Wednesday, August 9, 2017

A Case for Brats

For a while now I have largely been avoiding brat discussions on Fetlife. I've written about the topic several times both here on Fet and here on the blog, but it gets a little exhausting after a while trying to combat the negative stereotypes that often come with the word "brat" online. People most often go straight to the "disrespectful, disobedient child" definition, and rarely differentiate that from what is often a vastly different kink context.

I identify with the brat label, but I always have to state that with the disclaimer that it does not mean I am disobedient or disrespectful. It has never really meant that for me. It was a term of affection my dad used when I was growing up. To me, it means playful and teasing. A bit of bear poking, if you will. It has never included willful disobedience, and never will.

A lot of people complain that brats brat for attention, and that's not entirely wrong. It is, in its essence, a way for me to communicate a desire for play or a particular intensity of play. I've never been that great at verbally requesting things. I often default to physical communication, particularly in primal space. I was inadvertently trained, both as a kid and in my first dynamic to basically not ask for things. My first dom mocked me a lot, made me feel bad for asking for things, making suggestions, or constructive criticisms. Given that humiliation is the main trigger of my anxiety disorder, it made it extremely hard after that for me to verbalize my desires. I feel stupid, knowing it's easy enough to ask, but I can't make the words come out because of that niggling fear in the back of my brain of being ridiculed for it.

My coping mechanism for this is non-verbal communication. I'll gesture to things, or present objects, rather than out and out ask for them or for their use. I'll have important conversations in text because it's far easier than saying them. With play, I'll do the brat thing. I'll poke and I'll prod. I'll tease and challenge. It's something I enjoy and most of my previous doms have enjoyed. My first dom was an unusual situation, and I really hadn't fully developed my kink identity yet.

Another motivating factor for brat play for me is my discipline fetish, which is also difficult to explain.  I have a force fetish. I like being helpless and not having any control. Having an inordinate fascination with punishment is an extrapolation of that. I love reading domestic discipline romances, but the scenes that turn me on the most are the punishment scenes, not the erotic ones. I'm turned on by the idea of not having a choice in the matter, by taking more pain than I can theoretically tolerate. In the form of spanking, of course, 'cause am spanko.

I feed this need with brat play, which gives the play a sort of punishment context in my brain. Now, this is where the disconnect comes with most people. The idea of punishment and the psychology of it turn me on, but that doesn't mean that I seek out or desire real, disappointed/hurt/upset my owner type punishment. That shit sucks. I mean, I panic if I even so much as imagine I might have upset my owner in anyway. There's a distinct difference between serious punishment and the sort of mind fuckery I'm into. Because I guess that's what it is, really. A brand of mind fuck. I like to play with fear and force, and it's not the same if I have to ask for it directly.

I want to be clear, though, this is done with consent. I ensure a dominant with whom I'm engaging in this sort of thing understands what's going on when I do it. It's an aspect of my personality, linked, I'm sure, with the little part of me. But what I don't want is to be lumped in with the annoying, disobedient, bitchy people most people seem to think that brats are. I wish those who were like that wouldn't call themselves brats, because it just makes it impossible for the rest of us to distinguish the kink role from the vanilla definition.

I find myself coming back to this topic again and again, even though it brings me nothing but grief. I've learned to avoid the discussions on Fetlife, as my voice gets lost in this tidal wave of hatred, and I end up just getting mad. But, sometimes, I feel the need to dispel the myths about bratting, as well as those about the other labels I identify with, because no one wants to have negative stereotypes attributed to them, and not all brats are spoiled little shitlords the internet would make them out to be.


  1. i've been reading your blog for some time, but am new to Fet. I think everything you're saying makes total sense. Best to ignore annoying nonsense on Fet or anywhere else you encounter it!

    1. Welcome to Fet! And always good to know I'm not just talking to myself on here. Squee.