Of course a conversation on twitter piqued my interest. It had to do with brats. Or, as a friend of mine says “non-submissive bottoms”. Since this topic is a large one, I’ll have to put my thoughts into several posts over the next week. And since I’m gearing up for teaching a class on brat behavior at the Bound in Boston, it’s also a perfect time to see where I might need more info. I plan more posts on specific brat techniques, scenes in which being a brat might work out better, and the different types of brats that you might aspire to be.
I'd like to say here too, that Daddy enjoys my being a brat most of the time. Our style of play fits my brattiness into it. Our public play might not match yours. And very often we'll start with my brat in full-out mode. But he's ALWAYS in complete control of me. And he knows that there's always a way to put my brat to bed for the evening....if he chooses it.
One of the popular misconceptions about brats is that they can’t possibly be “twue” submissives or that they’re topping from the bottom by engaging in brat play. I think both of those views treat bratting as an undesireable quality in play instead of being just another style of play.
I think bratting is just a way of relating to another person within a prescribed framework, acceptable to both. Brats are sometimes submissives, and sometimes not. But being a brat doesn’t automatically remove you from the subby club. I also don’t hold the view that brats are uncontrollable, untrainable, uncommitted, or aggressive. Excuse me “twue” doms...cough...kiss my ass...ahem...cough.
I’ve been bratting my entire life. It began as a way to rebel from being the eldest daughter, the one who had to be responsible for everyone and everything. The one who always did everything right. Being a bit of a brat gave me something to feel adventurous with, something to shock people with, and was something that I could use to let myself do “dangerous and bold” things. Over time, I learned to use my natural abilities in logic and rule-keeping (not rule-breaking) to perfect my brat technique.
Bratting isn’t for everyone. And being a brat can get you in a shitload of trouble if you try to do it at the wrong time, in a less-than-acceptable way, or with a top who doesn’t appreciate it.
So WHO IS a brat?
What I’ve found over time, is that truly successful brats are those bottoms who fit most of the descriptions below:
Brats are generally:
They have a real need to Laugh
All brats seem to have a need to elicit a response from, or create a reaction in, their tops.
In other words, brats are smart cookies who can best be described as Mischief Personified.
For every person who brats, there’s a thousand reasons why they do it. Some of the most common reasons are:
Reasons for bratting:
Stave off boredom
Test tops’ limits
Expect a dom to be able to step up and be dominant.
Power struggle in which a brat needs a more powerful person to overcome them
It’s Just Fun.
So Brats are bottoms who are smart, charming, willful, playful, adventurous and who may or may not be submissive. Nobody is submissive all the time. Brats bring a fluidity, an uncertainty and an excitement to play that tops can tap into to make a more dynamic scene for both people. It’s also a way for tops to test their skills...mostly in communication and organization. Brats bring a different energy to the table, and bring laughter and fun into playtime.
Which isn’t to say that once you’ve begun a scene in brat mode, that the scene will end up with you in the same place. A submissive brat can be in full brat mode and with the right dominant, can be stopped mid-breath with the right word or look. The top is always in control of just how far he/she is willing to let the brat go before stopping it. A good brat knows that wiggling their toes on the line means never crossing the line.
What Bratting IS Never
Before ending this part of my Brat 101, I wanted to touch on what being a brat is not. Any of the following behaviors are not brat behavior but are ways to truly ruin the exchange that happens during brat play. If you find yourself doing any of these things, you’re not being a brat. And please stop it because you’re giving us brats a bad name.
Edging the Bull by the Horns (more on this later)
It is not the same to bat your eyelashes, pout prettily and plead for something, as it is to glare, stamp your foot, and repeat your requests over and over and over again. Wheedling isn’t the same as manipulation and being a petulant, bitchy, rude and passive aggressive bottom is not being a brat. Those behaviors can and should be discouraged by tops by ending the scene. I find behavior like that unacceptable in bottoms in general and I’d seriously question any bottom why they’d find any of those behaviors acceptable.
Tomorrow: SAMS, TFTB and TFTM