Wednesday, March 24, 2010

This is the Problem with Definitions

I’ve been receiving a heck of a lot of feedback regarding my posts on Brat Play. Fortunately most people find that bratting can be a wonderful dynamic to play with once in a while. Some haven’t been all that complementary.

For those of you who are a brat, or who own or play with one, you know what I’m talking about. I don’t have to explain why brat play is fun.

But for those of you that might be misunderstanding what brat play really is, I’m going to attempt to explain my point of view on brat play.

I tried to find a definition of “brat” that worked. Most people are used to hearing “spoiled brat”. But it is the “spoiled” part that is unattractive in this context. I’m not using the term “brat” to mean an ill-mannered, spoiled, petulant child. I’m using the term to mean impish, playful and affectionate . I use the term brat not as a perjorative, but as an description of that behavior that makes a top just want to smile, shake his/her head, and secretly laugh their asses off.

Perhaps it might be easier to see the difference if I spell out exactly what kinds of things that I truly believe that most bottoms engage in that I think IS in fact, brat behavior.

Brat Behavior

Childlike abandonment in an activity
Well timed zingers
Twinkling eyes in faux exasperation
Giggling over a mistake
Teasing
Wheedling
Witty repartee

And the opposing behaviors that I consider "just brat" behaviors:

Just-Brat Behavior

Childish avoidance of an activity
Poorly timed rudeness
Rolling eyes in irritation/annoyance
Anger over a mistake
Insulting
Demanding
“Just joking, really, I am”.


Are you getting the idea? There’s “good brat” behavior and “just-brat” behavior. If you’ve ever played with a bottom who has done any of the things in the left column, you’re playing with someone who has the qualities that I consider to be bratting.

I’m not talking about running end-games around a top. I’m not talking goading or purposefully trying to create a negative reaction. I’m talking about all those little things that make tops come back for more.

Tops wish for many things in their bottoms. Most that I’ve spoken with would be over-the-moon by finding a sense of humor, intelligence, enthusiasm and desire for them in their bottoms. Obedience, ease of control and pain thresholds are not nearly as important to tops as trusting that their bottoms know exactly who is in control.

Brat play isn’t for everyone just as fireplay, ropeplay, or needleplay isn’t for everyone. But because I call myself a brat, it doesn’t mean that I’m disrespectful to my top or that I’m not completely obedient when the situation calls for it. It also doesn’t mean that being a brat is “all about me”. Frankly, much of the time it’s more about my dominant’s mindframe, what I think he needs at a particular moment to help him. Sometimes he just needs to let his sadism run a little freer than I might ordinarily be willing to endure and being a brat is a way for me to tell him that it’s ok. Sometimes, it could be simply that he’s struggling with HIS dominance and needs to have a way to find it again. Just as a submissive is not submissive all the time; a dominant cannot be dominant all the time. People just don’t work like that.

Brats have a creativity, flexibility, intelligence, attentiveness, and affection which the top can use to give themselves a break once in a while. If they’re doing it right, they’ve got themselves a bottom who can not only obey a direct order, but one who knows without being told what their top really needs.

Sometimes the ability to know how to give your partner exactly what they need requires walking a fine line between kneeling, obedient submission and reaching into his pants while he’s not looking and telling him your mouth seems rather empty at the moment.

And for those wishing to view some further discussion on brats (both pro and con), you can read this: In defense of brats.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

On the Domly’s “Most Hated” List?

I’m starting to get some less-than-fan-emails from people reading this blog. Apparently there’s lots of people who find a brat to be someone who needs to be removed completely from the scene. One has even gone so far as to tell me that there is no possible way I should even consider calling myself a submissive....or that Daddy should ever believe he’s a dominant. This person has said that bratting is always topping from the bottom, manipulative, and that any top who allows any bratting, can’t be much of a dominant.

Phooey.

First, let me just say that no one (even those who read this blog) knows the real time, real life, dynamic of my relationship with Septimus. We’ve talked nearly every day for over a year about some aspect of our relationship. And we’ll continue talking about it whenever EITHER of us feels the need to. The fact that our relationship doesn’t seem traditional or that I’m a person who has interests, hobbies, friends, and a life of my own, doesn’t preclude me from being his submissive. Because we don’t do things how “everyone else” thinks they should be done doesn’t make our relationship wrong. And because we don’t model our relationship on traditional "book" normatives of D/s doesn’t mean that we don’t have a D/s relationship.

Second, I am not everyone’s submissive. The truth of the matter is that I belong to Septimus. I submit to him. I don’t care if your name is SirGodLordDomlyDom and you’ve been training wayward subbies for longer than I’ve been born. To me, you’re just another guy. I’ll respect you if you respect me. If you try and “order” me to fetch you something just because I’m wearing a collar and kneeling, my response will usually be “get up off your own fat ass and get it your goddamn self”. If you try to pull a “bow to me bitch”...you’re gonna get your balls up your nose. At the very least with Daddy’s permission. At the very most, with his help. I am his submissive. And in order for me to do that, I had to be very clear about how I chose the when, where, with whom, and the form of that submission.

And finally, if you don’t agree with my opinion, that’s cool. The reason I started my blog was because I’d seen too many submissives (mostly women) struggling with the idea that they somehow couldn’t retain independence, personality, and identity within a D/s relationship. The idea of being a strong, independent woman with the idea of submission. Submission isn't subrogation, it isn’t about losing yourself. To me, it's about finding your best self.

If you don’t agree with my opinion, start your own blog and let the world know. There’s room enough for everyone’s opinions. And the more that we explore the different tones of how D/s works in real life for real people, the easier it is for those who have questions about themselves to see that there’s a thousand gazillion different ways of doing the same thing. These are my thoughts, my feelings, and my opinions, on my relationship. Take away from it what you will. And if that means that you find that you don't want a brat in your life, so be it.

But the reason why this dynamic works for Septimus and me is because we have a compatibility of goals. I brat because Daddy enjoys me....all of me. From my submission to my intelligence, to my love, and to my brattiness. From what I’ve heard, there’s a lot more people who enjoy brats than don’t. It works for us because that’s who I am. I was smart enough this time to find someone who appreciated ME and what I had to offer to a relationship....and to him. And about the only real “truth” I can tell anyone looking at my life is this: you’re never going to feel good about yourself, you’re never going to be able to really explore a D/s relationship, you’re never going to be comfortable enough to be as free and as happy as I am, if you enter into a relationship with someone whose goal is to change you.

