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Bratting is a word that you may have heard of if you have been reading some of the mailing lists and discussion groups about Domestic Discipline. Bratting means misbehaving on purpose in order to attract discipline. It means that the woman indulges in some intentional misbehavior so that her HOH is obliged to punish her with a discipline spanking.
Some people are interested to know whether bratting is approved or condemned in the Loving Domestic Discipline approach – whether a Loving Domestic Discipline couple should condone bratting or whether it should be discouraged. It is not quite so ssimple, in fact.
Bratting is a kind of feminine behavior that falls somewhere along a spectrum of behavior. At one end of this spectrum can be found real “Misbehavior” – genuine dishonesty, disobedience or disrespect by the woman that fully merits a punishment spanking from her HOH. At this end of the spectrum, misbehavior is fairly clear cut and straightforward, because its nature and its effects are fairly obvious to the HOH and to his woman.
At the other end of the spectrum we have “Flirting & Teasing”: feminine behavior that is designed to attract the man’s attention and keep it focused on the woman. Such behavior is a normal and healthy part of femininity. Some cultures (eg the various Latin cultures: Italian, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Hispanic) emphasize and encourage a woman’s ability to flirt, while some other cultures and beliefs try to suppress it as much as possible, sometimes for political or religious reasons. A woman’s flirting with her own husband or boyfriend is perfectly healthy and harmless behavior. It is essentially good, clean fun. Sometimes it can lead to good, dirty fun, which can be even more exciting.
So bratting falls somewhere between these two extremes. At one extreme there is actual feminine misbehavior and disobedience, while at the other end there is flirting and teasing. Bratting lies somewhere in between flirting and disciplinable feminine misbehavior. Whether a woman’s bratting is closer to misbehavior or to flirting depends on the actual situation. Her bratting can easily go either way. It is very difficult to make definitive statements about bratting because it varies so much from woman to woman, and a given woman’s bratting behavior can slide easily between flirting and genuine punishable misbehavior in an instant. It is like trying to catch a slippery eel with your bare hands – a very difficult situation for an HOH. Some men just put their foot down totally and refuse to permit any bratting at all, while others permit bratting as part of the natural flirtation and joking that takes place between a man and a woman. Others take a middle position where they allow bratting as long as it remains on the jokey and flirty side, rather than the misbehavior side of the spectrum. Then, if the woman’s bratting does slip into disciplinable misbehavior, she is firmly spanked for disobedience and disrespect. This means that she is permitted to brat as much as she likes, as long as it is good clean flirtatious fun. But if she uses it in a negative way to bait her HOH, she will have to take the consequences that result from her misbehavior. This is the simplest and fairest way to deal with bratting.
At the end of the day, the HOH must decide whether his woman’s bratting constitutes misbehavior or flirting. It is not enough to allow the woman to decide whether her bratting is misbehavior or teasing, because she will simply say whatever she likes in order to escape a justly deserved punishment spanking. If the couple is going to persist with their Loving Domestic Discipline agreement, then she will have to submit to her HOH’s decision on whether her bratting is misbehavior or simply flirting. Otherwise she is calling the shots and their arrangement is not a Loving Domestic Discipline one. If bratting is always passed off by the woman as harmless flirting or teasing, she will have an ever-present get-out-of-jail-free card which she can use to escape any misbehavior that her HOH decides to discipline her for. So the final decision on her behavior must always remain her HOH’s decision. That is part of the deal she accepts with the Loving Domestic Discipline lifestyle – to submit to her the decision of her HOH on disciplinary issues. She should also remember that if she receives a punishment for bratting when she intended her bratting to be simple teasing, her spanking will still have beneficial effects for her. Read the “Unjust Discipline” article for more information.
