Monday, February 18, 2013

Why Bratty Behavior Won't Always Get You a Spanking

This is Part 1 of a Series.

While the following information pertains most directly to Birchwood Isle Family Discipline Role Play, taking the following advice to heart will likely help you to achieve greater success in other ageplay or spanking role playing games as well, and this should be taken into consideration by those individuals who are looking to become more involved or who are currently having problems engaging with other role players.

First, let us define what "bratty behavior" is in terms of the spanking community and role playing groups. For our purposes, a "brat" is an individual whose sole purpose in a role playing group is to move from one spanking to the next with very little storytelling effort and almost no interlude between punishments. We all like discipline, or we wouldn't be hanging around in groups where discipline features strongly in the theme of the site. However, brats take this love of punishment to an extreme, and will only push harder when the punishment they receive doesn't meet their expectations (the expectation being physical correction instead of other forms of discipline).

Bratting (or bratty behavior) tends to occur specifically with certain types of individuals. 

  • Those who are weak storytellers and who struggle to develop fully-realized characters. Generally speaking, these are "Mary Sue" characters who are under developed and have conflicting personality traits, like "eager to please" but also being "very naughty." Strong storytellers and advanced role players rarely have this problem, regardless of the nature of the group in which they are playing.
  • Inexperienced age players who are at the beginning of their "career" in ageplay. Typically this is a correctable problem, because these types of brats simply don't know any better. A word from an admin or another member usually corrects this type of problem within a few threads, even if it's frustrating to deal with in the meantime.
  • Selfish people who are only thinking of their own wants and not the entertainment of their role play partners. This usually actually goes for all  different types of bratty behavior, since there's always somebody who has to sacrifice in order to contribute to a flat (reads: boring) story that is going nowhere in order to provide the spanking that this type of brat really wants.
  • People who have become frustrated with their role play for any number of reasons. Usually this is because it's been too long since they received their last spanking in a role play thread, and they're pushing to get one since they're desperate for that kind of interaction. Almost everybody has moments like this. It happens. These people aren't usually brats, but sometimes act bratty.
Most roleplayers have very little regard for the bratty type of age player, and most bratty age players fail to recognize these behaviors in themselves, probably because it is difficult to admit that they are engaging in very unpleasant interactions with other members of a site. Whether you recognize bratty behavior in yourself or not is irrelevant; the other members of the sites where you role play recognize it in you, and if you find that you're being avoided in the games you play, chances are that you are considered one of the brats in those games.

While it's understandable that there will be times that you need a "quick fix" and want to get your child character or inner kid spanked as quickly as possible, this should never be the "norm" for your role play because if it becomes typical, you'll be labeled fairly quickly.

There are several reasons why bratting and bratty behavior should be avoided in all spanking sites, regardless of how harsh or focused on discipline they may appear to be. 

  • Most people who run these groups are submissives or have inner kids of their own. While it might not be obvious to most members, the majority of administrators are submissives or inner kids themselves and aren't interested in being the ones who issue the spankings to the entire group. If you're expecting the administrators to pick up where other members fail to do so, you're going to be sorely disappointed to find out that they are no more interested in spanking your child character or inner kid than you are in spanking theirs.
  • Once you're labeled a brat, you're going to struggle to escape that label. All it takes is one bratty thread before the other members of the group have labeled you as a "brat" that they don't want to have to deal with, because they know the type. Brats generally flit from one spanking thread to the next with very little in between and very little story development, while contributing virtually nothing to the site.
  • Brats aren't entertaining to the other members of the group. Trust me, everybody else looks at you and calls you "selfish" behind your back. Like it or not, if you elect to engage in bratty behavior instead of developing stories, you're showing that you're only interested in your own entertainment and not in the entertainment of the people reading your stories or interacting with you. 
  • Brats are boring. A purely bratty thread is nothing if not boring! If your character is shooting straight from the hip for an immediate spanking, it's going to make the other members yawn and move on to the next thread to find something that's more interesting. Where's the lead up? The entertainment? You're boring if you walk straight into a crowded room and start screaming at the top of your lungs. People will look once, and go on about their business.
If you're a new spanking roleplayer, chances are that you've fallen into the trap of playing a brat from time to time. That's understandable, because nobody has taught you how to do better. If you're an experienced role player, there is no excuse for this type of attitude toward the group in which you're playing. 

The problem, from your perspective, is that ultimately this isn't going to get you spanked, for one of a couple of reasons.