So if you’re reading these brat posts, and haven’t read the rest of my blog, you’re only getting part of the story. And even if you’ve read the rest of my blog....you’re still only getting part of it. I live in my life. I’m comfortable with myself. I love Septimus. And I assure you, HE is always in control.

What makes you think that I get away with anything that he doesn’t allow me to?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Time Flies When Having Fun: Bound in Boston VII

Saturday night at the Bound in Boston party.

Daddy and I arrived at the party around ten. It was already hot, loud and crowded and I know from experience in that space that we’re never going to be able to do the kind of scene we really like to do. And I also know that because we usually end up at the party after a long day of doing other things, we’re usually tired. Sometimes I wonder why we even bother. He knows I don’t really like the public dungeon scene in Boston. It’s not that anything is really “bad”...it’s just that there’s little room, too much activity in a small space, and very little actual scening going on. Maybe things are different between 2 and 3 in the morning though. Usually I hope to be in bed by then myself.

At that party, Daddy started tying me. And he’d told me right off the bat that he just wanted to “try something” He said it would be something “between a scene and a practice”. I figured that because we were both kind of tired from the day, that he’d just wanted to practice what he’d learned, and it would be more of the latter.

When he’s practicing, I’ll admit that I don’t have to have all my attention on what he’s doing. I get distracted with other things. He still spends a lot of time getting the rope looking “just right”, which now that I think about it, could be why I waffle between loving and hating rope. Sometimes it’s great. But I don’t really get all rope-spacey anymore. We practice too much and don’t play with it nearly enough. I can’t remember the last time I was rope high. But I always remember the last time I was the dining room chair.

But anyway...he was tying me. And when he’d finished he told me to sit on his lap. Which coincidentally, was located on a chair right next to the entrance. I ended up at eye level to all of the really cool shoes that were walking in the door. And when Daddy noticed my distraction, he gently tapped my face and told me to pay attention to him. I really wanted to and I really tried...but every damned time a new pair of shoes walked past me, I just looked at him and said “sorry, but I’m distracted by the shoes”.

I think we could both feel that things were going to end up spiraling if we didn’t make an effort to stop them. He asked me what I wanted to do. He asked me what would make me happy. I was waffling again between not giving a shit what we did to wondering if there was any room to do much of anything. That’s when he just picked up his bag, grabbed my hand, and moved us toward the back room.

We found an open table and Daddy began spanking me. It wasn’t a punishment, but something that I’d asked for a few days earlier. But that spanking got my endorphins running and I’d thought about what he’d asked me a few minutes earlier. Namely...”what did I want to do that would make me happy?” And my brat showed up.

Now we’ve never really had a full-on “Brat” scene. Normally I incorporate a bit of brat play into our scenes, but I’ve never really taken out my brat for a full on scene. And since daddy and I don’t really discuss scenes before we start, I’d never really thought that it was appropriate to surprise him like that. But since he DID ask me what would make me happy....

He cropped. He caned. He clothespinned. He spanked, and he tied me....and throughout it all, I brought my brat out. I “helped” him to tie me to the table by removing my hands from the ties that he’d already done. I while he was clothespinning my thighs, I unzipped his pants and grabbed his dangly bits. I laughed, I squirmed, I loopholed and I had a wonderful time making things not so easy for Daddy. We both knew that at any time he could have told me to stop and I would have. But he knew that the surest way for both of us to have fun was to laugh together. He still got a heck of a beating on me (not to mention duplicate and symmetrical bites on my ass), but I got to just let loose, react without thinking how things would be viewed by anyone else, and we got to have a hell of a time together doing it. And as a bonus, I attacked his belly button again. He has got the most adorable laugh with that one. I really wish I had been a spectator in that scene because I’m still not sure exactly what happened. All I really know is that we were both laughing so hard that I lost all sense of what was happening.

But the oddest thing happened while we were concentrating on trying to outwit each other. I was barely getting started when Daddy suddenly stopped. He stroked me, untied me and sat me up. I was worried that I’d done something terribly wrong but I’d had such a wonderful time, instead of worrying it to death (like I’d normally do) I asked him “what had I done wrong?”.

That’s when he just looked at me and told me that he was tired from the work. Resistance play with a brat took a lot out of him and he needed to stop. He assured me that I’d done absolutely nothing wrong. We packed up, and tried to wend our way through another scene that had nearly taken over the entire dungeon. We said our goodbyes, had a few last minute conversations with people and made our way to the car. I was exhilarated and daddy was exhausted.

During the drive back to the hotel, I told him how badly I’d felt for letting the brat out in full force and causing him to work so hard. But I also wondered if he was feeling ok. Pretty much I said that it was a really short scene and that ten minutes shouldn’t have caused that much problem.

That’s when he just looked at me and said, “darling, it’s after one in the morning. We scened for a hell of lot longer than 10 minutes and you wore me out”.

I was horrified. But that’s when I realized that when letting my brat run so freely, and with Daddy allowing the brat to have freedom to play, I not only lost all sense of what was happening, but I’d also lost all sense of time. We were playing for a really long time, and I thought only 10 minutes or so had passed.

Time really does fly when you’re having fun. Even if the bottom doesn’t end up flying. :)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Just Ranting

I’m angry.

You see, I’ve decided to take a step onto the other side of the bdsm fence and try my hand at topping. I talked to Daddy about this, and he’s watching what happens. I’m sure he’s got some kind of bug in his brain. We’ll see.

What I’m angry about is that I’ve been contacted by thirty-six different men on Fetlife since beginning my profile about a month ago. Thirty-six men who share one thing in common. They don’t have the first clue in hell about how to talk to a woman. I've dealt with the horny net geeks on my submissive profile. I expect a certain amount of that. And I've also dealt with the wanna-be-domlies who decide that just because I'm a submissive, I must kneel and kiss their ass.

But it surprised me that there were SO many male subs that behaved the same way.

I have a simple request on my profile. And a simple command to follow. And to date, not one of those men have apparently even bothered to read the profile. I know this, because in all of their emails to me, without exception, all of them have talked solely about THEIR kink. These men, for whatever reason, couldn’t read one paragraph, and follow one simple instruction. I simply cannot entertain the thought of becoming friends with someone who thinks that their only value is in kink. And I certainly don’t want to top someone who is that stupid........ or one who thinks that I am.

I’ve been contacted by “masters” of the ripe age of 25 who are "just getting into this" and (as you might guess) want me to spank them. I’ve had messages from men telling me all they wanted was to come on my feet and watch me lick it off. I’ve had messages from men telling me that they’re married and not looking for anything permanent, that their wives don’t understand, that they need to worship my feet, that they would do anything I asked if only I’d give them what they needed...if only I'd feed their kink. If only. Telling me about their kink, their fantasies, and what they’d like for me to do to them.

