Dec 122011
 

For your amusement (and for your information), I present the tenth installment in Dumb Domme’s BDSM Lexicon, “brat.”

View all past entries here.


brat, n., [brat] (spelled) /bræt/ (IPA)


Definition:

brat, n.: is a submissive who may engage in behavior purposefully designed to provoke or encourage a dominant’s response. In general, bratty behavior is behavior that is unwanted by the dominant. Brats may seek to assert individuality, to annoy, test limits, garner attention, and/or provoke a punishment.

Usage:

“If you continue to act like a brat, I will treat you as one. You can stand in the corner for three hours and think about what you’ve done. When the three hours are up, you may leave. I don’t play with brats.”

Associated Terms:

PITA brat: “pain in the ass” brat
S.A.M.: smart-ass masochist

Where is the Line?:

There is an excellent discussion of bratty behavior over at KnotBound.com. The author explains that in the process of service, a submissive’s personality may be “flattened” to some extent, and that bratty behavior may be a way of rearticulating her or his personality. The author identifies that expressing individuality through “cheeky” behavior is fine up to the point that the dominant is annoyed.

Discussion:

bratty sub

    In general, I tend to think brats aren’t really submissive. If you’re topping from the bottom or trying to control the situation, you aren’t submissive. Simple.
    With that said, I think it’s completely possible that some genuinely subby subs might sometimes demonstrate bratty behavior. Very infrequently, J has demonstrated bratty behavior, and my approach has been to see them as evidence of some sort of disconnect or problem. If we assume that J is a genuine submissive (I know “genuine” is a loaded term — I mean in my own understanding of what that is and what my partner and I have agreed on as guidelines for our roles), and then does something bratty, my first guess is that he needs something that perhaps I’m not giving him. It may be evidence that I’m not doing what I should be doing, and for that reason, we should talk about it.
    But, if it’s just bratty behavior for no good reason, then perhaps, we should reexamine the appropriateness of the relationship.

Dumb (Domme) Q & A:

Q: How do you handle a bratty sub?

A: First, I determine whether he’s being playful or actually being bratty. If he’s being playful and I’m not annoyed by his behavior, I whack his ass with a bamboo cane. If he’s being bratty and I’m annoyed, we talk about it, and then I whack his ass with a bamboo cane.

Q: How can you spot a brat?

A: In online forums, brats tend to overuse “*giggles*” and  “*grins*” with asterisks to suggest action. Additionally, both online and in real life, brats often identify themselves as having been a “bad boy” or “bad girl” in a way that is intended to suggest irony, flirtatiousness, or general cuteness. Aside from being barely ironic, it isn’t fucking cute. Grow the fuck up.

Does Dumb Domme?:

Dumb Domme doesn’t do brats.

Bratwursts are another thing entirely.


works consulted: “The Bratty Sub: Problem or Symptom?” Dictionary of BDSM Terms  FetLife, “the Brat Academy” group

 

  22 Responses to “BDSM Lexicon Entry #10: Brat”

  1. Your "bratty sub" and "brat on sub roll" picture totally cracks me up. As always, the entire entry is funny and informative, but that picture in particular, with your X-out and checkmark, makes me laugh.

  2. PITA brat ? lol thats funny, pita is also a type of bread that you put food in (like a pocket) so now I understand where they took the name from (their ass).

  3. I hate this “brat” shit…

    I was actually just talking about brats and SAMs with another mistress at our dungeon the other day, so it’s rad that I just read this blog entry….

    I can be very submissive and I’m a pretty serious maso, and I was a SAM for the first year I started playing. Why? Because I was ASHAMED of being submissive and I had internal emotional conflicts about it. I was too embarrassed and immature to express what I wanted and needed in a sincere and unironical fashion.

    I got over it.

    IMO, brats are ashamed, immature, or insincere. Or a combination thereof.

    I just found your blog. love it so far. Thanks!

    • @Miss Margo: I was too embarrassed and immature to express what I wanted and needed in a sincere and unironical fashion.”

      Interesting! You expressed what you now identify as immaturity as… immaturity! That’s a mind fuck if I ever heard one! :)

      “IMO, brats are ashamed, immature, or insincere. Or a combination thereof.”