The first, and perhaps the most significant reason, is that you're boring. If you're the teenager who is smoking pot in their bedroom with the door wide open (in the first pot in your thread, which doesn't involve any other teenagers interacting with you) or the four year old who is finger painting on the walls, or the ten year old who has wandered away from the group home and has found the park where she is now playing (all of these involving no other children whatsoever and aiming straight for the adults in the group), you're going to bore the people you want to spank you.

What makes these things so boring? There's no story, and everybody can see what you want, straight out of the gate. We don't know why your teenager is smoking pot with the door open because you haven't bothered to tell us; you're too busy thinking about the spanking that you're hoping to get and not thinking about the reasons that your teenager might be stupid enough to engage in an activity that is bound to get them caught and in serious trouble. We don't know how your four year old got ahold of the finger paints that were carefully put away by the caregiver to prevent just such a situation. We don't know what reason your ten year old has for wandering out of the children's home alone to go to the park. 

We can deduce reasons using our own imagination, but ultimately we know that it's because you want them to be spanked.

The second important reason that this isn't going to get you spanked is that most of the people who use these groups are submissive people who prefer to be spanked than to do the spanking. If you don't give us a compelling reason to go out of our way to provide for your needs, then why should we? Give us a great story, an interesting character, and some indication that you'll be fun to spank, then we'll talk.

Those are the basic reasons that you won't get spanked for acting like a brat, but I would also like to make sure that you know that there are ways to prevent your character from acting like a total brat, or from creating a total brat.

  • The most important thing is to not post an introductory thread in which you are anticipating your child character getting spanked. Bratty introduction threads really suck for the person who either currently has custody of the child character or the person who is accepting custody of the child character, because the adult is intended to spank a child that he or she has no real relationship with and who he or she may not have met before. This is very uncomfortable. If you've never played the adult in this situation, perhaps you should try it some time. I'll tell you; it's a cure for the urge to brat! Note that posting a bratty introduction thread sets your own personal standard for further bratty behavior.
  • Create a story to get your child character into trouble instead of leaping straight for the running away/smoking pot/drawing on the walls type of thread. Do something. Do something that involves other kids. Interact with people and with your personal environment. Accept whoever steps into your thread even if it's not a person who you were anticipating. Don't reject the person because they are another kid looking to play or a teenager working the business that you've wandered into. Adults don't necessarily follow the kids around everywhere on every site, and they certainly don't on my site.
  • Prove a willingness to play with child and teen characters, not just with adults. If your character only interacts with adult characters, this tends to be a bad sign, and it's a red flag for most admins that you're somebody who is angling for constant adult attention. Be autonomous. Some of my members are even able to pull off entire threads that they play by themselves with multiple characters that they own. This is the sort of thing that we're looking for. But do note that there are exceptions for very young children who are parent-dependent!
  • Never force a teenage character to spank your child character or to otherwise parent them. This is another trick that brats use, particularly when there isn't an adult character available to interact with. When a teenager enters your thread, it's probably not so that they can parent you, but instead because they're looking for interaction too.
  • Try playing a teenager instead of a younger child. Teens naturally get into a lot more trouble than their younger counterparts and it's a lot easier to get them into the type of trouble that you're looking for (spanking) because they are naturally mouthy and tend to break rules in an effort to show their personal autonomy. This behavior doesn't seem quite as bratty provided that it is natural and interactive (i.e. not just lighting up a cigarette to test the adults in the thread, who are more likely to simply drop it than to play it out).
None of the above are guaranteed to keep you from bratting, but if you're aware of your behavior you have a better shot at stopping it before it gets out of hand and you have alienated yourself entirely from the group.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Committment is Essential to the Healing of an Inner Child

It is the nature of the role playing world that people come and go. Attachments that aren't generally permanent in most role playing groups and people join and leave at will. Nobody can hold you into a group that you don't like or force you to post to threads when you don't have the time to be actively involved in the role play. This is normal. And we get that. Really, we do.

The problem arises when dealing with emotionally real inner kids. 

So far, I haven't talked a lot about what I mean when I say "emotionally-real inner kid," so I'd like to give you a brief introduction to the concept, in case it's new to you.

An emotionally-real inner kid, by the definition that we use on Birchwood Isle, is a piece of an adult person (roleplayer) to which that roleplayer connects very deeply on an intimate and personal level. This piece of the adult can feel entirely separate, like another person entirely. I used to refer to them as "imaginary friends" because that was a very easy way to look at it. These pieces of us are incredibly fragile, and as we seek healing, they are vulnerable to being hurt by careless individuals who aren't sensitive to their needs.