And it occurs to me that the other thing that all of those men also have in common is that none have asked anything about me. I assume it’s because (as my twit-friend kahlanas says) they’d fuck anything with a vag and tits. I know that humiliation is a big kink, but selfhumiliation is unattractive. I can only assume that this kind of thing must work generally. Otherwise they wouldn't do it.

I wonder though. Do male doms get the same kinds of messages? Or is this strictly a side-effect of the horny net geek syndrome? I’d bet my poison-ivy subby badge that this behavior is almost 100% on the male side.

End Rant

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Brat Behavior in Rope

Ropeflowers, ropebunnies, ropesluts, dining room chairs. All names for bottoms who really enjoy being in rope. I enjoy being in rope, but I'm more of a ropebrat than a flower or bunny.

But on the plus side, it has made Daddy a better ropetop.

Daddy and I both enjoy playing with rope. But because we teach rope classes, we tend practice with rope a lot more often than play with it. I think it's one of those things that is termed a "busman's vacation". And because practice is FAR different than play, often I'm just taking the place of the dining room chair. I'm no more than a curvy dummy with tits while he's learning a new tie. I know he has to pay attention to what he's doing in order to learn the tie and figure out the best way to teach it, and he does want my input on the ties from the bottomside. So, because it is practice or teaching, I do usually behave myself and help him out, at least for a while....but sometimes...my brat can't help it.

Bratting in rope is more difficult to do, mostly because you're tied up. Once you learn some tricks, you're good to let your brat out. However, I'm not going to tell all the specific tricks that I have up my sleeve. Daddy's not onto all of them yet and I'm not ready to blow my future brat chances with this one. If you'd like to know them, attend one of our classes and ask me. I'll be happy to fill you in.

I would also like to mention here that while doing suspension bondage, it's definitely NOT a good idea to engage in ropebrat behavior. Suspension isn't for beginners or the untrained, and because it is one of the more dangerous forms of rope play, this is one time where it's not a good idea to "leave yourself an out". Ropework for suspension must be done properly and that means that as a bottom, your job is not to brat, but to pay attention. Ropes that are too loose during suspension are just as bad as ropes that are too tight.

To brat properly in rope, one of the first things you have to learn to do is to be able to switch your breathing back and forth between belly breathing and chest breathing. You need to do this in order to give yourself that extra little bit of room so that the ropes aren't as tight as your top thinks they are.

Bratting in rope helps if you've got small wrists, long fingers, or nails. And it's also good to know that rope, all rope, eventually loosens when wiggling (ok, so maybe wet hemp IS an exception). It's one of those things that is like the is like the Grand Canyon...time and erosion. Or in rope's case...time and separation and pressure. Given enough time and enough wiggling, there's no rope that can't be gotten out of. Mostly this is because rope that IS truly inescapable, is what I call "unsafe by definition" and usually involves rope around the neck and slipknots. This is a BAD idea.

So, eeling out of rope is a ropebrat behavior. I know that there's a LOT of ropebottoms who don't WANT to get out of rope, no matter if they could or not, but for those that might want to change things up a bit from time to time, here's a few scenarios detailing ropebrat behavior.

Daddy and I were practicing rope preparing for the second Bound in Boston. He'd spent a LOT of time on a tie, trying to figure out the best way to show others how to tie a particular tie. My hands were tied behind my back, and he thought it was a pretty good job. (It looked beautiful by the way) And because I was patient, helpful, and unbratty during the tying, after he'd gotten done, he thought it would be a great idea to break out the riding crop and reward me for being so patient.

Daddy has a LOT of rope and toys. And trying to find one lone black crop in the black toybag in a semi-dark room was a bit of a challenge. He thought he'd taken it out, but he couldn't find it with all of the rope and other toys around. I looked down and saw the crop, removed my hand from the tie, and bent down and grabbed the crop and handed it to him. And then put my hand back into the rope and acted as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened.

He, however, looked at me like I'd just farted in church. And with a grin on his face, he untied me, tied me again, this time so he thought I couldn't escape, and then bent me over to pay for my earlier transgression.

As soon as I was on the floor, bent over, with my ass in the air, ready to be cropped, he stopped and asked me if I could get out of the rope. Now I was faced with a difficult choice. Do I tell Daddy that I could? Show him I could? Or tell him what a fantabulous job he'd done and that I was stuck, but good?

What is brat to do when faced with such a choice? You see, he'd never told me that I wasn't supposed to get out of the rope....and I really would have liked the crop just then. Decisions...decisions. I have plenty of tricks to leave myself some wiggle room with rope in order to eel out of it. Now I had to decide if it would be better to tell him I could do it, show him I could, or pretend that he'd just put me in the best, mostly domly tie evah!

I looked up at Daddy, and with a twinkle in my eye, I said "what do you think"? (knowing when to twinkle and evade is also brat behavior, but for another time). And Daddy, knowing me pretty well, just rolled his eyes at me and said "show me". And then I proceeded to remove my hand from the tie, and scratch my nose. This, by the way, is when he instituted the "nothing for myself in his rope rule".

But eeling out of rope isn't the ONLY brat behavior that can be fun.

Recently, we'd been practicing some chest harnesses that he wants to teach at the upcoming Bound in Boston. Since chest harnesses don't involve ties on wrists generally, my hands were left free. We'd practiced several times and I was becoming bored. He also wouldn't let me turn on the TV. It's difficult for me sometimes to stand, be in rope, and not get turned on or drop into my happy place. But while he's practicing, he needs for me to talk to him about the tie, how things feel, and even to remember how he's done something so that he can ask me later "now how did we do that?"

Since my hands were free, and I was nearing the end of my rope (so to speak), I thought it would be fun to see if I could distract him. I started by caressing his face, turning in the opposite direction, stepping on the tails, pushing my tits into his chest, and generally wiggling and making a nuisance of myself. While I was doing this, I'd also started unbuttoning his shirt. Sometimes I unbutton his pants. I started whispering things in his ear, and fondling his ass. I've already talked about the "necknuzzling" for an itchy nose in another post. But there is also the "I need to tell you something" and "may I please have a kiss" that also works to get your top within nose scratching distance.

Generally, the brat that comes out during this kind of ropeplay is one that knows that he's almost finished with his "work" and tries to get him to either come out of his own rope headspace and notice me and start to play, or to firmly "put me in my place". I'm looking for attention, sure. I'll be the first to admit that rope and I are friends....but I want the attention from Daddy with the rope. The rope alone is meaningless.

