Not unlike a miserably small man maintaining a Napoleon complex to counter his stunted stature, I, a small Asian girl, have always harbored a tendency to offset the likely impression of myself as quietly obedient and accommodating with behavior indicating the total opposite.
I possessed early on a somewhat cheeky attitude and slight irreverence for all things “other people,” fostered by the potent synthesis of single childhood and the influence of a father maybe definitely suffering from short man syndrome himself. At five years old, I’d rehearse eye-rolls in the girls’ bathroom mirror so that I could slide them into the sassy conflicts and condescension I planned to levy on fellow kindergarteners at recess. As I grew in age and understanding of matters beyond me, myself, and I, some of which were matters surrounding race, sex and the intersection thereof, I was only motivated to persist in my saucy ways, terrified that if I let up on the sass and misconduct for just one second I would appease the biased and repressive stereotyping I felt I was constantly sprinting away from. Consider the resting bitch face steadily instituted by the third grade, a reputation for being “nice but kinda mean sometimes” widely endorsed among friends and acquaintances by my tweens, and an overly strong impulse to express disagreement and criticism at the slightest opportunity among my key personality traits by the start of high school. As unsettled as I feel about extending this relatively immature series into the realm of my sex life, there’s no doubt that’s exactly where it’s headed.
I’ve almost always taken on the role of the submissive in sexual encounters, but the essence of that submission has changed as I’ve grown more familiar with what I like and want. More recently, I’ve begun to “brat.” Truly a sort of culmination of my insolent tendencies thus far, “brat” is defined by Urban Dictionary as the following: “A type of bdsm label, in which a sub (in most cases) enjoys misbehaving to the (dom, caregiver, etc.) for attention and punishments.” I’d say that I now shift between submissive and bratty depending on the partner and time, my behavior oftentimes landing somewhere in between the two.
Rather counterintuitive, I know, to my lifelong goal of avoiding any perception as a docile mute, are the countless instances in my more distant past of obedient submission to boys hauntingly enthusiastic about fucking my unmoving body, only convincing me of the hidden prevalence of necrophilia. You see, in the same way that I’ve long wished not to be viewed as a sub person in whole, I’ve never necessarily wished to view myself as a sub by only ever taking on that role in bed. I certainly sensed during my more submissive era that I yearned for something other, something that granted me more control but, importantly, not at all at the expense of the other party’s dominance. The truth of the matter is that I am most attracted to sexually dominant men but still want to be in some form of slight command. I soon identified that desire as my wanting a hold of that psychological playing field on which women have always overpowered the irrationally emotional creatures that compose much of mankind. Bratting gifts me a particular strain of control, control on a more emotional plane, that the other person can entirely lack without it hindering the physical upper hand they still hold. This constructs a sphere in which there are two power gradients at play running antiparallel to one another. And as I stimulate one with teasing, taunting, giggling and resisting, I provoke him to further vitalize the other, ultimately inspiring even more physical dominance from him. His side of activity essentially a series of physical responses to my snarky comments and small acts of defiance, I watch my influence colonize his psyche and, in turn, unfold itself over the entire encounter, determining the honest course of events.
It’s important to note that this is my approach to bratting, both in what I do and how I think about it, and is not in any way the only or official way to go about the activity. In my personal pursuit of the seemingly impossible scenario in which I get to fuck a guy exuding dominance uncompromisingly without my picking up the part of a traditional s-type, these are the attitudes with which I regard brat play. Many others approach it with entirely different methods motivated by entirely different thought processes and personal aims. And so, I send out a gentle suggestion to try it out for yourself not only to those who identify with my own attitudes and preferences, but also to anyone who thinks they might in any way benefit from giving brat play a chance.
Anime Brat is a student at Cornell University. Comments can be sent to [email protected]. Sex on Thursday runs every Thursday this semester.