For all intents and purposes, the hearts of these inner children should be treated with as much sensitivity as you would treat a real, biological child (even if there is an adult, and not a biological child, behind the character you're interacting with).

Most people in role play don't come into a group prepared to make a serious commitment to the game that they are playing and to the people they are playing with. However, in order to make the most of the experience of literate age play, players really do need to make the effort to make a commitment to themselves and others to enhance the game and to be willing to commit to the adoptions in which they are involved. 

Let me word this a little bit differently: If you choose to adopt an inner child, you have to be prepared to stick around for the long haul. If you turn your back on that child, you may very well be breaking the heart of someone who looked to you to protect them, to take care of you, to guard you. When that person vanishes suddenly, it is disruptive to the healing process the inner child is undergoing, and it does more damage than simply leaving a role playing site with which you were previously associated. 

If you're going to "play this game," you need to be prepared to be in it for the long haul. And if you absolutely must leave, make sure to notify the people with whom you have been playing that you won't be returning.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Your Admin(s) Takes Care of You -- Take Care of Them!

This is a frequent problem: Most ageplay group administrators aren't tops. There are exceptions, of course, but most of us are bottoms.

When you join a group, especially if you are one of the first members, the administrator is probably playing one or more adults in the group. This is done in order to help to attract people to the group and to keep things moving forward. It is not because the administrator is a top and/or enjoys topping. Chances are very good that your administrator has an inner child of her own who is important to her, and that she would enjoy the opportunity to play that inner kid in the group. Most of the time she won't until there are other adults, and thankfully they tend to come along fairly quickly.

I want you to think about how hard your administrator(s) works to make the group a good place for you. If she takes the time to discipline your inner kid, or if she creates threads for your inner child to play in, or promotes your characters to other group members, or spends hours answering your questions, please express some gratitude for the things that she has chosen to do for you.

After years of doing this job, I've seen it time after time; members join with their needs and their agenda and they push themselves to the head of the line so that the staff team has to pay attention to meeting their needs instead of taking care of their [the staff's] inner kids. 

One of the things that we've tried at Birchwood Isle Family Discipline RPG is having every single member create both a child and an adult character before being allowed to play. While we've since abolished this policy, it may be about to make a comeback.

Most of our members believe that we do this in order to balance the adults with the children, or to offset the potentially large numbers of IKs that come into ageplay groups. However, our reasoning is vastly different; we want our members to know what it is like to feel the strain of incredibly demanding inner kids.

Remember when playing that selfishness is absolutely rampant in this community. There are always going to be players who want to push their own agendas and who wish to go from one spanking to another and on to the next without much of a pause in between. While this is appropriate for some groups, the vast majority aren't favorable to this kind of bratty behavior. Your acceptance and understanding of the needs of the staff who work hard to keep your favorite sites going goes a long way to making you one of the best literate ageplayers that the staff has seen. 

My co-admin and I are fond of saying that we want our members to perform for us. We are much more likely to want to play with members who entertain us, and will always work hard to keep contributors entertained as well. The more you do for the staff of your site, chances are the more they'll do for you!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Top Six Reasons I Don't Want to Spank Your Inner Kid

I was recently contacted by someone who was looking for private role play. This individual was initially interested in joining Birchwood Isle Family Discipline RPG, but decided that the group wasn't for him. This is fairly typical when people realize one of a number of things, including the fact that our group is very active, or that it doesn't focus on diapers, or that we expect good grammar and spelling. It is also fairly typical to receive e-mails of this sort, asking for private play. Knowing that this isn't a phenomenon that is exclusive to me (but which happens with a large number of group owners), I thought that I would address some of the problems with this practice.

1. I'm a submissive, not a dominant. In the time that I have been role playing on spanking sites, the majority of these requests involve someone asking me to be a parent to their inner kid or to spank their child character(s). The request has never been preceded with the question of whether I am a spanker or a spankee. Instead, the assumption is made that I am a "top" due to the fact that I am a group owner.

2. I don't know you. If you're e-mailing me privately in response to one of my ads on an ageplay group in order to ask me for private sessions, chances are that you don't know me. In order to play privately with someone, I need to have built up quite a bit of trust with them. Right now I roleplay privately with only one person, and she lives with me.

3. I'm not into the things you're asking for. Most of the times that I get these requests, they come with unusual preferences tacked on. People want their sixteen year-old boy put into diapers, or they want unusual spanking positions, implements, or they want to roleplay sexual abuse. I'm not cool with this, particularly if I don't know you.