Sometimes a woman will intentionally misbehave when her HOH is present. If she does this, it is a sign that she is doing one of a number of different things. Firstly, she may be misbehaving in order to test her man’s will. She wants to see what happens if she misbehaves – will he discipline her or will he let it slide? How strong is his will? This testing of his will is very common in the early stages of a Loving Domestic Discipline relationship, where the woman may fear that her HOH is not man enough to give her the discipline that she needs, or that he does not have the strength of will to catch and punish every example of feminine misbehavior. This testing of his will is a natural and instinctive feminine behavior in a woman. She is wanting to know two things: (1) Is he morally strong enough to discipline her? and (2) Does he love her enough to discipline her? If he passes the test, she will feel both protected and loved. She is protected by his moral strength. She is loved because he demonstrates that he loves her enough to give her what she needs, not what she wants. If she needs to be disciplined, then the loving man will discipline her for her own good.
Even women in non-Loving Domestic Discipline relationships will exhibit this kind of testing behavior to see whether their men have the right stuff or not. They are not testing him to see whether he is John Wayne or Arnold Schwarzenegger. It is not a physical test. It is rather a test of moral strength and of love.
The only problem with a test is that it implies a lack of faith. If athletes could be totally trusted not to take performance-enhancing drugs, there would be no need for drug testing. So drug testing implies a certain lack of faith in athletes’ ability to do the right thing. And a woman’s testing of her man’s resolve via bratting implies a certain lack of faith in his moral fibre. Why would you test something unless you doubted it? If you are totally sure of something or someone, you don’t need to test them, because you can rely on your own sense of certainty. So any woman who does decide to test her HOH should not complain if he disciplines her with more severity than she bargained for, because he may be disciplining her not only for her misbehavior, but also for her lack of faith and her disrespect in testing him in the first place. It is somewhat insulting to a man to be tested by his woman, because her testing implies that she has doubt in him. Any woman who decides to test her HOH should be aware that he may discipline her more harshly if he feels that he is being tested by her. And justifiably so.
The other reason why women brat is because they are seeking, consciously or subconsciously, a spanking. Why would a woman want to be punished? Why would she want to feel pain and to be humbled? Is this a sign of masochism? No, it is not. Bratting to attract a discipline spanking is a sign that a woman is seeking the benefits of a spanking, not the spanking itself. If she just wanted a spanking, she could always get an erotic spanking from her HOH simply by asking him or by seducing him into lovemaking. But erotic spanking delivers only erotic benefits, which are not as extensive nor as profound as the benefits that derive from a Loving Domestic Discipline spanking. So a woman who brats to attract a discipline spanking is seeking much more than a mere spanking. Instead, she is seeking the benefits of a spanking.
When a woman is disciplined by her HOH for misbehavior, she feels protected and loved by him. She feels his power and his strength. Not just his physical power, but also his moral power, which is the power to decide what is best for her and what kind of behavior is acceptable for her. It is also the power to make a decision about her behavior and to carry it through to a spanking, if need be. When she is disciplined, she feels the flow of masculine and feminine energies between herself and her HOH, which validates and affirms her as a woman. She is reminded forcefully and definitively that she is female. A discipline spanking also obliges a woman to explore her natural and femininely submissive side. As detailed in the article on “Submission,” this experience of submission brings many important benefits for a woman. When she receives a discipline spanking, she is also hopefully brought to tears by her HOH as part of this process. When she is properly disciplined to the point (and beyond) where she sheds tears, she experiences a deeply cathartic sobbing that cleanses her of many negative emotions, including stress, guilt and fear. The benefits for a woman of being brought to tears have been discussed in a number of other articles on this site, most notably the “Tears” article. Yet another benefit, and perhaps the most important one, of being disciplined is that the woman will feel a renewed and intense emotional connection with her HOH. The primary emotion in this reconnection is love, which is a very powerful motivator of human behavior.
As you can see, the benefits of discipline spanking are many and varied. For the woman, they include feeling her man’s power, feeling his love, feeling the fulfilment of submission, feeling feminine, feeling a cathartic cleansing and feeling reconnected with her man in a deep and loving way. It is quite natural for a woman to want to experience these incredible feelings, even if it takes a punishment spanking to bring them on. So she decides to behave in a bratty way in order to attract the punishment spanking that will lead to the profound emotional experiences that she craves as a woman.