      I know some people are into it, but it isn’t my kink. It seems like just a few years of maturity above adult babies, and I’m REALLY not into that.

  4. thus why I got rid of brattyboi on FL..I like to have fun and play once in a while but really I don’t think I am a brat at all.

    Respectfully,
    mysticlez

    • thus why I got rid of brattyboi on FL..I like to have fun and play once in a while but really I don’t think I am a brat at all.

      Good to hear it. :) I’m not a fan of brats, even ones that aren’t mine. I don’t like willful disobedience, nor do I like the whole *giggle giggle* *tee hee* attitude. It’s not cute. It’s immature.

      (With that said, if brats are someone elses thing, good on them!)

  5. I giggle and grin and I do not think I am a brat, just saying lol Or at least i try to be respectful..hopefully it comes across

    Respectfully,
    mysticlez

  6. When I first heard about bratty subs through general BDSM research, I found some of my behaviors coinciding with the label.

    But one article I read created what I thought was an accurate distinction between being a brat, and being bratty, where one is always testing limits and the other is sometimes being playful.

    I’ll be honest, a lot of my brattiness comes from a pretty strong “consensual nonconsent” kink, where sometimes I like to be forced, so I put up a bit of a fight just to be put back in my place, at least when I’m fulfilling the sub role. My dom seems to get a kick out of exerting her power over me in that situation. I’ve never had to deal with a bratty sub from a dominant role, but I feel like I’d enjoy the challenge, as long as it wasn’t a constant battle. Maybe I come from a different perspective since I’m a switch, which comes with its own set of stigmas, but that’s a different story.

    I suppose I was surprised to see the amount of disdain for subs who show a little bit of defiance, but it depends on the dom I guess. It’s a good thing to negotiate ahead of time. A bratty sub shouldn’t necessarily behave badly if their dom doesn’t also enjoy the challenge.

    • But one article I read created what I thought was an accurate distinction between being a brat, and being bratty, where one is always testing limits and the other is sometimes being playful.

      That’s an interesting distinction, actually. While I stick to my “not into brats” statement, I do enjoy playfulness. I’m not at all serious, and I enjoy back-and-forth flirtations, and being playful in general. I don’t know that it’s a kink, but it’s part of what makes me happy in a relationship — the ability to be myself and be fun and enjoy a laugh (and flirting, lots of flirting!)

      I’ll be honest, a lot of my brattiness comes from a pretty strong “consensual nonconsent” kink, where sometimes I like to be forced, so I put up a bit of a fight just to be put back in my place, at least when I’m fulfilling the sub role. My dom seems to get a kick out of exerting her power over me in that situation.

      I get this. :) And it sounds like it works for both you and your partner, which is exactly what I interpreted from what you said next:

      I suppose I was surprised to see the amount of disdain for subs who show a little bit of defiance, but it depends on the dom I guess. It’s a good thing to negotiate ahead of time. A bratty sub shouldn’t necessarily behave badly if their dom doesn’t also enjoy the challenge.

      You’re 100% right on this — it all depends on the people in the relationship, and yes, it’s good to both define (what does being “bratty” mean to both parties?) and negotiate ahead of time. Right on! Thanks for the comment. :)

  7. Okay, this has been posted months ago so I dunno if anyone will even read this, but here goes. What bothers me is that although BDSM seems so obviously ‘flowing’, open, BDSM folk just loooove to put people into boxes (reminds me of LGBT) and seem to be unaware of the fact that labels can often be understood differently by different people. I am new to BDSM in terms of practical stuff (as in, I have a Dom for the first time), however I’ve been interested in it for some years now and think I know a lot on the psychological/theoretical side of things. After months of talking to people, reading stuff and thinking, I knew for sure that I was a sub or switch of some sort and that the Dom for me would be a Daddy Dom. And I found a Daddy that I absolutely adore. But here is the thing. I have a very VERY dominant personality and a lot of people on fetlife have told me that they thought I was a brat. With Daddy I don’t stay quiet because I think in any relationship communication is important and save for the fact that I need to be respectful (though again, don’t we both?) we are equals when talking, EVEN WHEN PLAYING. For instance, he tells me what he wants to achieve and says how he thinks it should be done. But I come up with a solution that might be better and so bring it up. The decision is always his and I never argue, but he is always happy to hear my proposals and know that I try hard to increase his enjoyment and very often he will do it the way I suggested. I also politely correct him when he misspells something and can get very feisty when debating anything from politics to ‘which ice cream flavour is best?’ lol. I totally don’t identify with brats defined as those who constantly test, push and provoke their doms, I have never done that nor do I feel the need to. Also, I love making Daddy happy, even doing things that are slightly unpleasant to please him, without a word of complaining. So why do people get that brat impression from me? Does a sub automatically have to be meek or flattened out, even if their personality is dominant and feisty?

