Brats and Bratting

Firstly, I’m not picking on one kink.

In many modern definitions of Brat it is redefined as both a role and a submissive identity. There is nothing inherently submissive about brattiness so it’s interesting that those character traits would be paired with it. In a Top/bottom scene where we originally found the first hints of acting like a brat, any person could be bottom regardless of whether they identified as Dom, sub, or neither. It was simply a person acting out to receive pleasurable pain or a primal reaction from whoever was topping. Further puzzling is that the act of brattiness is an assertion of autonomy which is far more dominant a characteristic. Although it also does not truly fit the Dominant identity because neither person in a Power Exchange is autonomous, they are instead giving and receiving power.

Modern definitions are also wrong in identifying Brat as an identity altogether. Brat is an S&M and/or Primal kink (often a rolepley) that is performed in Top/bottom scenes. Those Top/bottom scenes may happen in or out of a relationship. We don’t usually add our kinks as adjectives to our identity as Dom or sub. They usually follow it when we talk about the kinds of things we sometimes enjoy doing within our relationship. For example, I’m not a Rope Dom; I am a Dom who enjoys Bondage, Rope, and Impact Play just to name a few. You may be a Dom or a sub who enjoys a Brat roleplay. It certainly has grown in popularity because people find those scenes fun. But one or more kinks do not define your identity.

So where do we go from here? We simply keep educating our peers on the basics of BDSM. A lot of people don’t yet know the differences between Top/bottom and a Power Exchange. Again, one isn’t superior to the other they are both just different things. As well people don’t know the differences between Kinks and Identities. It might not matter to them in theory, but in practice mixing the two can cause a lot of strain on a dynamic. We often hear people say “I want my partner to be more dominant” and “I want my partner to be more submissive” and helping them separate the kinks from the identities can bring a lot more fulfillment to relationships. It’s not about being right, it’s about helping people navigate BDSM to get the benefits of BDSM.

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