A Bad Brat Returns To the Dungeon

Anna R.
December 8, 2023
I’ve been a bad girl, and not in a fun way. In the most unsexy and miserable way. I forgot myself, my own value, and my right to pleasure. But I’m finding it, slowly. It’s uncomfortable, but sometimes the best growth comes from discomfort. I’m going back to the dungeon after years of being away, babes. And I’m anxious as fuck. 


I, like I imagine so many others are, am deeply changed after the last few years. A global pandemic, and profound loss, combined with my Saturn return, has made my life and myself completely different. A lot happened during the last few years for me, but one thing I never expected to find was a renewed appreciation for kink and its ability to help me connect and heal. Embarrassingly, it took me losing that part of me and completely disconnecting from it to realize just how impactful it is for me. I say embarrassingly because honestly, I am embarrassed, and if I’m 100% truthful, I’m still carrying some shame. But I’m hoping that by just putting it out there, it’ll lessen my own internalized stuff. I mean, isn’t that what kink is about, destigmatizing shame while eroticizing embarrassment?

For my entire adulthood, I’ve always known kink and leather are something I was VERY into. I turned 18, and immediately tried to sneak into leather bars. I was baby-faced and deeply naive, and luckily only got into good trouble, and by good trouble, I mean nothing at all but hours of Tumblr porn. I was (and still am) a looser, but a hot funny one. As I got slightly older, my need to explore more only deepened, but I was embarrassed. Embarrassed I wasn’t skilled enough, that I didn’t know how to do things well enough, that I was inadequate. A lot of those fears kept me from going into spaces and playing. I wanted to be perfect, and knowledgeable and “fun” because I felt if I wasn’t perfect, I wouldn’t be accepted.

At 22, I ended a five-year relationship that I had been in; in short, it was abusive. I don’t feel the need to expand further. Afterward, I was still too chicken-shit to go into any kink spaces, but slowly made friends within various kink scenes. I explored a bit with one-off partners, but never anything frequent enough. I had also begun making fetish content, not related to BDSM or any of my personal kinks. I was always adjacent to kink, never fully in it. I could watch and admire it from a distance, but I was too scared of my self-perceived inadequacies to embody it fully.

Over the next few years, I slowly started to enter spaces, going to one-off events or munches. I grew closer with community friends and became more comfortable playing with the occasional partner. In hindsight, I definitely got into some relationships because I only felt comfortable playing with a partner that I felt safe with. Relationships, that weren’t bad by any means, but just people I had nothing in common with besides a mutual admiration for beating my ass. And at the time, I didn’t have the skill, ability, or introspection to realize I was doing that, or to have conversations that build trust and safety with casual partners. I didn’t know how to be vulnerable with new people, something I still struggle with today but vastly less, and in different ways.

Eventually, I became way more comfortable in these spaces. I started going to more play parties, started feeling much more comfortable exploring, and had some really great bruisings. I felt connected to my relationship with kink and BDSM. I was reading a lot, having conversations, and truly embodying the power of pleasure and play. Kink started to really help me unpack a lot of my own childhood sexual trauma; it’s like suddenly I was able to connect with this part of me and give her the love and admiration I hadn’t prior. I started writing a lot about kink while becoming much more vocal about my pleasure and passion. I started dating someone who I felt quite comfortable with and was able to explore new dynamics of kink together, moments I am deeply thankful and appreciative for.

I started working for a Queer healthcare company, creating all their digital and print content. Suddenly I was getting to write about sex and kink for a larger audience as a brand. I started working to create content and materials for IML, as the company frequented the event. It felt so fucking cool to be able to do this, and to be doing it as a sex worker. But things shifted, and I left the company. I started doing sex work full-time as my only income. I wasn’t particularly thrilled, but bills need to get paid. At this time, I was creating a lot of fat fetish stuff for my clients, but also writing about kink and bratting for my personal social media accounts.

I had really leaned into bratting and being the most stubborn sub possible and of course, being baby girl. I loved being able to be seen this way and celebrated. To have such an intimate part of me valued was incredibly affirming. I met another partner that I loved and was able to explore other kinks with. We were long-distance, so it made a lot of our experiences compacted. I thought I could balance everything: two partners, writing about kink, and being a full-time sex worker. But somewhere along the way, I lost myself completely.

I quickly burnt out; I grew tired. By this point, the global pandemic had hit, and the panic and uncertainty that came along with it only built. But perhaps what was more difficult was trying to still make space for my own pleasure and desire when my full-time gig was being an object of desire for others' consumption. While I know sex work can be empowering for a lot of people, it started not to be so empowering for me. I found myself having to ignore a lot of personal boundaries I had set in order to make up for the income I had lost at the beginning of the pandemic and the increased oversaturated market. Fat fetish work for some people is probably really great, but not for me. I started to really hate my body; I hated looking at myself; I hated being fat, but most of all, I hated to have the entirety of my identity reduced to my fatness. This hate turned into insecurity, and I cut myself off from the kink and leather communities just as I had cut myself from my own desires. I was embarrassed. I didn’t want to talk about what I was doing because I felt like if I did, I would once again have my identity reduced to my fatness. And if I couldn’t stomach it from men I hated on the internet, then I definitely couldn’t stomach it from people I wanted to do perverse things with.