I can stop myself from dropping into ropespace. I have small hands and wrists, and I am a switch breather. I've also learned to tie the knots for the purpose of "knowing your enemy" kind of thing. If you know how things are tied, you're not only able to help your top with practice, but you're also better able to eel out of the rope. Bratting in rope isn't something I do every time I'm in rope. But it does tend to remind Daddy that I like to PLAY in rope and that his rope means more to me than just practice. Sometimes being a brat in rope is meant solely to remind your top that they're tying a person...and not the dining room chair.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Rules are Rules, Or ARE They?

I don't want you to think that Brat behavior happens when you break rules. And because I do not want to end up on the cover of the Dom's Most Hated magazine, I'll tell you that I in no way condone breaking ANY rule. In fact, outright disobedience is not brat behavior. It's rude and not likely to win you any subbypoints with your chosen victim...er dominant. Bending rules, however, can lead to some interesting activities.

Brat play relies heavily on rules. Without rules, it's really hard to find something to "push against" while bratting. Some rules are simple, some complex. It's a toss up which kind of rule is easier to bend. But the deal is, your top makes the rules, and then your job as a brat is to decide what to do with it. Anything other than obeying the letter or spirit of the rule is called bending. And this is definitely brat behavior. How else are you gonna know if the rule is the rule....or if it's more in the way of a suggestion?

For every rule, there's a choice you have to make:

a) know when to obey it
b) know when to enforce it
c) know when to bend it
d) know when to break it

Most of the time, I choose to obey them. I truly do want to make Daddy's life easier. OK, so truth be told, following his rules also makes my life easier. Some rules I don't try to bend because they're for my protection or to help me. And some rules I wouldn't dream of bending because to do so, means that his trust in me would be lessened. OK, so there IS one immutable rule that I DO dream of bending from time to time...but I haven't got the balls to do it. Daddy's belly button rule. I'll write a specific post about that one some day. But in the meantime, just know that the Belly Button Rule is one that I'll never break.....probably.....I'm pretty sure. ANYWAY......

Daddy and I don't have what is typically thought of as a "high protocol" relationship. As he's said so many times, "the more rules you make, the more you have to remember". And taking advantage of a temporary loss of memory, sometimes creates interesting choices for brats.

One of my rules is that I am not allowed to wear pantyhose around Daddy. If I do want to wear them, I can ask...but I'm more often surprised when he says yes, rather than when he says no. I do get a pass for tights and leggings in the winter or when teaching a class, but generally, pantyhose are a definite no-no.

I know the rule. But I thought it might be fun to see what would happen if I wore some to a bondage club meeting one night. He'd had some fun another time when cutting off my underwear with his rope cutter and I'd thought it was very hot. Not so much the cutting off part, but the fact that he's started a collection which is kept in his dresser drawer. I'd wondered if he'd cut the pantyhose off given the opportunity, or if he'd made up a rule just because that's what doms are supposed to do. Even knowing they were expensive, even knowing that I really loved them, and even knowing that my friends would shed real tears should they be destroyed. I wanted to see if Daddy was going to enforce his rule. I did ask him if I could wear them before I wore them, but you know.....it's damned hard to get an actual answer when your phone is off.

This is called testing and brats should do this with the greatest care, and bearing in mind that in all likelihood, the rule you're testing will be enforced.

When I arrived, I was met by several friends who fell in love with the pantyhose. They weren't ordinary run-of-the-mill ones, but were actually quite lovely, with embroidered designs up the legs, sequins and were actually kind of expensive as pantyhose go. I told my friends that if they wanted them, they'd have to convince Daddy to have me remove them before he cut them off me. Most of them didn't really believe me when I said that it was very likely they'd be cut off me before the night was over. They couldn't believe Daddy would do such a horrible thing to such a lovely pair of pantyhose. It always makes me giggle when they forget Daddy is a "big meanie" in addition to being Mr. Nice Guy. As if sadists aren't supposed to be adorable, cuddly and nice.

And sure enough, later in the evening, Daddy asked me about my rule for pantyhose. I could have told him that I considered bondage club a "class" and therefore had a pass. But instead, I chose to remind him exactly what his rule was. Out came his cutter, and off came the pantyhose. All the while I was watching his face relax into glee while cutting off the offending hose. Plus, he got to make sure his cutter still worked. I was really providing a service dontchaknow. And those around us got to see that [insert domly voice] Daddy Meant Business!

Afterwards, he wondered if he'd perhaps gone too far with enforcing that particular rule. Especially in the light of the cost of the hose, and that it really was a class we were attending. I assured him that I expected it and that if I had truly been worried about it, I wouldn't have worn them, or I would have asked to talk to him about my concerns first. Secretly, I was thrilled that he'd enforced the rule. It let me know that it was a rule that meant something to him and not just one made up for the hell of it. I tested a rule, made a choice about the applicability, and suffered the consequences of that choice. AND, it was indeed, very hot. I could have taken that rule, obeyed they spirit of it, not worn the pantyhose and missed out on that wonderful face he'd had while doing it.

However, bending rules can also be subtle. And bending them for no other reason than having an itchy nose.

Daddy has a rule that when I'm in his rope, I'm not supposed to do anything for myself without asking except breathe and blink. And when your rope of choice is a natural fiber like jute, those damned little pieces can create havoc with your nose.

So what's a brat to do when she's got an itchy nose, and knows that telling Daddy would only result in the devilish bastard not scratching it for me and saying the words that make me want to cry? "Sucks to be you" comes to mind at this moment. Not being allowed to scratch my own nose, and knowing he thinks it's sadistic to make me suffer brings my brat out in full force.

I do what any brat would do faced with the same situation. I bend the "nothing for yourself" rule by waiting till Daddy comes really close and then nuzzle my nose in his neck. OK, so I've kind of broken the rule..but he get some damned serious necknuzzling. Of course I can tell you about this, because he's onto me with this one. Perhaps pretending to faint would be a better way to go?

The point about rules is that breaking them outright seldom works out for a brat. Rules are rules and playing by the rules, knowing what is expected, and enforcing rules is the basis for any relationship. However, bending the rules to suit a particular circumstance, to make a top laugh, or to give you both something that you each want anyway, is a wonderful way to begin stretching your brat wings. Just remember though, breaking a rule because you think it's stupid isn't a good idea. Review the rules, make your choice.....or live with an itchy nose.

