Begging is asking for something from a humble, submissive position. In formal form, it is also called supplication. It is different from demanding, although the outcome, if successful, is the same: one's wish is granted.
Begging is the most submissive in a range of approaches to voicing one's wishes, from submissive to dominant:
begging - asking - demanding - instructing - ordering - forcing
The (body) language of begging
Begging usually involves words such as "please" or "have mercy" and is often accompanied by characteristic body language such as sad, begging looks, hand gestures, or kneeling, intended to touch the heart of the asked person and make them grant their request.
The body language of begging is also often found, in ritualized form, in prayer. This is because people feel the proper approach for a human to address God is a humble and submissive one.
Children and begging
In one 19th century book on parenting, the author wrote that children should approach their parents in one way only: begging. According to the author, a child was to be trained to be quiet and obedient and fulfil the parent's orders. A child was never in a position to demand anything. The only permitted way for a child to express their own wishes was to ask politely and respectfully for it, and to accept it humbly if their request is denied.
In most societies, such views are no longer held. Children may nowadays express their wishes freely. It is in fact not uncommon for a child, whether toddler, preteen or teenager, to be the most demanding member of the family and to express their displeasure with unfulfilled requests violently. See dominant, tantrum and brat for related topics. On the other hand, children will also often learn they can be highly successful in getting their will from parents and other adults if they "ask nicely" instead of demandingly. The idiom "pretty please?" is typical of that strategy.
Begging in punishment and BDSM
Offenders who have been found guilty often beg before their punishment in hope to escape, or at least to soften, their fate. Begging during punishment, in the form of asking the punisher to stop, is also common.
In spanking stories, such begging is often verbalized, for example:
- before punishment: "Please don't spank me! I didn't mean to. I don't want to be spanked!"
- during punishment: "Please stop! No more! I will be good! Pleeeeeeease!"
In torture and BDSM, begging can be stopped by putting a gag on the bottom. In normal punishment, it can be stopped by instructing the delinquent to be quiet and not to speak. One can also make a rule that begging will be considered a sign of resistance and will earn extra punishment.
There can be an erotic masochistic component to begging, to being forbidden to beg, or to being silenced by means of a gag. In consensual BDSM or spanking play, the partners can make an agreement that begging will be ignored by the top. Such an agreement is usually is combined with a safeword for safety reasons. Thus, the agreement of a safeword allows the bottom to experience the emotional state of begging in vain while being punished.