    • BDSM folk just loooove to put people into boxes (reminds me of LGBT) and seem to be unaware of the fact that labels can often be understood differently by different people.

      I’m with you on this one! I agree 100%. We are interested in labeling people (and in labeling ourselves), and most of the time, I don’t think it’s for any nefarious reasons. I just think it helps us make sense of ourselves (and what may be new feelings, wants, and experiences) and it helps us to quickly identify and understand where others are coming from.

      The unfortunate aspect, as you suggest, is that in our quick and easy identifications, we’re often dead wrong about important stuff and/or we often make wildly incorrect assumptions about others — what they ‘should’ be like, how they ‘should’ act, etc. (particularly in situations that involve other people’s relationships — not even our own).

      For instance, he tells me what he wants to achieve and says how he thinks it should be done. But I come up with a solution that might be better and so bring it up. The decision is always his and I never argue, but he is always happy to hear my proposals and know that I try hard to increase his enjoyment and very often he will do it the way I suggested

      I’ve written about this before. I’m well aware that J is better at some things than I am, and in those cases, I’ll generally defer to his judgment. Other times, there are situations where I just don’t care about a decision or outcome, and I’m happy to let him choose (where we go to dinner, for example).

      But back to labels — I don’t think any of the behaviors you describes are ones I would associate with a ‘brat.’ As you suggest, you aren’t into provoking, pushing, or testing your partner. But of course, I can see how someone online might hear that you correct your partner’s spelling and automatically assume that’s bratty behavior, particularly when they don’t know that your partner doesn’t mind that (or perhaps, encourages it).

      So why do people get that brat impression from me? Does a sub automatically have to be meek or flattened out, even if their personality is dominant and feisty?

      I think it’s for that reason above — dropping a detail about one of your behaviors or actions doesn’t give people the whole story — they don’t know that your behavior or action isn’t unwanted within the context of the relationship you have with your dominant. And perhaps because brats often tease and are often teased in return, people feel at liberty to tease you (or worse, chastise you).

      It sucks, I’m sure, but I can certainly see how and why it happens. That doesn’t make it feel any better, of course.

      As for wanting a flattened personality, I’m sure some dominants do, but not all of us. I love that my partner is passionate, educated, and opinionated… but I also love that he defers to me when it’s time to do so.

      Thanks for the comment, A. :)

    • The thing is putting people in boxes is kinda human nature. Making a generalized statement about a group of people whose only thing they have in common is that they do things how they want to, for example. I do tend to use labels to some degree, but only enough to try and find base points to start from. One that I call the Empty Shell for example. A submissive who exists solely for her Master. No personality, never talks back, obeys without question and is completely personalityless. They even like only the music you tell them too. So in short someone completely boring.

      Every Dom is different. I don’t mind certain degrees of brats. So long as they are either playful or inteligent in their willfulness. Submission is a gift, given from the sub to the Dom. The way I see it, as much fun as Nepeti is when I’ve turned her into a thoughtless toy, she is way more fun in a different way when she is going into one of her hyper moods and making me chase her. If I wanted a cardboard cutout, I wouldn’t have let myself fall for a rocket scientist, college professor or fellow author.

      On the other hoof, there are ‘Doms’ who can’t stand a sub correcting them at all, not even when they are wrong. -Cue mental image of a “Dom” yelling at his sub for speaking out of turn as the fire she was warning him about slowly spreads up his pants legs-

      On the other-other hoof is what I call type-focused Doms. They don’t like any types but what they picture as the perfect women. They are somewhere between “A REAL DOM who is looking for a REAL SUB.” and “I am looking for the perfect women- Stop laughing at me and making jokes about me not being the perfect guy!”