Loopholes

One of the key things that makes brat behavior acceptable to tops is compatibility of goals and style. You wouldn't want to try brat behavior with a dom who insisted on rigid protocol, had hundreds of immutable rules for behavior and lacked a sense of humor. And there are doms like that out there. They're great doms for subs who want that sort of dynamic. They're poor choices for subs who can't seem to keep the laughter from escaping.

Compatibility of goals and style means that for certain kinds of play, brat behavior is more, or less, desired by the top. Roleplay and predicament play are two kinds of activities where being a brat can mean the difference between a wonderful scene, and one where you sort of get stuck in the middle and it fizzles. If you've ever played the "naughty" anything, you've engaged in some sort of brat behavior.

Brat play runs the gamut from exploiting loopholes, escape artists, letter of the law, sudden impulses, resistance play, and turning tables.

My personal specialty is loopholes.

Finding and exploiting loopholes is just another way of creatively solving a problem. The problem that is usually the easiest to exploit is that a top hasn't been specific enough. Telling a submissive to stand in a particular spot, leaves a lot of wiggle room for interpretation. A brat can and will exploit that loophole to bring something else to the table.

A loopholer will listen carefully to instruction and then put their brain into overdrive to find a way to conform to the command, while at the same time not exactly doing what the top may expect. Brats do this to see if their top is paying attention, because of boredom, or in my case, because I like to just see Daddy laugh.

Loopholers play by the tops' rules...always. We do exactly as we're told. It's not our fault that we're not told everything is it?

Loopholes are found by simply listening to your top and doing exactly as they tell you.....and then some. Unfortunately, I've never yet found a way to exploit the same loophole twice. Daddy IS a smart cookie too.....and he learns rather quickly.

A classic example of loopholing is here.

But not all loopholes are created equally. Sometimes, the loopholes are created by the top in order to lead you down a path that has no good outcome for a brat. Well, "good outcome" meaning that the brat is going to lose.

An example of a loophole gone toppy is when playing the Choices game. If you've never played that one, let me tell you that THERE IS NO WAY TO POSSIBLY WIN, but also, there's no way we can avoid trying to win anyway. I think that one's genetic to bratty bottoms. We're compelled somehow to try to win, and even knowing the inevitability of defeat, we're gonna be damned. It's one of those games that makes my brain melt, and my panic buttons go into overdrive. Trying to figure out just what a top means, trying to anticipate what they're going to do, and having no way in hell you're ever going to figure it out.

Tickling is another loophole filled activity that drives me insane. I hate to be tickled, but not enough to put it on my DO NOT TRY THIS list. Besides, I like to laugh and I really like Daddy's laugh. A fun torture Daddy thought up was to give me a choice: I could laugh or I could move. Finding a loophole while he's doing that is tough. Usually I'll choose moving over laughing and bite the inside of my lips in order to gain the advantage. Or so I think.

You see, what's not really fair in the loophole game is that the top can remove the loophole you've found after you've found it. So when he says, "you can laugh or move" and I start wiggling off the bed, he then says "now don't move your ass from that spot". Usually, I'll try to push him, block his attacks, and flail my arms in a vain attempt to try to protect my stomach. In which case, then he'll say "now put your hands above your head". The loophole with that one is that the pillows are usually above my head, and he didn't actually SAY to leave my hands there. I'll generally grab a pillow and try to wedge it around my stomach in order to stop the tickling. You get the idea. For everything he SAYS for me to do, my job as a brat is to find a way to do it, while trying to stop the torture he's inflicting on me. Listening to the tops' command, figuring out where the wiggle room is, and then exploiting it is brat behavior.

This usually results in a scene where the bed is a mess, I'm laughing so hard that I can't breathe, and Daddy is laughing because he's taken every possible loophole away from me until he's won and I'm a pile of girl goo lying on the bed and happy in my defeat. Nothing fair and square about it..but it sure is a HELL of a time for both of us.

The thing to remember about loopholes is that while they're plugging away at closing the loopholes, and you're struggling to find just one more....a brat realizes that at the end they're always going to be beat. Pun definitely intended here. And a beautiful brat is gracious in their defeat and always rewards their top for winning.

I'll just bet you know how I reward my Daddy.

On SAMS, BTHOM, TFTB, and TFTM

Earlier, I talked about what makes a brat a brat, and what makes a bottom not a brat, but just a really badly behaved bottom. Now, to understand the shades of difference, the subject I’m exploring in this post is SAMs, TFTB, and TFTM.

SAMS/BTHOM

SAMs, aka Smart Ass Masochists, Sammies, and those I like to call “the beat the hell out of me and who cares what you want” bottoms. (BTHOM) may, or may not, be brats. I personally tend to use these terms interchangeably, but others use SAM to describe bratting. Whatever term you use, please be aware that being a Sammie or a Brat is NOT the same as being a BTHOM.

The "beat the hell out of me" bottoms are attention seeking bottoms, but this isn't the kind of behavior I typically mean when I use the term Brat. I tend to think of those bottoms as masochistic tops.... or smart ass masochists. They’re generally self-serving and have their own agendas. They don’t want a power exchange, but instead want to be in strict control of their own pleasure. However, there are some people who find the word "brat" to be offensive and instead prefer the term "SAM". If that describes you, then please, by all means, substitute whatever term your comfortable using. In this post, the term Beat the Hell out of Me Bottom is being used to describe undesired Brat behavior, not as an offense to those who prefer one term over another. I haven't any wish to get into a debate over which term is correct. I am strictly using SAM/BTHOM as MY descriptor of those bottoms who are pushy, rude, uncompromising bottoms. So tops, take note: if your brat is calling him/herself a SAM, you might want to take a step back and see if they're engaging in what I call Brat behaviors and are just using a different word to describe it.

Since brats usually are also attention-seekers, how does being a BTHOM bottom differ from being a Brat?

BTHOM's challenge doms by doing things to purposefully cause the top to engage in punishment for the bottoms benefit and not to share in the energy or power exchange that happens in a submissive/dominant relationship. BTHOM's get off on the pain, the punishment, the physical sensation and the humiliation they try to make their tops feel. They tend to annoy doms, push them, and goad them into punishment for their own benefit. They are masochists, not submissives, and they bottom to get their masochism fed. They may be smart assed, but their behavior is designed purposefully to get a negative reaction from their top.

Brats usually feel that a punishment is the very last thing they’d want...even if they are also masochists. Punishment isn’t the goal of a brat. The goal is to make the top want to funishment you. Spankings as punishment, I’m sure we can all agree, differ in tone and emotion from those given as a funishment.

