Erica Scott: Life, Love and Spanking

Ruminations, opinionated observations, darkly humorous blathering and the occasional rant from an outspoken spanko and unapologetic attention wh–, um, hog.

If not “brat,” then what?

As I expected, once the Shadow Lane party was over and the situational camaraderie dissipated, FetLife returned once more to its usual state of arguments, accusations and pontifications. I haven’t been on much, mostly to “like” pictures or wish a kinky friend Happy Birthday. But last week, I admit I got caught up a bit with one person’s essay on yet another subject that’s been done to death: Brats, and how much domly doms hate them.

This guy really let it fly, with a long, scroll-down post, basically taking all bottoms who aren’t purely submissive and painting them with the same broad brush — they’re obnoxious, they’re destructive, they’re nasty, they’re demanding and manipulative, they care only about themselves, etc., etc., blah blah blah. Oh, and how put upon the poor tops are, having to tolerate their behavior.

“Dominant” is not spelled “D O O R M A T,” he exclaimed.

No, it isn’t. In your case, pal, it’s spelled A S S H O L E.

Look, I know about the kind of brats he’s talking about. Yes, they can be annoying, destructive, manipulative. I have news for this guy, though. These particular bottoms aren’t brats. They are narcissists. Some of them are borderline psychotic. And yes, they are to be avoided. But to paint all playful, provocative, spirited and clever bottoms into the same corner with the nut cases is egregiously unfair.

I confess, I couldn’t resist adding my own comment. (The posting has received 140 comments so far, spanning the spectrum from “Hear hear!” to “Screw you.” This was my contribution:

Not all brats are destructive, willful monsters. And not all tops hate bottoms with a bit of spirit.

But it’s OK. We get it. Some Doms don’t want to have to make the effort to engage in a battle of wits with a clever provocateur. Some Doms don’t want to hear any words other than “yes, sir.” And the only time an Uber-Dom wants to see a sub’s tongue sticking out is when she’s about to suck his dick.

Don’t like brats? By all means, avoid them. But there’s no need to malign them so thoroughly.

(snicker) I waited with bated breath for the fallout on that one. But it didn’t come, amazingly. One person commented “Well said,” and another called me a “fabulous wordsmith.”

This post, however, is not about good brats vs. bad brats and who hates them and who loves them. This is about the term itself: Brat. The very word conjures up negative images. Spoiled kids, whining and stamping their feet. Defiance, childishness, acting out, tantrums, generally unpleasant behavior.

But what if a bottom doesn’t fit into the quiet, acquiescent, submissive mode that this Uber-Dom prefers? Is she (I’m using the feminine pronoun here for simplicity, but this can include male bottoms too) doomed to accept the opposite moniker of brat? What if she just likes to tease a bit, play, challenge? What if she is clever and funny, rather than obnoxious?

Yeah, I hear you. Labels suck. But they exist, and they’re here to stay, like it or not. So my issue is, people like me need a different name, a different category. Because being lumped in with the brats doesn’t work, and it’s automatically assumed (by some), if we call ourselves “brats,” that we’re going to be “snotty little shits” (one of the many colorful descriptions the post writer used).

Granted, I’ve done and said some pretty awful, bratty things on video. But anyone with common sense knows that the situations in videos and stories are exaggerated to make the bottom deserving of the punishment, and so the viewers/readers will root for the top. However, in my real-life play, I challenge, but I don’t insult. And I won’t be playful with a top unless I sense that he enjoys it.

Here’s a random example of my “bratting.” Years ago at a party, my friend Andy wanted to cane me in one of the suite parties, but he’d left his canes in his room. So he borrowed one from a gentleman named Ben, who had cheerfully offered it up. After our scene (which drew a crowd; this was back in the days when people actually gathered round and watched party scenes), Andy handed me the cane, pointed to Ben across the room and said, “Go bring this back to the nice man, and say ‘thank you, Ben.'” Slowly, I ambled across the room, several pairs of eyes upon me, and when I reached Ben, who was grinning in anticipation, I said, loudly and clearly: “Up yours, Ben.”

Yes, that’s my bratting style. Hardly fits into that nasty picture painted by the brat hater. Bratting is also a matter of degrees. I’ve been known to toss implements across the room. Hardly submissive, I know. But it’s not like I tossed them out the window, into the Dumpster, or into the fireplace. I’m playful. I’m not destructive.

So here’s my question: Can we come up with a term that describes the brats whoย aren’t really brats? The bottoms who fall between the polarities of must-to-avoid, disrespectful little twits and fully compliant submissives? I like the termย “provocateur,” myself. Even the word itself is clever. However, I know it’s a bit of a mouthful, and for simplicity’s sake, I’d rather come up with something shorter. But what? A synonym for provocateur is “challenger,” but that too is awkward.

I’m serious, kids! Language is always in flux, and kink terminology is too. There are always new terms being introduced. Let’s come up with a term for “clever, non-destructive, non-manipulative, respectful and sensible brats.” You know, the ones that make a top want to spank them, not wring their neck.

Thoughts? Put your creative caps on and let me know.

In other news, life goes on. My computer is finally fixed, but my landline is on the fritz again, after being fixed not two weeks ago. John’s ongoing issues at work are worrisome, but my own work is keeping me busy, which is good. No news with my stepmother; I had emailed her asking if she needed anything, but she didn’t reply. And I have another birthday coming up, with all the usual ambivalent feelings. Meh. First world problems. I am stuck here all day waiting for AT&T, so I guess I should get back to work. I will be seeing Steve tomorrow, and he plans to take me out for a birthday lunch. ๐Ÿ™‚ There should be a spanking or two in the plans as well.