Another cause of bratting that is linked to these positive experiences that flow from a discipline spanking is that a woman may unconsciously seek the sense of security that most women experience as a result of a spanking. The knowledge that her HOH will discipline her and hold her accountable for her misbehavior and bad attitudes can be a little scary, but it also imparts a deep feeling of safety and security in the spanked woman. She feels protected from her own worst enemy – herself. Her HOH loves her enough and is morally strong enough within himself to be able to discipline her for her own negative behaviors and attitudes. These behaviors and attitudes do not come from an external source. They come from within the woman. They are her own fears and prejudices that threaten to swallow her up and also threaten the peace and security of the relationship and the household. Her man will defend her and their family from her inner demons, because he is the Head of the Household. He is the sworn protector of the family. So being disciplined can make a woman feel incredibly safe and secure, which is a wonderfully warm and loving feeling. This feeling is created by her HOH who has the presence of mind and the moral fortitude to punish her for her misbehavior.
So sometimes a woman will brat because she seeks this feeling of security, not realizing that by bratting she is directly threatening the peace and security of her family and her relationship with her HOH. Her HOH is not going to be experiencing much peace or security if he has to discipline his woman, is he? How peaceful or secure can a man feel if he has to punish his woman every two hours for misbehavior? A woman who brats because she wants to feel security is basically saying to her HOH, “I don’t really care how you feel, as long as I get what I want.” She is saying, “My sense of security is much more important than yours, so I will misbehave until you recognize this.” You can see how selfish and how childish this kind of attitude is. So a woman who brats because she values her own sense of emotional security over that of her HOH and her family really does deserve an unusually harsh punishment spanking, because she needs to be taught to be less selfish and to be more considerate of others’ feelings. This harsh punishment spanking is the first step in dealing with her misbehavior, but other longer term approaches will yield better results.
At other times, a woman will brat simply because she is highly stressed, and she seeks some kind of resolution of her stress. She knows instinctively that a sound punishment spanking will relieve any stress that she is currently feeling, so she begins unconsciously (or consciously) to misbehave, in order to attract discipline from her HOH. Her misbehavior attracts the spanking that serves to relieve her stress, and thus she feels better. However, again she is using her HOH to get whatever she wants, regardless of how he may feel. Having to discipline his woman may create strong feelings of stress within him. He may not enjoy at all having to discipline his woman to tears. Many men find it emotionally distressing to have to punish their woman for misbehavior, even if they know it is for her own good and even if he knows it will benefit their relationship greatly. It is not easy to bring the woman you love to tears by hurting her physically until she cries. It can be quite stressful for a man to have to do this. So it is ironic that a woman would seek to relieve her own stress by actually creating stress for her HOH. Selfish might be another word that accurately describes this situation too.
Another reason for bratting is when a woman seeks, consciously or unconsciously, to experience the joys of submission. Submission is a very powerful experience that lies at the heart of femininity and which modern society tends to deny women. One of the reasons for the rapidly increasing popularity of a lifestyle like Loving Domestic Discipline is that it speaks to the strong feminine desire to surrender. Submission and surrender are central to a woman’s experience of her sexuality and of her spirituality. Submission can be a profound source of fulfilment for a woman because it puts her in touch with who she really is, because it connects her with her feminine core. Submission is a natural, healthy and loving feminine response which many women are taught to suppress. This suppression causes great dissatisfaction and disharmony because it is uncomfortable and unnatural. Therefore, when a woman discovers the fulfilment, joy and freedom that she experiences when she submits to her HOH, she may develop a strong desire to recreate the intensity of these positive emotions. Loving Domestic Discipline will always create submission in a woman by its very nature. Every spanking that a woman receives will help her to experience submission. The intensity of her submission will be increased by a discipline or punishment spanking because these spankings are unilaterally imposed – her HOH decides whether she is to be punished, not her. But bratting is the opposite of submission, so when a woman successfully brats her way into a punishment spanking, she may feel that it lacks the deep release that a normal discipline has. Bratting in order to experience submission is a contradiction in terms. A truly submissive woman does not brat, because she and her HOH have more effective ways to help her experience the submission that she desires to feel so strongly.