4. I have enough inner children to re-parent on any given day. I'm very careful about who I take on and I'm always aware of the time commitment required in order to best provide for the needs of the inner children in my care. I'm very good at what I do, and if you want that opportunity, then join Birchwood Isle Family Discipline roleplay.

5. I'm running a very active and relatively large role playing site; I don't have time for private play. BWI requires a lot of work from me as the head admin. There is a lot involved in taking care of this site and keeping up with the regular maintenance that it requires. Not only do I take care of (or help to take care of) the majority of the inner kids on the site (a significant number) but I also do most of the building.

6. I don't do the gender pairing that you're asking for. This isn't usually a big issue, but sometimes people ask me for gender or age pairings that I just don't do. I'm not a big fan of F/M, F/F or F/f scenarios, and I prefer to do these only in situations with people I have already built a relationship. 

The long and short of it is that I don't want to spank your inner kid (or child character) because you don't know me well enough to understand that my preference is to play the child character and not the adult. You're asking a lot of me when you ask me to be an adult for you. If I don't know you, why should I put forth that kind of effort?

Monday, December 17, 2012

5 Problems with "Cute" Inner Kids

During the time that I've been involved in age play roleplaying groups, I've encountered quite a large number of "cute" inner kids. These "cute" inner kids are those who place a distinct strain on the group with behavior that the player finds endearing but which is upsetting to other members and the flow of the group.

There are a few notes that I've come up with regarding these "cute" inner kids that I'd like to share with you.

1. "Cute" Inner Kids are almost always brats. Most of the "cute" inner kids who have filtered through my ageplay groups are brats whose keepers feel that their behavior is acceptable due to the fact that they are simply so "adorable" that they should be instantly forgiven and the adult should make things right. They're those kids who remind you of the biokid who can flash a smile and instantly get her way, or who always finds a way to take more than he gives.

1.a. This is a problem because most age players want to be punished for misdeeds. This leaves the people playing the guardian role very confused. If they spank the "cute" inner kid, then a tantrum of epic proportions results and the guilt trip is laid on, putting the responsibility on the adult to make things right for the inner kid. I've encountered this specific problem with inner kids both in online role playing groups and in real life, and I usually choose to disassociate from them.

2. "Cute" Inner Kids don't relate well to other inner children. Like the majority of brats, their purpose for being appears to be to lean heavily on the adults and not to interact with other children. They are very often bullies who push other people (child and adult) around when they don't get their way, but it's very difficult to figure out what their needs are, because they are constantly changing. Other inner children have a difficult time relating to this kind of behavior and generally ostracize the "cute" IK because they aren't fun to play with.

2.a. This is a problem because it places an additional strain on adults to interact with the "cute" inner child. When other inner kids can't find reasonable interactions with the "cute" inner kid, the "cutie" begins to put pressure on other members of the group to post with them. In the absence of interaction with their fellows, they need somebody to post with, and therefore the adults become the "go to" source for entertainment for this very stressful inner child. Along with the high brats, this is the sort of Inner Kid that generally makes adult players leave groups or shut them down when they are the management.

3. "Cute" Inner Kids like to run, with the expectation of being chased. These are the children who take off running when an adult calls them in from play time, tossing a big grin over their shoulder that cries "chase me! chase me!" They are the inner children who hide in their closets when a punishment is imminent, forcing the adult to drag them out by their arm in order to give them the punishment that they were begging for in the first place. They are kids who have such a high expectation of being found "adorable" that adults will do anything that they bid them to do, in order to reward their cuteness.

3.a. This is a problem because running threads are very stressful for adult players. Whenever a child runs away from a punishment or when he is called in from playing, the adult player is forced into a situation where she has to stop everything else that she's doing, and chase that kid down. This is also one of very few situations where power playing seems to have been deemed unacceptable when it comes to the adults, but where inner kids find that it's perfectly fine for them to dodge a grab by an adult without the consent of the adult player. In this way, the "cute" inner kid breaks several group rules for the sake of their cuteness.

4. "Cute" Inner Kids tend to have higher expectations of the group administrators and adult players. Most "cuties" seem to think that they have a greater right to expect that their threads receive faster replies than the threads of "non-cuties." They are highly competitive for quality time with the group's adults and demanding when they don't get exactly what they think they deserve. They post fast (often long posts, written quickly) and expect an immediate reply even when their roleplay partner has ten other threads ahead of theirs to reply to. When asked to wait, they often become belligerent.

4.a. This is a problem because group administrators and adult players do a lot of work for the group and "cuties" are rarely grateful. Most adult players and administrators also have inner children of their own that they want to have time to post. The demands being made by the "cute" inner kids take precedence since it's easier to post to them and quiet them down than it is to stall their threads while the admins or adult players post their inner kids.

