What’s the difference between a sub being a brat, and a sub topping from the bottom? I’ve seen a lot of different thoughts on this, and I’m wondering what yours are!


I don’t make any distinction between the two. Both reflect an attempt by the submissive to “be in charge” and “get their way.” And both reflect a degree of disdain for their D type. 

Based on observation (I’m not a Dom though I tried to play one for years) brattiness is not appropriate in a D/S relationship.  It’s like garlic in butterscotch pudding – maybe you could pull it off if you’re a really good chef… but, yeah, even if you could pull it off it still wouldn’t be very good pudding.

In D/S I see a huge difference though.  A Little who tries topping from the bottom with even a reasonably experienced Daddy would get shut down pretty fucking quick.  A Little who’s being a brat usually just needs to be, um, settled.

And then there are the brats who are effectively saying “wanna bet?”  At which point you can assess whether they want a reassertion of your authority, and/or you can make it a game and play it with them.

Does this work all the time?  No, sometimes they’re not brats, they’re just assholes.  Or in need of something that kink isn’t the answer to.  And sometimes, being adult human beings just like you, they’re just able to overwhelm you in which case you take a timeout and have a conversation about whether you’re the right top for them.  

Of course even though there’s lots of overlap a D/Lg dynamic isn’t a D/S relationship.  That’s true of a number of kinks where there are elements of domination and submission but not capital-D Domination and capital-S Submission.