Tuesday, December 11, 2012
"Brat: Please explain. I'm not 100% what the definition is:" by Margaret Davis I saw this post on Fetlife and I decided to answer it. Brat: a chlld; specifically: an ill-mannered annoying child b: an ill-mannered immature person I am no stranger to giving explanations of and dealing with BRATS. In the early 90's the term used was SAM, Smart Ass Masochist. The term seemed a little harsh for my newly emerging old-fashioned spanking group so I used the term BRAT to define the behavior I ran into when people simply wanted to be spanked as opposed to the long BDSM list of dungeon tortures. I didn't see the bottoms in my group as masochists as much as just mischievous adults who were temporarily being naughty in order to earn a punishment (or attention). In real life spankos are horribly independent, free spirits. Very few could live the 24/7 masochistic life style. What I describe in this post is based on some kind of ongoing conversations/emails about limits and consent. Bratting in the spanking community means, "Show me you care by making me mind". You may ask, "Mind what?" The answer is behavior that the top and bottom have agreed upon that the bottom does not mind being corrected for and the top believes they can/should manage. Bratting sometimes involves a certain amount of arguing/resistance from the bottom, which is why 'no no no' can't be a safe word. A brat often says no when they mean yes. A brat is not likely to 'get into position' willingly but usually enjoys a certain amount of force used. A brat would probably not say, "please, sir, may I have another". A brat loves to tease. They love to see what they can get away with before a Top is provoked into reacting, which to some Doms (BDSM title) is unacceptable. In the BDSM world a Dom wants more control of everything including when s/he will do a scene. Being a Top (more of a spanking community term) means you are a little more flexible with all the activities in the room, similarly like parents and teachers have to be. A novice brat will test the water and see if you mean business. You may tell them to keep quiet or put something down and of course they will continue to see if you are serious. Like a responsible disciplinarian you get up, take them to a private spot, keep things serious, put them in position and give them a good paddling. If they find this amusing there are different choices to get the smile off their face. This kind of scene may be totally serious or done playfully. It sort of depends on the setting and individual choices. The great news about bratting is that the bottom is clearly signaling to a top that s/he is open for some kind of exchange or scene. The exchange may be only verbal but the bottom has consented to something. For it to turn into anything physical, like a spanking, the top must choose their words carefully. Somewhere in the bottom's response there has to be consent. (Maybe the consent was given much earlier in an email) There is one great top I know who extends his elbow to a female bottom (as if he is escorting her at a wedding) and he says, "Do you think we should go take care of your behavior problem?" or "Let's go take care of this." She takes his elbow and knows where she's going. She consented. As part of the scene a Top could always have a bottom to do lines and in the line create words that gives the Top permission to administer whatever punishment the Top feels is necessary. With a little pre planning from the Top all things done can be put into the context of the scene but that's another article. If a top has done a good job administering that first act of discipline, from there on all a Top needs to do is 'give them the look' from across the room and the bottom will behave. (Ha... only in a perfect world). When 'the look' stops working it is a Top's duty to remind them of how a discipline spanking feels. Etc. It's the same 'game' children do with their parents only with adults one has to be aware that not all adults imagine bratting as having them fantasize about being a child. Some play relationships have contracts that work on real life issues; such as, paying bills, losing weight, being on time, getting rest, etc. A top who takes that on is really assuming the responsibilities not unlike raising a child and it's a lot of work. A top has to keep good records to be consistent. Not all Tops want to do all that work. The biggest problem with brats is "over bratting'... that's so annoying. If you're a Top and can't stand the over-bratting (and every Top has a different limit) never give into it. Never reward a brat with a spanking if they are getting on your nerves. Bottoms who brat too much should just hear a safe word from Tops and that should be it. Over- bratting from one person can suck all the energy out of room and certainly discourage other bottoms from getting their fair share of scenes with Tops. Greedy players (Tops and bottoms) have to be nicely reminded that there are other players in the room who also have needs and also may not have many opportunities to play. I have a few tips on bratting. If you brat to the whole room you are signaling the whole room is welcome to handle you. It's best to brat to a specific person or group of tops you are consenting to engage. Brats are often attention seekers in need of a constant spotlight. Look around and share. If you are good at creating play energy be sure to include others who might benefit from your help. "Brat" is a child-like word but it doesn't mean you have to act like a child. Lots of players love mischief but not all players like baby-talk and family names; such as, daddy, mommy, auntie, etc. Look around and see where you are. You might be at a party where certain words should be said softly. Batting is not fun for a Top if it borders on showing disrespect or making fun of another grown adult who is trying to show you a good scene time. Things that come in that category are nasty pranks or disrespectful remarks. You don't want a Top to step back and get angry with you. If you are a Top dealing with a brat hat does not mean you are a doormat. At some point a brat has to show they've 'learned their lesson'. Constant defiance is not amusing. Running away from a consequence earned from batting is not a good idea either. Trying to goad a Top into physically chasing you is usually not safe. Someone will get hurt or something gets broken. In your head you might be a child but the reality is you're not. Every Top likes to feel that they gave a bottom the time of their life. They want to believe they did their best and the bottom enjoyed it. Both players are responsible for helpful feedback and good manners.