Sunday, May 30, 2010

Bratting - Where is the line?

I just read a post that Craig Aych put on his blog, "Dark Musing", a couple days ago and it sparked some of my own thoughts.

Craig writes:
I hate bratting. I don't hate intelligent arguments, the egging-on of individuals, a good bit of passive/aggressive behavior in the name of fun, but I hate bratting. "What's the difference?" you whine, stamping a foot down like Clever Hans. The difference is very clear to me. Bratting is this whiny, childlike annoyance. I don't think it's very becoming on grown women. Further, I have had four children, now mostly grown up. Over the last 23 years I've heard plenty of whining. I don't want to pay to fly across the country to be with a bunch of adults to hear more childish, lip-pouting Peewee Herman screeches. Does that make me a bad person?  As stated above, I love good mental sparring, witty repartee and some good old fashioned verbal abuse, all in the name of a fun scene. Which is different than bratting. Make a mental note.  link to article
When I first came into the spanking community, I was strictly a bottom who had an intense craving for loving, caring, and strict discipline from a parental-type authority figure.  But I had one heck of a time developing a balance between Alicia the normal vanilla person and Alicia the bottom who wanted to misbehave to earn a spanking.

I would enter into a spanking chat room and brat relentlessly like there was no tomorrow.  But to give myself a little bit of credit, I did limit my bratting to just those tops who I was willing to consent and submit to.  I seemed to unconsciously attempt to hog the attention of certain individuals to goad them into scolding or spanking me, but what I didn't realize at the time was two-fold:

1)  Tops aren't always "on" - They don't always feel like being in their top mode all the time.  There are moments when they just want to hang out and observe the conversations and goings ons and just sit back and have a good time.

2)  Tops desire to top more than just one person - If I hog their attention then they are unable to give other bottoms a piece of their top side.  This was inconsiderate, even though I didn't mean for it to be.

Mind you, I didn't recognize these things until something like months after the fact and what really helped me to see it clearly was becoming a top myself.  I also have seen and experienced other bottoms doing similar things that I did, and have been asked questions by individuals intent on being able to discern for themselves what the appropriate balance and boundaries are to bratting.

A common statement that I hear from new bottoms is:  I want to do something to get into trouble, but I don't want to get in "real trouble" and have the Top mad at me.  I have made this statement on numerous occasions myself.  There are alot of bottoms who require a valid reason for a spanking and without one the spanking would mean nothing to them.  Many don't go for role play so they need to have some kind of avenue to create a reason to be punished.

I will attempt to explain and maybe it will help you understand...

Consider who the top is - What is their personality?  What are their likes & dislikes when it comes to scene related things?  If you cannot answer these questions, then I would advise to put a halt to your bratting and focus your attentions first on getting to know the top.  Engage in some conversation with him or her whether that be via phone, email, IM, or in-person.  Just as you would expect a top to know your limits physically, you need to get to know that top's bratting limits.

The majority of tops that I have bottomed to don't care all that much for bratting, just as Craig has written.  There are some who will tolerate it to various extents, but the key word here is "tolerate".  Do any of us really want to do something that causes another person to have to tolerate it, or do we want to relate in such a way that makes a scene pleasurable for both individuals?  So it will take some upfront communication for you to identify those who enjoy being bratted to.  I can assure you that they are out there, you'll just need to take the time to figure out which ones they are.

Is it age-play? - Take for instance whining, stomping feet, pouting, etc.  Are these behaviors that adults usually partake in, or is it more acceptable (or should I say expected) from a child?  Consensual adult discipline spanking is not age-play.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with age-play and it is often combined with spanking by those who enjoy it.  But the truth is that age-play is a whole separate fetish in and of itself and it is best that you talk with the person you are bottoming to in order to determine if this is a fetish of their's as well.

Personally, I enjoy age-play and can very easily regress in age when I'm being scolded and spanked.     But I try to be conscious of this fact and limit it when bottoming to someone who does not share this fetish.

Encourage the top to use safe words - Just like tops will say, they cannot read our minds when it comes to the physical side of spanking.  They encourage bottoms to use safe words if they need to have the intensity adjusted.  I take this one more step when I visit with those that bottom to me.  I let them know that if their bratting crosses the line with me I will use a safe word so that it catches their attention and lets them know that they've gone over the boundary and need to reel it in so that we can both enjoy the scene.  If there is no method in place to let a bottom know this then they will continue on, assuming that it doesn't bother you.  But by all means don't let these safe words replace the much needed communication before hand.  A top should communicate these boundaries to you in advance, and if they have not, then it becomes your responsibility to ask them.

