The Other Side

I am often accused of enjoying the role of Devil’s Advocate.

Perhaps accused is too strong a word but I have been criticized in the past for taking an opposing view when particular people would have much preferred me to simply agree with them. It doesn’t work that way with me. I love discussion and I love having the brain power to see both sides of an issue. I think it’s healthy to not be so rigid in one’s thinking and seeing differing sides adds to my knowledge by giving me the curiosity to educate myself.

The discussion about over-the-top bratting has been a good one — very spirited. But at the risk of taking my thesis and turning it on its head, I’d like to put something out there that I hope won’t offend too many of you. Although there must necessarily be accommodation by the individual for any group or society to survive, when does this accommodation become intrusive on the rights, needs and wants of the individual? A slightly more libertarian argument than the more communitarian argument set before.

On it’s basest level, we are all in it to win it. We each gathered up our courage and entered the scene not to be altruists but to get our respective itches scratched. For my part, I knew very little about the scene itself and certainly was not aware of the rules, regulations and protocols that had preceded me. My ignorance of such things did not hinder my enjoyment of what I was doing (mostly because my wife Sandy was my able guide) but it did throw the occasional roadblock of faux pas in my way. Like everyone else, I made mistakes but got past them relatively unscathed to a place where I could have some level of comfort and fulfillment. Along the way, I’m sure I’ve ruffled a few feathers and stepped on a couple of toes. My seeming “popularity”, if that’s what it is, has probably rankled a couple of other Tops who might be asking themselves, “Who the fuck is this guy and who does he think he is?” The only answer I have is that I’m me and if that’s not good enough an explanation then they can pretty much go fuck themselves. I do not go out of my way to piss people off no matter what anyone might think, I just act the way I think I should act at any given time and do what I want to do to achieve my goals in the scene.

It all boils down to perception, too. One person’s over-the-top or disruptive might not be someone else’s definition of the same. Even if three out of ten people get annoyed by my antics, what’s that to me? If I’m playing “too much” at a party and a couple of Tops are imagining that I’m “hoarding” the choice bottoms for myself (whatever that means), what should I do? Tell those bottoms that want to play with me, “No thanks”, because a couple of guys sitting in the corner of the room are getting their knickers in a twist? Honestly, do I have an obligation, for the good of the group, to sit down with my hands folded in front of me just so that two whiny Tops won’t get huffy? Short answer: I don’t think so.

So there you have a tiny bit of Devil’s Advocacy from me. If a person is out to play for their own amusement, should they constrain their behavior because a few people take issue? Again, I’m not talking about the person walking around a room squirting everyone with a water pistol — that’s disruptive without a doubt. There are borderline cases of bratting that could go either way. If a person is squirting a water gun at someone playfully with the full expectation that that person is going to spank them, what’s it to either person if a third-party doesn’t think water pistols at three feet is the proper way to act at a serious spanking party?

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10 Responses to “The Other Side”

  1. When does one rights intrude upon another person’s rights…well that is a debate in itself.

    For me…the only time I find it intrusive is when bratting interferes with a scene or even a conversation I might be having with a person.

    It is 5 years since I came onto the scene and I still consider myself a newbie with a lot to learn. I have been lucky…I have met and made many wonderful friends who have helped me.

    The hardest lessons is learning what is real and what is play. Spanking like sex can be very emotional as are the attachments that are formed. Just as signals between a man and a woman in the vanilla world can be misconstrued the same happens in the spanking world.

    During newbie frenzy…everyone I played with I put on a pedestal. I thought that they were perfect and all knowing and caring. The reality is that they were looking for that one person or persons who could meet their needs also. Are mistakes made…definitely on both sides of the coin. Sometimes someone also gets hurt…just like in any relationships.

    All we can do is live and learn…but I have to say…I would not trade this lifestyle for anything.

  2. I love when you play Devil’s Advocate!

    First off…let’s address the tops that are in a huffy because you’re playing your ass off and they’re getting no action at all. I agree…who cares?! That’s not your problem. Have a blast!

    However, I would hardly compare that situation to bottoms that over brat and get attention from tops. I don’t think the other bottoms are jealous of the attention the bottom is getting, at least I’m not, just annoyed at the way they’re going about it, and that their behavior is being rewarded.

    If there was an obnoxious, arrogant top strutting around the room getting pushy with the women and presuming dominance over them, I know many tops who would be annoyed. What if while you were talking to a particular bottom, perhaps trying to set up play, this top completely interrupted and took over the conversation. Not only did he get toppy with her, he hauled her off and spanked her. Wouldn’t that piss you off? And wouldn’t you resent that bottom a little for going off with him? And if it happened again and again you might even lose interest in playing with that bottom. Clearly she’s a fool.

    Now on to whether or not a person should constrain their behavior because a few people take issue…especially at a serious spanking party? Hmmm…let me think…YES!