I hate to admit this, but I became not the greatest partner. I lost touch with my own sexuality, which made it hard for me to have that connection that I had once loved having with partners. Desire, passion, and pleasure became something that I only had energy for if it was financially monetized. I hate fucking admitting that because I feel like such an asshole loser. But people are complex, and I acknowledge that from that, something better has come. Throughout that time, I was sad and angry. I started thinking I was unskilled in kink and resorted back to the role of an observer. I once again thought it was something I could only watch from afar and never engage in. If I wasn’t perfect, I didn’t deserve it. I let my insecurity about things I had no proof of being true, eat me alive and completely consume me. Now you’re probably asking where this extreme perfectionism came from. And babe, like every other hot girl, I have extreme MOMMY ISSUES. 

Things got worse before they could get better. I had to completely walk away from sex work for me to see any type of glimpse of clarity. I started talking a lot more about sex in therapy. I talked about my own perceived inabilities, my fear of vulnerability, and my self-hate. Things began to feel good again; I felt like I was more willing to explore my own sexual pleasure again. I felt hot, something I hadn’t really felt for the last 18 months.

I kept having conversations with partners. But things, as they can on occasion, got complicated. While separating from one of my partners, an offhand and particularly hurtful comment about my bratting was made. I wasn’t perfect in that relationship and I acknowledge my own part to play in that separation. But that comment messed me up. Suddenly my identity, an identity that had been so healing and affirming, was thrown right back at me, with venom. That comment hurt harder than any beating I ever received and cut worse than anything anyone I choose to love has ever said to me. It suddenly made me feel like every negative thing my biological family said about me was true. I was difficult, I was too demanding, I wasn’t agreeable enough. I felt undeserving of kink, unworthy of community. I was bad, bratting was bad, and I was wrong for enjoying this type of play. Kink was something I deserved to only see on the sidelines, something that because I wasn’t a “good” submissive, I had no right to engage with. I was confused about how something that had been so healing for me could be so bad, and since it was so bad, I must be bad. So, once again, I crawled into myself.

I cried a lot. Like a lot. At first, I was too embarrassed to talk much about it. Then, I wouldn’t shut up about it. Then, I stopped caring entirely. Something snapped in me for some reason, and I realized that I was doing myself no justice continuing to sit on the sidelines. Bratting hadn’t been the problem; the disconnect to myself had been. Actually, bratting had been really good for me. And I wasn’t a bad sub; I just do better with partners that like to get creative, are cognizant of their own skill level, have a good sense of humor, and are in touch with their personal relationship with power dynamics. I don’t exclusively brat, but I really love it, and it’s opened other things like being mommy that I really enjoy. While the comment hurt, I’m thankful for it; it forced me to look at my relationship with kink much more intensely.

I have some major takeaways from that reflection helped me write this. I so much more clearly understand just what I get from bratting. This type of play really allows me to push my partner, in the most loving and playful way, obvs, and I tust and know that this type of challenge won’t result in neglect or negative consequences, something I never experienced in childhood. Me being bad or naughty, won’t make that person stop loving or liking me.  It allows me to reclaim the label of being “difficult” or a brat, that was put on me by my family for having basic emotional needs. Bratting makes me feel so safe and connected with whoever I’m playing with; for me, it’s the ultimate sign of trust and isn’t something I should be embarrassed about. This type of play has also helped me understand power dynamics so much better and to really see the healing aspect that can come with consensually engaging and challenging them. Plus, it’s also just hot. 

I’m happy to be going back into play spaces, to reconnect with the community, and to be back in kink in a much more intentional fashion. I wanted to write this before entering a new dungeon, something I’m doing this weekend. I’m terrified in good and bad ways, but I guess that’s kinda the point. I’m excited to explore this space with a partner and breathe new air into our dynamic. I’m excited to meet other hot femmes and talk endlessly about fragrances and other luxuries, something I ALWAYS have the capacity for.  I’m excited to reconnect with old and new parts of myself. I’m excited to rebrand myself as the bratty, less prudish Carrie Bradshaw, and I’m only half kidding about that.

I’m unsure of what level I feel like sharing; I hope that doesn’t come across as self-important because who am I in this world? I suppose I’m more looking to create something for myself while being vulnerable. I wish I hadn’t let so much time letting the very irrational side of my brain take up so much of my time and energy. But we all get to rational thoughts in our way and time. I genuinely do think the best experiences come from vulnerability, a willingness to explore, and just a bit of discomfort. Newness in any space is valuable, as long as it’s matched with transparency, respect, and good intentions. Devious intentions are good, too. So if you are someone who is feeling out of sorts about entering a new play space or exploring something new, fucking do it. Life is short; rip the fucking bandaid off and do the damn thing. You might find something you like, you might not, but you aren’t doing yourself any favors by only engaging in your own desires and dreams through observation. 

See you around, babes; the mommy brat era is loading!

And as always, take what resonates, leave what doesn’t.