BTHOM's want to be punished and they rarely care about the collateral damage to the scene. They will do anything in order to push the buttons of their tops and seem to lack the ability to do that give and take that a brat does naturally.

In more simplistic terms, a brat wants a smile from their top, a BTHOM wants their top to make them smile.

Brats don’t mind being controlled. They know that they’re probably going to lose any control battle that they enter into with their top. Brats just want the appearance and chance in a million to gain the upper hand...but they don’t truly want it or expect it. Tops know that with their brats, there’s always that one thing, that one word, one look, that can switch the brattykins off.

But a BTHOM wants to control their top. They direct the action and the seek the attention in the form of physical sensation. And directing the action, brings me to Topping from the Bottom.

Topping from the Bottom isn’t Brat Behavior

Brats do not Top from the Bottom (TFTB). No really, we don’t. The very LAST thing that bratty submissive bottoms want to do is top their dom. Unfortunately, with doms that aren’t expecting or used to brats, it looks a lot like TFTB. Until they see the difference.

This can be best shown by the following example:

You’ve got your bottom tied to a Saint Andrew’s cross, their naked backside is just waiting for you to begin your singletail session. They’re anticipating the sting of the whip and getting prepared to feel the heat and tingling that happens when contact is made. You take aim and let the whip fly...anticipating a nice welt on your bottom’s back, maybe an ouchy sound...or a wiggle or yelp from your bottom. But you’ve miscalculated the distance and the first strike barely makes contact with your bottom’s...uhm bottom. The Brat will smile....peek over her shoulder...and say “You could get a better aim if I could move a little closer, want me to”? And if they were really top-notch brats, they’d do it while wiggling out of the ties at the same time.

A bottom engaging in TFTB would turn to the top and say “hey...I said to do it harder and only on my shoulders, what do you mean by hitting me on the ass...don’t you know what the fuck you’re doing?”

Being sassy and teasing, flirting, laughing and making jokes about things is brat behavior. To tell a top how they’re doing it wrong is TFTB. Unless they really are doing it wrong, in which case TFTB shouldn’t be used, but a safeword should.

When Daddy asks me “so did princess get enough spankings”, and I respond with “I don’t think so...I can still sit”...I’m bratting, not TFTB.


How much of a brat someone can be before TFTB happens is really up to the top. It is up to the top to establish the limits of what a brat is allowed for leeway, and it is up to the top to stop things from degenerating into a power control struggle with the bottom. The top must decide how much to allow before putting a stop to it and giving the brat either what she is asking for or what she actually deserves.

And even though Daddy really loves what he calls compliance play, I really think that if Daddy wanted someone who just did everything he told her to without a smile and well-chosen tease or flirt or just agreed or went along with what he said all the time he'd be bored. I think he needs a brat sometimes to keep him engaged and his brain working with coming up with delicious tortures for me. Bratting is him playing with me and me playing back with him. Exchanging laughter and with it, the energy that comes from having a marvelous time.

But even despite the best of intentions, sometimes bottoms know more than their tops. So this is one of the times where Topping from the Middle comes into play.

Topping from the Middle

Topping from the Middle is a phrase that Daddy first used with me a few months ago. I can sometimes be in such a non-submissive headspace, that it takes me a while to figure out how to put my alpha self away and be his submissive. During the time where I’m not “quite submissive” and yet never truly dominant with Daddy, I end up Topping from the Middle.

This is another form of brat behavior that happens when “you know something that he doesn’t”. Whether it’s that the form of play isn’t working out, or whether some problem is happening that your top isn’t aware of.

Topping from the middle differs in tone from TFTB in that it's not exactly "telling your top" how to do something, but that "there’s a problem you're experiencing" with what he/she is doing and you'd like to make them aware of it. Topping from the Middle is also very useful when you've done something your top hasn't done before and needs ongoing feedback, or when it's a newer top and you're the more experienced one.

For example, when Daddy and I started playing with whips, I noticed that he'd seem to always end up striking the same three inches on one part of my shoulder. I halted a scene and explained what I was feeling. He thought about it for a second but couldn’t figure out what was going wrong. Was I too short? Was he not standing in the proper position? Was his depth perception off? The only way to find out was to do something drastic. He put baby powder all over my back and the "scene" turned into an exploration of what was going wrong. Did I top from the bottom? No, I topped from the middle. He's a caring top that puts a high price on my wisdom and experience and knew that I wouldn't have said something had it not been preventing me from enjoying his work. And we figured out the problem together.

To me, TFTM is brat behavior at it’s finest. Brats can help their tops by using well-chosen remarks, odd ideas, and silliness to fix problems on the fly. In the same example above, had I chosen instead to whine, suck it up, or even to safeword, we’d never have figured out the problem and I’d have probably ended up really hating whips or being a little distrustful of Daddy with them. Being able to turn and say....hey “I have another shoulder on the other side you know, Daddy” made him aware of a problem, bratted him enough to know that he was doing something that wasn’t working, without making him feel like shit.

Conclusion:

I do care about pleasing my top, in the sense that I want him to have as much fun as I do. The bratty part shows up as enjoying the chance to be playfully mischievous, in a way that both makes him smile and makes him want to spank me more. Brattiness can also be a flirty kind of teasing. But it never is a teasing designed to make your top feel like anything less than being firmly in control. Daddy wants me to have fun...even when he's being Mr. Mean Sadistic Bastard. Brats give back more than they take...even if giving back gets them into a load of trouble sometimes.

Brats can employ many tools to make things work for both people. The best one is the ability to laugh.



Next Up: Specific Types of Brat Behavior: Are all Loopholes Created the Same?

On Being a Beautiful Brat

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.


Brat Basics

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:

Alpha personalities
Confident
Intelligent
Easily bored
Creative
They have a real need to Laugh
Affectionate
Attention Seekers
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
Gain attention
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
Tension relief
Insecurity
Shyness
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.

Whining
Edging the Bull by the Horns (more on this later)
Manipulative
Spoiled
Bitchy
Rude
Passive Aggressive
Belligerent
Tantrum throwing
Insulting
Ill-mannered
Quarrelsome


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

Monday, March 8, 2010

Evidence


Photographs.

It was a lovely weekend. The weather was perfect and being outside was a wonderful way to get over some of the winter blahs I've been having. Daddy and I decided to take a walk in a local park and enjoy the day.

Of course, I brought my camera.