    There is a big difference between brat and UBER BRAT FROM HELL. I don’t think demanding some social awareness at a social venues makes us all that SERIOUS. Its bad enough I have to tolerate the little boy in the supermarket screaming and slapping his mother in the face because she won’t buy him the cereal he wants. It’s even worse when that mother turns around and BUYS him the cereal! URGH! Is it my business? No. Is the little boy screaming and slapping me? No. Is it still annoying as shit? YES! The good news is that I’ll never see that mother and little boy again. I’m not so lucky in the spanking scene.

    • radagast Says:

      You outline a scenario that has happened to me a couple of times and agree that it pissed me off at the time. In those cases, I did talk to the people involved and got some semblance of explanation but I did voice that I preferred not to be made to feel insignificant even if two people have some sort of standing agreement between each other. The issue wasn’t that either was acting like a bull-in-a-chinashop, it’s that they were insensitive to the fact that the person made to feel foolish (me) was forced to be a part of their thing. Rude but not earthshattering.

      This is a tough topic because different people have different levels of tolerance for similar acts — and the tolerance of Tops is different than that of bottoms in the scene. For me, egregious behavior has to either be intrusive to the point of making me feel like a fool or so insensitive that I am insulted. This is my criteria for both Tops and bottoms because both are quite capable of acting childish.

  3. sandy richards Says:

    I have no issue with someone playing Devil’s Advocate, as I usually enjoy debate, and love debating a topic from different angles.

    I’m a big believer in the rights of the individual, or the minority, warranting protection. It boggles my mind when people in the U.S. talk about majority rule. We elect our leaders that way, but our forefathers were careful to build a foundation that protected the rights of the minority. The majority rarely needs protection.

    On the topic of excessive bratting…If someone threatened to ban such behavior and lock up all the squirt guns, I’d be the first one fighting for the right to free expression.

    I have my opinons of certain types of play, but they’re just that. I have no desire to impose my style on others. I just expect and hope for good manners and consideration, but I don’t propose that we legislate it.

    I was interested to see the topic of “popularity” coming up again. I was unaware that people are so focused on popularity – whether their own or others’. And people are really talking about “hoarding” and “choice bottoms?”

    I believe it, because I consider Rad a credible source. But I hope that it’s the exception rather than the norm, just as incessant bratting is the exception rather than the norm.

    I know that we all have our issues and insecurities, but is the scene really a repeat of junior high school? Or is it just a group of people within the scene who behave like middle-schoolers? Personally, I think it’s the latter.

    In the past six years in the scene, I’ve met a good number of relatively well-adjusted people who just want to explore their own desires, and meet people who share them. I’ve made some great acquaintances and casual friends. And I’ve made my fair share of nice, fun, minimal-drama close friends.

    Do we all have insecurities? Yes. Do most of us want to be liked and accepted? Yes. Are we all in perpetual adolescence? I don’t think so. I sure hope not.

    • radagast Says:

      Is the scene high school or junior high school?

      I’m a cynic. In my humble opinion, everything is high school. I see that sort of behavior played out at work, in the street, in the scene and any place else you’d like to mention. Yes, mature people try hard to keep it in check but I’m of the opinion that even the most mature person in the world lets the high school mentality leak out every so often.

      • Anonymous Says:

        I know what you’re saying about a certain group dynamic playing out wherever people interact…work, church, street, scene. And it can have a high school quality to it.

        But what we’ve been discussing here the past few days seems more, adolescent, insecurity-driven, hormone-driven, and angst-driven than even high school…more like junior high school. All this talk of popularity and envy and acting out has made me long for the maturity of high school. lol.

        Right now, I’m clinging to optimism about human nature so, to the suggestion that we can never escape high school, I’ll harken back to kindergarten and say:

        “La,la,la,la,la….I can’t hear youoooooo…la,la,la,la,la…”

  4. sandy richards Says:

    Jules, I love your post. If I’d seen yours before I wrote my own, you could have saved me some time. I agree with everything you said. So my comment to the blog is “what she said.”

    Of course, I need to add one thing about constraining behavior. Should uber brat behavior in a crowd be constrained? Yep.

    But when the behavior of a Top or bottom is in a gray area, should someone constrain their behavior because a few people take issue? Depends.

    If you respect the opinion of the few taking issue, then you might. If you don’t respect them or their views, you won’t…and, perhaps you shouldn’t.

    If you don’t respect anyone’s view but your own, then you won’t…but eventually it’ll probably come back to bite you.

  5. So, you like playing Devil’s advocate, eh? I could always use another advocate. Just sign on the dotted line. mwahahahaha

  6. Rad, that is a very good example of what I am talking about but in the reverse.

    As a bottom, there have been times when I am talking to someone and a “Uber” brat would interrupt with her antics so that the Top would have to haul her off to be dealt with.

    The difference is that as someone with a more submissive personality, it would be very unlikely that I would confront the people involved. Okay, so that is my issue. On the other hand, when I have, I have been treated as the “bitch”. So I choose to simply ignore people who engage in this type of behavior. Again, my choice.

    I agree with Sandy Richards that this is a great topic and it is nice to see that I am not a “bitch” and that this type of behavior does irk others.

  7. sandy richards Says:

    “La,la,la,la,la….I can’t hear youoooooo…la,la,la,la,la…,” posted above, was from me.

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