Confess real-life misbehaviors - This is an option for those who don't mind baring their soul and being punished for real offenses they have committed.  This could be anywhere from minor things such as not eating your fruits and veggies,  clear up to being physically abusive to someone in your life, and beyond.  It takes a huge level of trust to cross over into the real-life issues, but for many people the rewards are well worth the risks.  But of course, this is not for everyone.

Do not brat to someone you are unwilling to give your consent to - This one is a biggie.  If you brat off to a Top that you are not going to allow to spank you it is sending them mixed signals.  It is like dangling a nice juicy steak in front of a dog but not allowing them to eat it.  Just don't do it.

General ideas when "bratting"- Never be rude.  Think of it more along the lines of playful teasing that you would engage in with anybody in your life.  Always be respectful.  Be yourself and don't try to force brattiness.  If you are naturally a more quiet, laid back person then go with it.  On the other hand, if you are normally outspoken and ornery, then do as you normally would in social situations in the vanilla world.  If you want to know how to let a top know that you'd like to be spanked and can only be spanked with good reason, then talk to them and see what would work best for the two of you.  No two tops are alike, and the key to having successful spanking scenes and ongoing relationships with the tops that you enjoy is COMMUNICATION.  Before, during, and after a scene, and It's worth saying again - Neither Tops or bottoms can read minds.

So I hope you've enjoyed reading my thoughts, opionions, and suggestions, and hopefully something I have said here will help you make more sense of this topic as it relates to you and your unique ways.  Bratting can be a very fine artform...do it well.  If anything helps please drop me a line because I'd love to hear about it.   :)

Have a good one,

~Alicia~

9 comments:

  1. This is a great and thoughtful entry. Thanks for including me in your discussion. I think you've made some excellent points and I appreciate you taking the time to share!

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  2. I loved this, very thoughtful and wise.
    Thank you.

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  3. A very insightful and helpful article on the subject. Thanks, Alicia.

    The kind of discipline scene I look for is more serious and "adult" than the playful bratting kind. That doesn't mean the adult being disciplined can't be in the headspace of a child or teen, but a spanking is about something serious. To be honest, I don't think acting bratty is really a very strong reason for punishment, so acting bratty works best for playful spankings. In that case, I'm not sure how to define "bratting I like" vs "bratting I don't like". Some works, some doesn't, and it probably depends on the person.

    The scene that interests and attracts me is where real-life issues are being addressed. Typically, the one being disciplined would show complete respect towards the Top. However, if the one being punished is in an adolescent frame of mind, or being disciplined for something in that vein, then they may act more defiant or disagreeable about the situation they're in and about having to accept their punishment. So I don't really care for bratting just for the sake of getting into trouble, but the expression of feelings in a scene shouldn't be so limited.

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  4. Thank you for this post Alicia. Very interesting. I totally agree. Communication is so important in the scene (actually it would be in the "real" world too).

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  5. Thanks everybody. I'm glad you liked it. :)

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  6. I love this. I have a disciplinarian too and I have found it difficult at times to know what she does and doesn't like. I know not to lie and I know not to laugh when I am being punished or reprimanded. Not funny to her at all. The rest I know because of the rules I have to follow. These are real life issues for me. I like a stern, consistent disciplinarian who won't let me get by with things and I have that. A friend of mine said that I should "be careful about what you wish for because you might get it" but I'm not in the least sorry I got what I wished for. My favorite part of this blog Ms. P, is that if you want to get a spanking from a top, work it out with the top so that if you need to work on a real life issue (like I do), you can figure out with them what could work for both of you so that both of you can get what you want and need. Knowing that is very important to me. I can only work with a strict, tough disciplinarian on real life issues and I want the spanking to be meaningful and definitely not of the playful type. I need it to get my attention (as Ms. M always says). If it isn't punitive and if it doesn't hurt, I simply don't get it. It feels like a complete waste of time to me. Thanks Ms. P.

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  7. I loved this, it was great and so true

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  8. This is a really good and thoughtful post: I don't think I've read such a wise exploration on this topic on any other spanking blog. Should be mandatory reading for everyone - tops and bottoms. Thanks.

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  9. I followed the bread crumb trail from Craig's blog.. ;-)

    This was an excellent read Alicia.. well thought out and expressed. Great food for thought for both Tops and bottoms. :-)

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