Some women brat because they have guilty feelings about prior misbehavior. They have done something bad while not in the presence of their HOH, which means that he has not noticed her misbehavior or bad attitude. The HOH cannot punish his woman for something that he doesn’t know about. Yet she feels the guilt that results from her misbehavior. She knows that she really does deserve to be punished, even if she has gotten away with it. She doesn’t really want to get away with it, because she knows that “getting away with it” is harmful for her own self development as a person. She also knows that “getting away with it” is harmful for her relationship with her HOH, because it is a kind of deception. When she “gets away with it” because he doesn’t know about her misbehavior, that almost feels like cheating on him. She has deceived him, which is not a respectful or a loving way for a woman to behave. She feels guilty for her misbehavior that has escaped his notice. This guilt causes her to behave in increasingly bad ways which will eventually result in the punishment spanking that she knows she deserves. However, the problem here is that she is being punished for the wrong thing and in her heart of hearts, she knows that she has deceived her HOH yet again. So the guilt continues on. Obviously the best way to resolve this kind of guilt is not by bratting, because bratting just creates further guilt, because it is a further deception of the HOH by his woman. The cycle of deceit has to stop sooner or later, otherwise it will slowly poison the relationship, and in the shorter term it will also poison their Loving Domestic Discipline lifestyle together.
How should a man deal with his woman’s bratting? What should he do to stop her bratting right away, and what should he do to prevent her bratting in the future?
The most important way for a man to deal with his woman’s bratting is with firmness. He should deal firmly with her bratting as soon as he realizes that she is purposely misbehaving in order to attract a punishment spanking. The first aspect of this firmness is to tell her that he knows she is bratting and that her behavior is unacceptable. He needs to make sure that she is aware that she has been caught out. He needs to ensure that she knows that her subterfuge was unsuccessful. He needs to tell her that she will not be allowed to manipulate him via bratting. Once a woman has been caught bratting by her HOH, she is much less likely to try deceiving him again in the future. On the other hand, if he punishes her without telling her that he knows she has been bratting, she will think that her deception has been successful, which will then lead to more bratting in the future. So the HOH must firmly tell his woman that her bratting has been detected and is not acceptable behavior for her.
The second aspect of his firmness relates to physical rather than verbal approaches. The HOH whose woman has been caught bratting needs to deal with her firmly, in a physical way. This means that she needs to be disciplined. But isn’t that what she wanted in the first place? Isn’t he just giving her what she wanted? Hasn’t she successfully manipulated him into giving her what she wanted all along? Yes and no.
The wise HOH should discipline his woman when she brats. But he should discipline her twice, not once. The first discipline should be a normal punishment spanking for the pretend misbehavior of her bratting, whatever that was. So in that punishment spanking, she should be brought to tears in a fairly thorough way, so that she gets the full benefit of the discipline. That is quite a normal Loving Domestic Discipline procedure. This first punishment spanking is where she gets what she wants, which seems a little odd. But this is only the first part.
The second part is where the HOH should give her a Disobedience Discipline. The woman who brats should receive a Disobedience Discipline because she has attempted to deceive her HOH and she has treated the disciplinary process as something that she can manipulate for her own ends, regardless of the effects on other people. This Disobedience Discipline should be even more severe than her punishment spanking, because she needs to be taught a lesson. The bratting woman needs to be taught not to deceive her HOH and not to use Loving Domestic Discipline for her own selfish ends. Giving her a severe Disobedience Discipline will teach her the lesson she needs to learn. She may be feeling pleased that she has obtained what she wanted from the first punishment spanking, but when she receives a painful and severe Disobedience Discipline after the punishment spanking, she will change her mind.
In cases where the woman has not fully learned her lesson from the Disobedience Discipline, she can be given a third discipline, but a non-spanking one. This might be something like an hour of Corner Time, or having her computer access privileges revoked for a week, or having to write lines, or being grounded. These non-corporal punishments can be very effective in adjusting her attitude and convincing her that bratting is not a healthy or respectful way to get what she wants. She needs to be taught in an uncompromising manner that deception is not a good thing. Deceiving her man about little things is the thin end of the wedge. Every small deception becomes easier, until she finds herself deceiving him about much bigger things as a matter of course. Deception is a very serious form of feminine disobedience that needs to be dealt with firmly, quickly and effectively by her HOH.