I don't mind having my picture taken. I don't even really mind my picture taken in a kink setting, but I defer to Daddy's need for a little circumspection about that and only take pictures of him and of us together in strictly vanilla settings. I would absolutely love to have some pictures of us taken while playing with rope, because as a participant, I can't "see" what is happening. I'd love to have a photo of his face as it changes into that adorably evil sadistic bastard...but I'll have to make do with his smiling face during an outing with those that love him.

I never look good in pictures, but after struggling to find photographs of myself over the years, I realized that I had very few of me. And even fewer of those people I love. I want to remember happy times, fun times, and silly times and one of the surest ways to do it (I think) is with photographs. And with my other hobby, photographs are kind of necessary to do it. I also think that I'm too critical of how I look physically in pictures. But then I think that in 100 years, everyone will think I look ridiculous anyway. I've seen pictures of my parents from the 70's and although they haven't changed very much, I still giggle with the long hair and weird clothing.

After I'd uploaded the pictures from the weekend onto the computer (and posted them for the world to see just how wonderful he is) he mentioned that he really didn't like to have his picture taken. But he also said he couldn't stop me. I, of course, now think that I should probably find another hobby.

But having photographs of Daddy is important to me. I look at the pictures I've taken so far (and there have really been damned few of them) and what I see evidence. Evidence of a life that Daddy and I are making with each other, evidence of the time where our love story starts, and evidence of happy and fun times that everyone needs as insurance for those times when things get difficult. I want that evidence. I want to be sitting around at some point in the future with my granddaughter and saying "see, this is when I was most happy", "this is when my life finally felt like it fit me", and most of all "this is when I loved someone so much, it hurt to not have a photograph of him with me".

The photos I take of Daddy maybe aren't the best. And I'm sure he really does think that he looks something less than perfect in them. But what I see in those photographs is the man I love. The man that I've found happiness with, and the kind of man that I want my granddaughter to know that even if it takes a really long time, is the one she should wait for.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Deja Vu

I’ve experienced this feeling many times in my life. Feelings that I’ve been somewhere before, knew where something was, or knew how things would end up....even while being damned sure that I’d neither actually been there or done that.

The problem with deja vu is that you never expect it. It just happens. You can be going along your merry way, planning a vacation, a trip, a move....and that sense that something might just come along and bite you in the ass again happens.

Those close to me know about my friend Jon. I’ve told them about how we met, and about why we had to say goodbye. But what I don’t talk to anyone about is those last few months that we were together. How hard it was to watch him hurting, trying to hold back his tears, his anger and his frustration.... and how awful it was being unable to do anything to make him smile. How difficult it was to watch him struggle to hold a pencil or a paintbrush, and the sick feeling in my stomach I’d get when Gerry would call me and tell me that Jon wasn’t feeling well enough today “to entertain”. That was Gerry’s code for Jon was in a lot of pain and didn’t want me to see him like that. I hurt for him when he couldn’t cut food, hold a fork, tie his shoes, or brush his teeth by himself. I tried to understand, accept, and be graceful about things, but it always irked me a little that Gerry was there for Jon while I couldn’t be. I was with them both enough to see the changes happening in Jon. And I was there enough that I began to feel useless in my inability to take the pain away from him. I was angry at Jon for getting sick. And then I was angry with myself for thinking that way. To those that have ever watched a loved one deteriorate to the point where they are no longer comfortable around you because of their pride, and push you away in their embarrassment, you’ll understand.

I think this is where I probably developed my aversion for causing pain to anyone....and my subsequent affinity for becoming a magnet for those that need help dealing with pain. I felt as if my very presence reminded Jon of what he couldn’t do anymore and that simply being around him hurt him. And because I couldn’t help him, I reached out to others who were in pain and tried to help them instead. I re-focused what I couldn’t do for Jon into something that I could do for others.

I rarely show the pain that I sometimes still feel when I think about those last days together. I hold onto that one for myself. I thought it made me stronger. Keeping the pain inside me like a shield against feeling anything of the sort again. And it worked for a while.

Until I met Daddy. And until today. When I had that sense of deja vu. It's nothing of the same sort of course. But it did give me a rather odd twinge when Daddy made nearly the same joke that Jon did when he first told Gerry and I about his diagnosis. And I’m really trying to remember that even when you feel a sense of deja vu, there’s still always a point where you still have no idea what comes next. And whatever it is, this time I know that I'm not going anywhere.

D/s Does Not Mean We Are Not Equals

A friend of mine wrote the following:

You may be of a dominant nature, and I of a submissive nature, but as beings we will always be equal. D/s is a balance between the two, a give and take with agreement respect and trust...and trust takes time to cultivate between two.

And of course, it got me thinking about equality, D/s and the balance that I've sought for (and try to maintain) throughout my own life.

I've started exploring my topside, with Daddy's consent, guidance, and experience to help me. At times, it's comical. But I have a few friends that are willing to be my practice bottoms (read guinea pigs) and their help has been invaluable to me. I've also got a couple of really wonderful tops that are willing to let me bounce things off them (figuratively, of course).

I'm trying to explore something very outside of my comfort zone in order to better understand myself. It's interesting how I can't seem to wrap my head around having someone strive to please me. It's given me a new outlook on how how hard it must be for a dominant. I have figured out that I'm definitely not a dominant when it comes to bdsm. I can dominate someone for short period of time, but after a while it becomes tedious. I don't really receive any kind of "spark" from topping, and it certainly doesn't make MY dick hard, but I am getting better at understanding that I do get a real enjoyment out of watching someone's face and feeling their emotions. I get off on the happiness factor. Still doesn't make my dick hard, but it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling so I guess it's still a win.

But as I got to starting a Fetlife profile for my topside persona, I thought about what I was looking for in a bottom. As a woman, who wants to top, I can afford to be VERY choosy. I had barely populated a basic profile when I started getting messages from submissives. I had several during the first day alone. And that was without a picture of myself or anything in the way of a biography.

After I got done giggling with Daddy over this (and after he got over his pique that HE never receives notes from submissives) I asked him "what do I do now"? "How do I weed out the horny net geeks from those that truly want a domme"? He said to me: "don't let them worship you immediately......ask them to tell you about themselves and describe themselves in terms other than kink".

So that's what I did. I sent each of those men a short note, asked them to please call me by name and not "goddess or mistress". And I asked them a simple question "tell me about yourself without mentioning kink in any way".

And to date, not one of the twenty-seven has responded with anything except a litany of the following:

a) I enjoy xyz as a fetish. I would definitely love to try xyz with you.
b) I want to worship your feet.
c) I would make an excellent slave.
d) I am not looking for anything permanent because I'm married.
e) My limits are xyz.
f) I have no limits.