      Course then you have me, who has started having Pokemon jokes about collecting them all applied to him. Boo, my pet. Napeti, my brat and my toy. Buzz, my slave and knight(?).(I have no idea what term works here. He is somewhat switchy, but only on orders. Is there a term?)

  8. im a brat, but its not because im ashamed nor any such matter. it’s a little unfair to bunch us all into one catagory that you hate don’t you think? im a brat because i like to be in control. i like to push your limits and tell you what i feel you should be doing to please me but at the same time i like to be submissive. and it’s very difficult to maintain those feelings whe they both happen all in one session. i want control but i want to be controlled. i was never a bad girl flirty yes, sweet, giggly, yes but that is my personality as far back as i can remember in my life i see no reason why i shouldn’t be able to play a little in a session either.

    • Hi, Ema. Thanks for the comment. While I should leave it at that… I can’t.

      im a brat, but its not because im ashamed nor any such matter.

      This doesn’t make sense. I’m not sure where you got the ‘brat’ and ‘shame’ association, nor am I sure what you’re saying here.

      it’s a little unfair to bunch us all into one catagory that you hate don’t you think?

      “Us” meaning who? Brats? So… what you’re saying is that it’s unfair of me to bunch people who call themselves ‘brats’ into a category called ‘brats’? If ‘brats’ call themselves ‘brats,’ what’s unfair about that?

      Also, I never said I ‘hate’ brats. I said I don’t play with brats, and my tone certainly supports this, but I didn’t say anything about hate. In general, I don’t enjoy bratty behavior, especially when I receive it from people I’m not in a relationship with, but as long as it isn’t directed at me, I couldn’t care less.

      i like to push your limits and tell you what i feel you should be doing to please me but at the same time i like to be submissive […] i want control but i want to be controlled.

      It sounds to me like you’re a switch, but there’s no reason you should care what I think, or what anyone else thinks (besides your partner/s).

      i see no reason why i shouldn’t be able to play a little in a session either.

      Agreed. Play in whatever way works for you and your partner/s. I have no desire to play or be in a relationship with someone who identifies as a brat, but lots of people do.

      Go forth, be bratty, have fun, and be safe.

      (Also, maybe read more carefully before you comment… that too.)

  9. OK, maybe it’s just me here, but when I think of the term “brat”, it brings to mind someone who is petulant and selfish… be they submissive, dominant or whatever.

    I suppose that there are some who get off on enduring boorish behavior from others, but I’m not one of them, and while a certain amount of “brattiness”may enter into a particular scene, if both parties agree to it, on a day to day basis, that kind of thing simply won’t work for me.

    This is NOT to say that open communication, lengthy discussion, or even disagreement are off limits. They, as well as playfulness, should be a part of any relationship, I’m speaking here of the snarky rebelliousness, disrespect and fighting for control that I consider “bratty”.

    Even though I identify as submissive, there are certain behaviors that I just have no use for. Being a brat is very close to the top. Some may consider it a “kink” but I do not. I think it’s just selfishness and immaturity. I consider it to be unacceptable from my customers, room mate, or even my parrot. I certainly wouldn’t want to deal with it in my most important relationship.

    • Even though I identify as submissive, there are certain behaviors that I just have no use for. Being a brat is very close to the top. Some may consider it a “kink” but I do not. I think it’s just selfishness and immaturity.

      Yeah. I don’t kink on it either for that reason — it reads as immature and I can’t stand that sort of thing. It makes my right eye twitch.

  10. I am also wary of brats. Here’s my take on it. I see dominance as a kind of vulnerability (see also: http://www.domme-chronicles.com/2013/06/dominance-and-vulnerability.html) When I’m giving an order, I’m opening myself up. And being bratty feels like a rejection of that vulnerability, in addition to questioning my authority. It can actually cut quite deep.