5. "Cute" Inner Kids often feel that they have priority over less cute inner kids. They will post repeatedly, in multiple threads, taking up a lot of available thread space and refusing to post their required adults when their kid threads are receiving replies fast enough to keep them from having to log out. These "cuties" believe that the entire rest of the group is highly dependent on their presence in the group and that without it the group will fall apart. The adult who is currently in the process of spanking them is desperate for their next post, even though she hasn't had a chance to post her kid in three days while keeping up with the "cutie." 

5.a. This is a problem because it builds resentment for the "cutie" and makes other players not want to play with him. Then, when other players cease to play with the "cute" inner kid, he applies more pressure shortly before making a passive aggressive exit to the group, followed by spreading the word to his friends that the group isn't a very good place to be. 

The solution to all of these problems is for the keepers of those "cute" inner kids to take a step back and view the situation from the point of view of the people caring for them. Women usually have a harder time with "cute" inner kids than men do. Both biological genders are inclined toward having "cute" inner kids. 

This situation requires a good, long look in the mirror to determine whether or not you are a force that is dragging your group down or if you are a force that is building it up and making it an enjoyable place for everyone to play. If your inner kid is placing a strain on group administrators and other member adults, then it's time to reassess the way that you play and the places in which you are playing.

What do you do, as an admin or adult player, when you encounter a "cute" inner kid in a group you're in? What's your solution? Do you muddle through and continue spanking? Ignore their threads? Ask them to leave? Please share!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

When There's Not Enough Adult to Go Around

I've been running age play and spanking groups for over fifteen years now. While I've loved every minute of it, the fact is that no matter how well run the group is, at some point there simply are not enough adults to go around. In the year and a half that Birchwood Isle has been open, I've learned a lot about the strain that is placed on group managers to provide the number of adults necessary to maintain a group while still keeping up with a high level of role play and quality discipline.

Over the past year and a half that we've been running our group, my co-admin and I have learned to be very reliant on one another. Members come and go, and when it comes to finding long-term placements for long-term kids, we often try to put them with our own adults in order to ensure lasting placements. This means that if we feel that a child character has "staying power" they usually find a quick home in a family that is controlled by one or both of us.

The problem arises when we begin to realize that not only are our own child characters getting flushed out in this process, but that we cannot possibly maintain a high level of quality in our discipline and parenting when we're taking care of dozens of (external) children ourselves. Our goal as admins should never to be to totally avoid the other members of our sites in order to play with one another, but instead to find a balance that allows everyone involved to make the most of their play time and helps the members and the admins to get the most enjoyment out of the game.

Our current solution to this problem is to actively seek adults before we take on any more children. With the two of us running the two children's homes on the island and being in control of roughly two dozen entire families between us, we desperately need help. At the moment our strategy is to put out advertisements looking for adults to fill the roles that we have available and then to accept those applications which look good to us. Hopefully if we can build solid cooperation and a team of people truly willing to work with the kids (and not just who create adults to buy more kids), we will have a group that works together to make this the best experience for everyone involved.

For right now, if you're interested in applying to play an adult character at Birchwood Isle, please click here.

What kinds of solutions do you have to your problems as an admin? Do you have ideas to help solve the problem of too few adults in a group with too many kids?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Discipline in Age Play

Last week I posted a new poll asking how you feel about discipline in your age play. I was prompted to do so based on the fact that I've been noticing that a lot of groups don't allow any kind of discipline at all, and if they do, physical punishment is clearly off limits.

As you may recognize from the title of this blog, I believe that spanking and age play go hand in hand. I have always made that connection, but then again, I'm a spanko and not just some person who has IKs. For a long time I have associated spanking and age play with one another. I don't age play because I am a spanko, nor am I a spanko because I age play. The two are separate, and yet related for me. I know that others differ. There is a member of our group at present who does not enjoy spanking, and that's okay.

My question for you, then, is whether or not you feel that discipline in ageplay is acceptable.* If you have not seen it already, the poll is on the right-hand sidebar. Feel free to answer the question there. What I'm really looking for, however, are some comments on this post. How do you feel about discipline in your ageplay? Love it, leave it, hate it? Use the poll for your simple answers, but give me some details in the comments. I want to know why you don't like discipline if you don't. I'm a spanko -- I'm much more interested in the reasons why you wouldn't enjoy discipline than why you would.

* I can make some assumptions about you based on the fact that you're a member of this group, but I'd like to get a discussion going here.