What about preventing bratting? The preceding few paragraphs discuss what an HOH should do to deal with his woman’s bratting once it has occurred and been discovered by him. But he needs to be proactive about bratting and also learn how to prevent it. Of course he needs to know how to punish his woman’s bratting, but he also needs to know how to stop it happening in the first place. It is very important to know how to prevent a woman bratting.
As previously mentioned, the classic approach to the prevention of bratting involves the use of regular Maintenance Discipline spankings. When a woman is regularly disciplined as part of a Maintenance Discipline schedule, the likelihood of her bratting is greatly reduced. A Maintenance Discipline will give her all of the things that she would normally seek via bratting – the cathartic experience of being disciplined to tears, the loving reconnection after her punishment, the sense of security that the loving but authoritative firmness of her HOH creates, a thorough release of stress, a deep experience of feminine submission and finally, a removal of any guilty feelings she may harbor about any unpunished misbehavior since her last spanking. A regular Maintenance Discipline will help the woman to behave better and will usually reduce or remove any tendency she may have to brat on purpose. Maintenance Discipline cannot be recommended too highly, because it is so effective in dealing with so many different problems and needs that a woman may have.
If a woman is already receiving a Maintenance Discipline on a regular basis but she is still guilty of bratting misbehavior, then that is a sign that the frequency of her Maintenance Disciplines needs to be increased. For example, if she is receiving a weekly Maintenance Discipline but she starts bratting before the week is over, her Maintenance Discipline schedule should be changed to two or three per week. The HOH needs to observe his woman’s behavior very carefully so that he will know how many Maintenance Discipline spankings she needs in a given period of time in order to keep her behavior positive and loving. If she starts bratting, that is a sign that she probably needs more frequent Maintenance Disciplines than she is currently receiving.
There are some women who brat because they seek a spanking for sexual reasons. They may not receive erotic spankings but find themselves bratting because they want their HOH to assert his dominance and control over her. It is unfortunate to brat because she wants an erotic spanking. If she really wants an erotic spanking, she should simply ask her HOH for one. This is easier said than done, of course. If she is too shy to ask him for a spanking, she should speak to him about devising some system of signals where she can use a particular phrase which sounds quite innocent but which signifies that she wants an erotic spanking. Or she might leave an orange sitting on his desk to let him know of her desires. A simple system like that can save her a lot of embarrassment if she is shy about her spanking needs. As the couple progresses in their Loving Domestic Discipline lifestyle, she will probably become less timid about her need for an erotic spanking, however.
A similar signaling method is also appropriate for women who feel the need for a stress relief spanking outside their normal Maintenance Discipline schedule. An unforeseen stress may arise that causes the woman to strongly desire a stress relief spanking. Rather than bratting, she can make the prearranged signal to her HOH so that he knows she would like a stress relief spanking. She must remember though, that the decision to spank or not to spank is always his decision, not hers. He is the HOH and she must submit to his decisions on matters of discipline and behavior.
Another technique which can help avoid bratting due to guilt is Journaling. With journaling, a woman records in a journal or diary any misbehavior that occurs while her HOH is absent. On a regular basis, often when her next Maintenance Discipline is due, she gives her journal to her HOH who reads it and decides what kind of punishment is necessary for her offenses. The woman gets to have her guilt removed via a punishment spanking and she doesn’t need to say a word to her HOH, which is helpful for those women who are embarrassed by having to confess their misdeeds to their HOH. Read the “Journaling” article for more information on this subject.
To conclude, it is important to understand that there is a spectrum of playful feminine behavior that ranges between teasing and flirting at one end and purposely disobedient bratting at the other end. The wise and loving HOH will distinguish between these and decide whether or not his woman’s behavior constitutes bratting or teasing, which will determine his response. A woman who wants an erotic or stress relief spanking should learn to communicate this desire to her HOH in a non-whiny way. A real instance of bratting on purpose should be treated as a form of disrespect and deceit which merits both a punishment spanking and a Disobedience Discipline to discourage the woman from further misbehavior of the same kind. Regular Maintenance Discipline will help most women to avoid the need to brat because their various needs will already have been fulfilled by the spanking and the deep emotional and spiritual benefits it provides for them.