    • I am also wary of brats

      I’m more than ‘wary’ of brats. I wouldn’t want to be involved with someone who identified as such or someone who demonstrated ‘bratty’ behavior. I don’t enjoy it, I don’t find it attractive, sexy, etc. I’m just not into it.

      I see dominance as a kind of vulnerability […] And being bratty feels like a rejection of that vulnerability…

      I get what you’re saying, and in general, I agree that when a submissive does these sort of things, it feels like rejection.

      But in my mind, there’s a difference between a sub not doing something that I ask (for any of a variety of potential reasons — miscommunication, slipping priorities, selfishness, etc.) and a brat not doing something I ask (because being bratty feels good to them, because they enjoy challenging me).

      The sub doesn’t mean to challenge me; the brat does. For that reason, while the sub’s behavior could feel like rejection, the brat’s behavior just feels like dickheadedness. The sub did something wrong. The brat is just an asshole.

      (I’m not saying all brats are assholes — I’m saying that’s how bratty behavior reads to me.)

  11. I identify as submissive , but I often have an overwhelming urge to test my daddy’s power. It’s subconscious.I need a strong man and I need reassurance that I am with a strong partner. I test the boundaries, he puts me in my place.
    It’s not malicious.
    The relationship is fairly new. once he puts me in training I will stop being a brat, have a more controlled environment, more rules, feel safe, and lose the need to test boundaries? Testing is such a feminine characteristic.

    I also have an intense need not to be treated as a submissive by the rest of the world, to be strong and dominant. Many men behave subserviently to me.
    I have dommed men for money but held them in some scorn and distaste, which indicates that I am not destined to be a domme.

    Anyways, I guess the crux of this is, am I a Brat? And will training and structure cure that.

    • but I often have an overwhelming urge to test my daddy’s power. It’s subconscious.

      I know people throw the word “subconscious” around quite a bit (and perhaps we might mean something different by it), but if you have an “overwhelming urge,” and it’s something you’re aware of, then can you still consider it ‘subconscious’? If you’re aware of it, then it stands to reason it’s something you can work on and take steps to overcome (assuming it’s something you and your partner want to overcome — some people like brats).

      It’s not malicious.

      Maybe you don’t see it as malicious, and maybe you don’t intend for it to be malicious, but if it’s unwanted behavior, then it might feel malicious to your partner. If my partner constantly tested my boundaries and challenged me, it would hurt my feelings. If he continued this behavior after I told him to cut it the fuck out, at some point, I’d have to assume he was doing it on purpose — to hurt my feelings or make me angry.

      I have dommed men for money but held them in some scorn and distaste, which indicates that I am not destined to be a domme.

      I don’t know that this is necessarily an indicator that you’re submissive (or that you’re not dominant). Pro-domming (or fin-domming) for money is a hell of a lot different than being the dominant partner in a romantic/sexual relationship where both people care about one another.

      Anyways, I guess the crux of this is, am I a Brat?

      I would consider you a brat, but that’s just me. I guess it’s up to you and your partner/s to decide whether or not you’re a brat, and it’s also up to you (and your partner/s) to decide whether that’s a bad thing or not. Again, lots of people enjoy brats and lots of people enjoy being brats.

      And will training and structure cure that.

      My thoughts on this probably don’t match those of lots of other kinky people, but this question is so strange to me (it’s not you, it’s the question. I’ve seen others ask it in various forms). First, you’re an adult — you’re not a child and you’re not a dog. If there’s something you don’t like about yourself, then it’s up to you to change it. If you need structure, it’s up to you to figure out how to make it for yourself. While there’s some level of learning how to adjust to a new partner, you shouldn’t need training to keep you from challenging the person you love/care for. (I wrote on this recently. See here for my thoughts on “BDSM Training.”)

      If you do need that sort of “training,” if acting out is part of what you do, then I think you need to work on yourself (or perhaps seek professional counseling/therapy) rather than expecting your partner to fix you.

      (Again, what’s above assumes that you don’t want to be a brat and/or bratty behavior is something that your partner doesn’t want. If that’s not that case, then go forth and brat happily…)

  12. I don’t actually have a master/owner/Dom but from the way I act I’m a brat and a s.a.m. I don’t see how testing the higher power is immature.

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