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Bratting - Where Is The Line?
Having read a post that Craig Aych put on his blog, Dark Musing, it sparked some of my own thoughts.
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.
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:
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 a lot 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.
Consider who the top is
I think it's important to consider who the Top actually 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 putting a halt to your bratting and instead focussing 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 the 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's going to 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. However, the truth is that age-play is a whole separate fetish, in and of itself, and it is worth talking with the person you are bottoming to in order to determine if this is a fetish of theirs 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
Tops 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 offences they have committed. This could be anything from minor things such as not eating your fruits and veggies, right 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. 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 reiterating: neither Tops nor bottoms can read minds.
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