April 27, 2009


When writing about the BDSM world, authors such as myself tend to focus on Dom and sub (or Master/slave). However, we often overlook the third category that many people fall into: switch. For many, this is the one that creates the greatest confusion.

A switch is someone who likes to both dominate and be dominated. It is not uncommon for this to be present in bisexuals who are involved in this way of life. Nina Hartley is an example. She is one who prefers to dominate women yet is submissive to her man. A switch likes to go "both" ways in terms of domination/submission.

People who fall into this category are an important part of the BDSM community. They are no less involved than someone who is fully dominant or submissive. Their choice is simply following an inner desire. For them, being a switch is a natural part of their life.

I have witnessed situations where a "Master" liked to dominate while also being dominated. This is where I break from the normal thinking on this. In this type of situation, the switch is not a Master. His desire to submit shows that he is incapable of maintaining the exchange of power that was granted when his slave ceded it to him. Total power exchange, by it's definition, means completeness. It is not something that a Master gives back to his slave. A true sub (slave) does not want the power back.

My observation is that a switch of this nature is not capable of fulfilling the role of Master. A Master is one who has the inner desire for absolute power. At the same time, a slave has the inner desire to give that power fully. A switch has the desire for both. This strikes at the very foundation of the total power exchange.

Be mindful of this observation when you are trying to determine where you fit into BDSM. Dominant is not better than submissive or vice versa. We all are simply fulfilling inner desires that are part of our natural makeup. If you feel the desire to be a switch, then by all means follow that path.

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