or extend beyond the scene to PE/AT and protocol.
There are key distinctions between this, dominance, other left of the slash identities. Firstly, topping typically does not involve any kind of power exchange or authority transfer. It certainly can, however it’s not necessary. Second, individuals can top in a scene, yet identity differently. Third, they can top for a type of play or kink, yet identify as the receiver with their play partner who may be bottoming them for this scene.
Conclusively, topping is an umbrella term that can encompass dominance, mastery, daddy, and left of the slash play and identities. However, it can stand alone without any power or authority elements to the dynamic.