Because I sure as hell need one. Or two.

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20 thoughts on “If not “brat,” then what?

  1. I prefer to just be known as awesome. You are more than welcome to use that lable too. ๐Ÿ˜˜

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  2. Kat — yes, you’re rather infamous for that moniker. *snicker*

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  3. Anonymous on said:

    Hi Erica,
    Happy Birthday…in a couple of days? I hope you have a spank-o-lishous day.
    As for labels, I just don’t buy into the arguments. You are Erica…nuf said.
    Downunder Don

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  4. anonymous on said:

    I snorted over the dick sucking reference! Thank you for that! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’m not much help for a renaming effort because I LOVE the term Brat. A friend had a tee shirt custom made for me years ago for a birthday gift.
    Clever banter is the cornerstone for the most enjoyable spanking set ups for me as a viewer and on the receiving end.

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  5. A. — you liked that, huh? I was hoping someone would get a kick out of that!

    I don’t mind the term brat per se. I just hate all the negative connotations, thanks to the ones who don’t know how to do it right! :-รž

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  6. Michael in Texas on said:

    I said I wouldn’t post again because I annoy you, but this is “technical,” concerning words, so it really shouldn’t be annoying, so I’m giving myself a pass.

    The two words that occur to me are pert and impish. Unfortunately pert doesn’t have a noun form and imp has been co-opted by Peter Dinklage’s character on Game of Thrones.

    So I checked for synonyms for both those adjectives and here are the ones I thought were relevant — not too negative, catching the spirit you’re looking for: impudent, impertinent, cheeky (also a double entendre, within the kink), insolent (or is that too negative?), flippant, bold, brazen, saucy, sassy, mischievous, naughty, playful (that may not be negative enough; puppies are playful). Unfortunately there’s not a noun form for any of those (except player for playful, but calling someone a player … is not what we mean).

    Then I looked up synonyms for imp — in the meaning of mischievous child — and got the following, none of which I consider that helpful (and one is what we’re trying to replace): rascal, monkey, devil, troublemaker, urchin, scamp, brat, monster, horror, terror, tyke, whippersnapper, hellion, varmint, rapscallion.

    Really, “scamp” is the only one there I’d even nominate, based on its existing associations. “You little scamp, stop that!” It does denote mischief, not malice. Rapscallion is too complicated.

    I DO like your suggestion of provocateur, but agree it’s too long. Could we pretend we are Australian (they shorten anything longer than two syllables; seriously, I’ve never met anyone who loves shortened forms anywhere close to as much as Aussies do) and call you provos, or provs?

    But actually, English may not have the word we need.

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  7. I wrote a book, currently unpublished, which had a woman who wants to be a brat in the way you describe it (so well I might add), the provocateur. One of the reasons it’s sitting on my computer unpublished is because of that word brat – I’m not sure I want to use it given the variety of opinions out there.

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  8. But you of course ARE a fabulous wordsmith! So for a non-native speaker, this is a challenge.
    Nevertheless: if I may propose a novum: A Miss Chievy?

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  9. I’m thinking try ‘tease’. Although that might also have too many bad connotations. ‘Pest’ could work too, but might be looked on as mean by some. I second the suggestion of scamp.

    As always, you’re fabulous, I really enjoy reading whatever you want to share with us, and I’m sorry I don’t comment more often. I loved your party report from shadow lane.

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  10. Michael — I do like scamp. It’s certainly not as evocative of unpleasant behavior as brat is. My mother used to call me monkey, but that was back in another day before the word had racist connotations. (sigh)

    DF — maybe scale down the use of the word and mix it up with others? Just use “brat” when she’s being particularly obstreperous?

    MrJ — it’s cute. I think people might confuse it with Chevy, or something, though. Never underestimate people’s ability to screw up a word. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Terri — you know, I suppose ALL the words could have some sort of bad connotation, if we look at them from all angles. But some less than others. And thank you — glad you liked the SL report.

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  11. Anonymous on said:

    What about sassy?

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  12. Anonymous on said:

    A rose by any other name would be as much fun to spank!

    Provocateur captures it but really it isn’t so much the word you use but the inflection. The nicest word said with a sarcastic tone becomes a slight or worse.

    “She’s the sauciest sexiest brat ever” is in no way a negative.

    Uberbrat!

    It all comes down to inflection and feeling between speaker and listener.

    Anon E. Mouse

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  13. I’ve been thinking about this. Scamp is the best one-word answer I can come up with.

    However, “smart ass” flows well too, and fits very well. It seems more natural to me. I never say “scamp.” I do say “smart ass.”

    Both fit the women I have in mind, for the moments I have in mind. I would actually use “smart ass.”

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    • Mark — I too like smart ass a whole lot. And for those who don’t want to say “ass,” there are the “smarty” and “smart aleck” varieties. Danny used to call me “smarty panties,” and ST liked “smarty no-pants.”

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  14. A little late to this one, but a term British people of a certain age will know is “minx”. It’s most famous over here for an old comic book character “Minnie the Minx” (who was always on the receiving end of her dad’s slipper), but a quick google defines the meaning as

    “An impudent, cunning or boldly flirtatious girl or young woman”

    I think that covers what I’m looking for at least ๐Ÿ™‚

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