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Submission 102: How to Weave Bratting Into Your Relationship in a Healthy Way

Good Morning Friends!

A very Happy Wednesday to you! How is everyone doing? Around here I am gearing up for the day and ready to dive into this final post in our Submission 102 series. If you missed any of the posts in this series I encourage you to go back and give them a read. Today we are going to talk about bratting. For some, this is a very controversial topic. I have written about bratting sporadically and have come across those with very strong opinions. In an effort to bring more inclusivity to all major opinions I am choosing to write this post in the most unbiased way possible. Therefore I am leaving my personal opinion of bratting out of this piece. Instead I want to turn our attention towards the topic focus: if you do self-identify as a brat, or you do engage in bratting behavior in your D/s relationship, how you can do so in a way that helps your relationship and doesn’t hinder it. Are you ready? Then, let’s dive in.

I. Aim for Playful Behavior But Never Hurtful Behavior:

Have you ever met someone who has made an “off color” comment only to reply (when called out), “I was just joking”? There is a fine line between a playful comment meant to tease in pure jest and a comment that can hurt feelings. When bratting it is important to understand your partner’s limitations. The most crucial piece of advice I recommend is to always be up front with your partner that you identify as a brat, and discuss if bratting is something that you want to be a part of your D/s relationship. Not every Dominant can (or wants) to be with a brat, and that’s okay. On the contrary, there are Dominants who prefer to be with a brat because they enjoy the thrill that a brat’s behavior (or misbehavior) gives, as it allows them to weave in “FUN”ishments, and pushes the the Dom to be “on their toes”. As you’re moving through the negotiation process to determine compatibility with your partner, be up front that you like to playfully brat. Be clear about what behavior you expect from your partner, and what your partner should expect from you. Brats yearn to get a rise out of the Dominant and to receive attention when they playfully brat their partner. Nothing bothers a brat more than a Dominant who doesn’t respond to their bratting “advances”. Make sure your Dominant understands what you’re looking for in their response before you decide to brat them. This will ensure that everyone is happy and on the same page in understanding their expectations.

Speaking of “getting a rise” out of the Dominant, my next piece of advice is to remember that the goal of bratting should be to aim to get a positive rise from the Dominant with the intention of getting a “FUN”ishment. It is important to bring awareness that there are individuals who crave attention and will display behavior to their partner to get a reaction, and the brat doesn’t care if the reaction is positive or negative so long as they are getting attention. Ultimately this type of behavior can be very damaging in a long term relationship because if the brat is triggering too much of a negative reaction in the Dom then over time the relationship will crumble. In simple terms, no one wants to deal with their partner lashing out over and over again simply for attention. To avoid this pitfall strive to elicit a positive reaction from your Dominant. Watch their body language and non-verbal cues. Do they seem to be enjoying the type of bratting behavior you’re displaying? Are they “drawn in” to the moment or are they feeling frustrated or angry? Keep a close pulse on your partner’s behavior and mood, because at the end of the day you never want to undermine to power exchange in your dynamic simply because of bratting (i.e. don’t “top from the bottom”).

II. When Bratting is Arousing:

In the world of D/s and BDSM bratting exists and there are many people who self-identify as brats. There are also many Dominants who enjoy connecting in deeply loving, long term relationships with brats. For many, bratting can be deeply arousing. Bratting can be fun and playful. It is a behavior pattern that can gently push against the power exchange in a way that both partners find thrilling, fun, and even arousing. Using expressions such as: “What are you going to do about it?”, “Oh yeah? Make me!”, or “You can’t tell me what to do” are designed to spark action in the Dominant which both the Dom and sub equally enjoy. In many cases, brats are also masochists or sadomasochists.

Note: For those unfamiliar with the difference here are the variations between the two.

Masochist: a person who derives sexual gratification from their own pain or humiliation.

Sadomasochist: the derivation of sexual gratification from the infliction of physical pain or humiliation either on another person or on oneself.

Many D/s couples (where the sub is a brat) use S&M to enhance play in their relationship. Punishment and discipline come in the forms of spanking, flogging, or any other consented and negotiated terms between the couple. But because the couple identify as sadists, masochists, etc. the bratting behavior leads to S&M play which is deeply arousing to both people. Lastly, it should be worth mentioning that bratting can be a source of arousal for many Dominants because there is a “thrill of the chase” involved. The brat “acts out” with playful banter. The Dominant reacts in pursuit to “punish” their sub. Everyone is happy. It’s a win-win fluid exchange of behavior…. pun intended. 😉

III. The Stance on Bratting in Traditional BDSM:

I would be remiss if I didn’t highlight the stance on bratting in traditional BDSM circles because it is important to understand that bratting behavior is not seen as acceptable by all Dominants and submissives. Understanding the reasoning behind this helps to bring clarity for everyone and will help you decide which end of the spectrum you fall on in regards to bratting. That said, let’s define what traditional BDSM is. Traditional BDSM can best be described as power exchange dynamics where the Dominant and submissive adhere to a more strict form of protocol, rules, and behavior. It is rooted in history aligned with the Master/slave community, Leather community, and the Gorean subculture. Traditional BDSM deviates from much of the literature on BDSM printed in recent years that promotes a “buffet style/ take what you want and leave what you don’t” attitude towards D/s relationships. Instead there is a standard to be maintained, education to be passed down through every generation, and in doing so it continues to strengthen each member who works and earns their way through the journey.

That said, when you examine and understand traditional BDSM in this manner it’s easy to see why bratting is simply not allowed, encouraged, or even understood by many practitioners of traditional BDSM. Brats are not seen as submissives at all because bratting behavior (to traditional submissives) is seen as indicative as those untrained. It is viewed as disrespectful, undermining of power exchanged, and insulting towards a system designed to help M/s couples thrive with structure, boundaries, and time spent earning their position. For further reading on the M/s lifestyle and understanding The Old Guard in particular I highly recommend reading: “The Leatherman’s Protocol Handbook” by: John D. Weal and “The Leather and BDSM Handbook” by: Vincent L. Andrews. Both are exceptional books that detail traditional BDSM and the philosophy extensively.

IV. Brats Can Be Good Subs Too:

I’d like to finish this post by reminding everyone that the purpose of this post is to bring more awareness and inclusivity to the education presented here on the site. Regardless of your stance on bratting it’s important to acknowledge and respect all submissives. Brats are submissives too and that’s perfectly okay if you identify as such! Brats need and deeply enjoy attention from their Dominant just as every other type of submissive does. They love their Dominants deeply and know how to keep their Dom intrigued and “on their toes” with playful behavior. They understand the “push/pull” that bratting creates in their relationship, and so they move with care, love, and caution, striving to never undermine their Dom but instead thrill, uplift, and make many happy memories together as a couple. Not every Brat is a Little and not every Dominant with a Brat enjoys being called a Daddy or Mommy. Instead, in this space we recognize, validate, and encourage everyone to embrace brats as a part of the lifestyle and to be seen for the labels they prefer. Let’s always focus on embracing everyone, accepting our differences, and strive to move forward with greater knowledge and understanding.

Alright my friends, that’s it from me for this post. I hope you all enjoyed it. If you did, hit that like button and let me know. Smash that follow button if you’re new around here, and I will see you back here for the next topic!

Much love,

~Penny x

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