Well, you get the idea. Not one of these men could understand that I didn't want a book bottom. I want a bottom who has read something other than kink books. I want someone who values their own life, feels that they're important to themselves, has confidence and intelligence. I want a PERSON. I wanted someone equal....someone who didn't need to submit to me, but chose to do it because I'd earned the right through my own actions to be given it. I wanted these submissive men to understand that I wasn't looking for a puppet or a toy, but a person who thought himself at least my equal. I wanted to find someone who had something new for me to discover, some hobby that they wanted to share, some passion that they wanted someone to enjoy with them. I wanted someone that I could learn from....

Which brought me to where I am now. Of course, at the most basic level, Daddy and I are equals. We're both human. In theory, as humans, we're equals. I won't get into the political, socioeconomic, religious or other reasons why in practice it's probably not. But we do start out on exactly the same footing. We both feel, think, act, react, and search for those to keep us company on our journey. I can't imagine myself believing that I was expected to subrogate myself in order to submit to anyone. This is really one time that it is a take it or leave it kind of thing. I can amend behavior, learn protocols, follow rules, but I cannot change my personality. Popeye had this right.

To start off any D/s relationship from a position of weakness doesn't work. For one thing, it's seldom a good idea to take an inherently weak position in anything. To consciously start negotiation from a position anything less than equals, leaves open the opportunity to be taken advantage of or influenced. Strength of character, an inner compass, and intelligence are important traits for a submissive. Submissives are not expected to acquiesce in everything. Negotiation is a give and take and to agree because "that's what a sub does" isn't expected. Yes, choosing the battles is important, and you do learn that over time, but a submissive is not expected to be anything except who he/she is.

But once the power exchange starts happening, does that mean that I'm no longer an equal? Do dominants really want submissives to BE in an unequal role? I'm not talking about the balancing that goes on within a PE relationship, or from that which happens naturally during punishment/play. I'm talking about that which comes from owning someone who feels, acts and expects that they must be somehow lesser. I certainly don't. And I wonder about why those men who contacted me on Fet thought they could get away with NOT having a personality.

I never feel lesser with Daddy. What I really feel is that I can be better, do better, and feel everything I've ever wanted to experience with him. With him, I can believe that what he sees in me is really there. But what he sees in me is not a lesser person. I think what he sees is the person who is an equal, but chooses to submit to him. I can submit to him because I started from a position of equality, learned that I had a real desire to submit to him, and made the choice to do so. I wondered why those men who contacted me couldn't understand that I wanted more than just a litany of kinks.

We've all used that old saw "submissive does not equal doormat" and lately I've heard the phrases "power bottoming" and "dominant submissive" being bandied around. And I am a self-avowed bratty bottom. But in looking at those phrases and thinking about them, I wondered if those words are just used by submissives who are trying to balance the very real feeling of equality that they get from being with their dominants? Are those phrases just ways to explain that submissives expect to retain the equality of a human relationship with their partner, while at the same time giving up the control of that equality to their dominant? I also wondered why those men that contacted me seemed more like a doormat and less like people. If you don't want to BE a doormat, don't ACT like one.

And then I guess the things I've learned are that if you do give up control of your equality, shouldn't you make sure that you do it with someone that still believes that you are an equal? And if you're looking to submit to anyone, shouldn't you really have something more to offer than just kink? And that if and when I do choose to top someone, I expect that person to be able to offer me more than just their back for flogging. I want all the dimensions and colors that I try to give daddy. To have anything else just isn't my personality.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I'm not Sorry I'm not Queer Enough

I suppose one of the best things about having friends of all ages is that when a subject comes up, I can get varying opinions on the topic. Sir and I were at a party the other night and the subject of being “queer” came up. Since we were the oldest people at the party, I listened with some interest in the good-natured discussion that followed.

Ask a 50-something what they consider “queer” and I’m guessing that for the most part, it’s far different than what a 20-something considers it to be. Hell, ask any five people in a room and you’ll get very different definitions, age notwithstanding. But recently, I’ve watched my younger friends debate the meaning of this word. They've also begun to exclude people from considering themselves queer based on their own perception of what is “queer enough”. And I find that sort of thing generally making a mountain out of a rather idiotic mole-hill.

Words mean only what each of has as a reference point in his/her own life. I can say “table” and the picture in my own mind will likely be vastly different from the one that pops into your head. Is one table better than the other? Or are they just different in our own minds? We can accept that your table and my table are both tables, without having to expound on the differences. Not having a particular quality in common doesn’t make my table any less of one either. We would do far better to remember that a table is still a table no matter what it “looks” like. The problems begin when you insist that my table is only a footstool. And being a footstool, hardly deserving of the title "table" at all.

Words like love certainly mean different things to different people. And even those who use the word “love” mean it differently for each person in their lives. My love for my grandmother is far different from that I feel for my granddaughter or even my Sir. What I consider the qualities that I need in order to experience the feeling of love are probably not the same as any other person's.

And then there’s words like pansexual, heteroflexible, heteronormative, queer, bi, poly, mono, genderfluid, top, bottom and probably hundreds more that I don’t have the time or inclination to research or try to figure out the shades of differences. Because to me, it really doesn’t matter if anyone I know is any of those things. I don’t consider a friend’s value in my life based on whatever label they decide upon. And I certainly don’t get to decide for them. My friends could tell me that they consider themselves to be an alien from planet X who only eats leaf shoots and mates with imaginary gnomes and all I’d probably ask is “what kind of leaves would you like for dinner tonight” and "how tall is your date?

Have I ever been attracted to a woman? Well, this is one time that I’ll invoke the Bill Clinton school of semantics. Define attraction. And then define woman. My idea of a woman might not be the same as yours, and certainly my idea of attraction to, or having a relationship with anyone, is unlikely to match what you’d consider as a relationship. So, do I ask you to define both terms before I can answer you? Or do I answer based upon my definition? And should you find out that my ideas weren't the same as yours, does that mean I've deceived you?

And now, because my relationship with Sir is a monogamous heterosexual one does that preclude me from also being “queer” if I consider myself to be?

And that is the problem with trying to define each other. Or by assigning words to a particular outlook. I use my own measure to describe myself. I take exception to those that try to define me based upon their own meanings attached to particular words. And that I think, is how it should be.

I’ll leave this rest of this debate to others though. I'm certainly not qualified to get into a pissing contest about gender/orientation/definition or....pigeonholing and intolerance.

As has been made patently clear to me, I’m not queer ‘enough” to have an opinion.