I remember very fondly a scene where I attempted to tie a pretty girl to a bed. At a mid-point in the tying process, she used her toes to grab the coil of rope and flipped it behind the substantial wooden-framed bed on which we played. Then, as I wedged myself awkwardly between headboard and wall and groped fruitlessly for it, she rolled off the bed. Giggling madly, she hopped away and hid. I found her behind the couch, still giggling, given away by a trailing bit of rope. What fun!
A brat is a grownup who plays, playfully, with resistance. I’ve spoken with lots of other tops-both in regular life, and during my brat play workshops-on the subject of bratty bottoms and I’m always puzzled to hear how annoying many find the little darlings.
I understand that this sort of play is not fun for everyone. For some, brat play disturbs the feeling of flow, of ritual, and of quiet submission. And every top (including myself) dislikes the kind where the two players are at odds and unbalanced, with a power struggle ongoing. The bratty behaviour then seems calculated to force the top into “making” the bottom get something in the scene that they won’t admit to wanting. And if I feel like it is a war to see who can get tougher faster, I get bored and annoyed. My SM is not an adversarial sport. I’m into playing, not competing. Not to mention the kind of damn-the-safewords, full-speed-ahead dangerous play it can wind top and bottom into.
“Can’t you hit any harder than that?”
“Oh yeah? Well, maybe I’ll use the chainsaw this time!”
Topping for brats is my favourite style of play, as for me it is exciting, irreverent, and lets me use my mind, my wit and my body all at the same time. It’s two (or more) folks who are bent on getting to the same sort of place together in the most delightfully roundabout method possible. What I look for is the feeling of playing with-not against-my bottom; that we are taking a trip, not playing tug-of-war. I have room for any amount of playful teasing, escape attempts and smart-mouth remarks within this framework.
In a scene with a brat, I feel like every step taken is shared in a very real way. The goal could be laughter and a fun time; or it could be the amazing gift of a brat’s true submission-precious, rare, and worth the patience.
Maybe I just like stretching my mind as well as my muscles, and feeling like the rewards I get from a scene are richly earned.