November 21, 2009

Total Power Exchange

This is a topic I write about often since it is the basic foundation for many aspects of the BDSM lifestyle. Whenever we are referring to M/s or D/s, the main component is the exchange of power. The only way either of those relationships exist is because the power is ceded to the one in control.

For those who are unaware, the single difference between M/s and D/s is in the areas the power applies to. In a M/s relationship, the slave is giving up all power over any area of his or her life. Nothing is off limits to the Master or Mistress. Compare that with the D/s relationship where the control applies to only certain aspects of life that are agreed upon. Commonly, this it is the sexual arena where the power is ceded while the sub maintains control over other aspects of life.

The key point to the power exchange is that it is complete. That is why it is termed "total power exchange". There is not an equal breakdown of power. Whereas most relationships contain some type of 50/50 breakdown of power, the BDSM relationship goes the opposite direction. We establish routines whereby the division is 100% to 0%. Again, this pertains to both D/s and M/s.

Many seem to intellectually acknowledge this idea. Nevertheless, they seem to have difficulty putting it into practice. I read many who post their experiences online and often am left wondering are they slaves or are they Masters (Mistresses)? They seem to miss this basic point of our lifestyle.

A submissive is to be obedient. This is the main quality which separates the good ones from the bad ones. Anyone who is looking to get into this way of life without the desire to be obedient is going to have issues. It cannot be stressed enough that we live in a way which contains an absolute breakdown of power. Closing one's eyes to this fact only leads to trouble in the future.

When the power is in the hands of another, all decisions, by default, are with that person. The one who submitted can offer up recommendations or suggestions (if the dominant one allows that). However, the end choice is with the one in control.

Many will try to manipulate their way around this concept. They feel they can use little "games" to try and get their desires met. This is not what is meant when I mention obedience. Manipulation is an underhanded way to try an exert control. This is not the position of a submissive type. While it might be human nature to act out on our desires, a good sub or slave will be able to overcome this. Obedience leads to the idea of service. If one is truly serving the needs of his or her One, then all else is secondary.

There are many ideas presented online about how this lifestyle works. While much of it is informative, there is a lot that is misleading. Be careful when you consider what you are reading. BDSM is a wonderful way of life. However, there are certain basic tenets that we all live by. The exchange of power is something that is not to be taken lightly. Anyone who is considering this way of life should ponder what the power exchange means and if you can live under these conditions. Entrance into this lifestyle means that your wishes and desires become secondary. How does that sit with you?

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Anonymous said...

Thank you for this very thought-provoking post. My Sir and I are in a transitional period in our relationship -- I was one of those who thought I was in a TPE M/s but probably never was. We are transitioning to D/s, but I hadn't thought about how TPE still applies to that.

Am I willing to be obedient? Yes and no. Like all subs, I am sure, I am a complex person. Often part of me wants to obey and part of me does not. But you have given me much to think about in that area.

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