Every TPE starts with negotiations and an eventual contract. Even if that contract is verbal, the rules of engagement MUST be discussed. Consent must be sought from both sides.
What have you tried? What do you want to try? What do you like? What don’t you like? What won’t you try?
And we’re not just talking limits in the bedroom. I mean life limits. How far will you submit to another’s control? How much control are you willing to exert on another?
Although I spent a good portion of my life engaged in BDSM and Total Power Exchange, when the Boss appeared I failed to spot the true Master before me. Initially.
Pre Boss I had retreated into a vanilla relationship. It’s a long story, that involves a traumatic incident, but it culminated in me retreating from a world I knew and hiding in a relationship that wasn’t for me. Don’t get me wrong, I will always have a lot of love for my ex partner, but it just stopped working. The dynamic wasn’t what I was ultimately searching for. My life had become one of unfulfilled purpose. I tried to open the relationship and fill the void with various temporary BDSM sessions. But the sessions just left me wanting more. I’m not a part time sub, I am slave.
After the relationship ran its course, I had pretty much given up searching for a Master. It just didn’t seem possible. And, meeting the Boss, I foolishly thought he was just another Dom. We met on Grindr for god’s sake! So, I did what any desperate submissive would do and went in for a bit of sexting. He sent me a video, just a message to say hi and ask me what I’m looking for. I’m just glad I didn’t ask him if he was hung. He looked bored and disinterested, which at the time I mistook for aloof. He was bored and disinterested – just as I was. He wanted something far beyond a sub to use for an hour or two.
He already had slaves in training, he needed someone who could prove themselves. At that early stage, that wasn’t me. I had resigned myself to believing that I wasn’t about to find a Master. And then we met in person. The game changed instantly. He walked in, and yes we had a fumble, a testing of the water, but he was far more interested in interviewing me. Anything but sex, getting the lay of the land. He wanted to know if I’d been owned before, to which I was quite aloof myself. Again, I had been out of the game for so long, and I thought that my previous slave training might be too intense for an ordinary Dom. But then he asked me a simple question: would you eventually pledge to love, honour and obey for life. He was a Master. The rest is history.
Why do I need a total power exchange?
I am a naturally introspective person. Having received slave training for a few years way back when, I had already given much thought to my whys. I knew my reasons for submission. Submission has been a constant throughout my life.
I get off on meeting the needs of others. I am much more interested in fulfilling another’s needs over my own. It’s not as selfless as it sounds, it makes me incredibly happy. And it doesn’t apply to anyone. I need to love and trust the person I am making sacrifices for.
I am a masochist. Early on I learnt that you can either Master your masochism and find healthy outlets to explore it, or you can let it control you. (And, yes I see what I did there.)
I am organised and self-motivated. But, I work better with a strong hand pointing the way; I can provide navigation but I can’t drive the car.
I also am compelled to have my house in order physically and mentally.
The Boss has mentioned the spectrum of submission and dominance. It’s an ebb and flow. And though core traits may lie at either end of that spectrum, the smaller things tend to muddy the waters.
The Boss seeks authenticity in his Bois. We all share common traits with him, though none of us are actually alike. For the Boss and I, one of our common traits is nurturing. He displays this in dominant ways such as reinforcement, control and coaching with a strong hand. I provide an environment using submissive methods: assistance, service and a soft hand. It’s just one of the many ways the Boss proves we are holding the same stick at opposite ends. This is what a power exchange looks like. Two or more people coming together, owning their strengths and weaknesses to form a reciprocal relationship based on dominance and submission.
Scratching the surface
Truth is paramount. Trust is what we hold sacred within BDSM dynamics. To access the level of trust necessary for a TPE to function properly, you need to know why you are doing it. And that why is how you build that trust.
The Boss has talked on the blog about taking the time to think about who, what and why you are. Ultimately, he would tell you, that the next step is the hardest. It takes more than a sheet of paper and a free hour to figure out your purpose in life. However, that’s a good start.
Finding out why you lie in a certain place on the dom/sub spectrum is a long journey. And this is just the tip of a ma-husive iceberg. Because after the why, come more whys. Why is the why. Answering these takes a lot of exploration. But you made a start. And with that start you can better communicate what you want and need.
TPE teaches us a lot about ourselves. You would be hard pressed not to pick up some small nuggets of enlightenment even in the shortest of power exchange sessions. And when it comes to 24/7 those lessons come thick and fast.
Letting go of shame. I spent my early adulthood running around in a rubber singlet, no shame to be see. Or so I thought. It was there, just lurking in the ether. That trauma hit me like a brick, and it was only coming out the other side that I realised I was ashamed. I lay a lot of blame at my door and escaped the one community that had always had my back. Entering into this world again has offered me a renewed perspective: it’s not about a complete lack of shame. That’s not the ideal. Shame is healthy, shame protects us. It’s about mastering the shame and saving it for the times it is needed. Not only do I surrender my mind, body and soul to The Boss, but with those goes most of my shame. If we can come to terms with those dark parts of ourselves, those parts that wider society deems unacceptable for no valid reason, then we can theoretically get over any perceived negative trait we harbour. And the clue is in the word ‘perceived’.
A power exchange should be empowering. For a submissive, it’s only in surrendering power that one begins to understand how powerful they were in the first place. To truly surrender your rights and choices, you need to have a modicum of inner strength.
Acceptance of self is key. This is perhaps on of the most valuable lessons a TPE can teach. And it’s not exclusive to BDSM, but a life lesson that can be applied to any area of our existence. Once you begin to accept yourself you can begin to to live intentionally within your unique vision.
Authenticity attracts authenticity
BDSM is synonymous with gear. Leather suits, rubber singlets, gloves, muir caps, hoods. Ah yes, the sensory deprivation hood. It is a wonderful tool to reach the zenith of subspace. It’s with these costumes and masks though that a a great irony is discovered. The essence of BDSM is to discard the costumes we wear in daily life and discover parts of ourselves we never knew existed. In doing so we find even more whys, we hit upon truths.
Dating in the vanilla world is, through media persuasion and societal conditioning, a farce. We’ve all heard the many different interpretations of ‘the rules’. But the rules all centre on fixing someone who is possibly broken and unsuited to you; putting seven layers of intrigue and mystery between you and the character you are told to play when dating; generally giving the impression that dating has nothing to do with actual chemistry, rather just finding someone, anyone, before you dry up and die alone. One of the most pervasive ‘rules’ of dating is to hold off on the deal breakers. Don’t want kids? Don’t tell him that! You smoke? Shhh, pretend you don’t. You’re still legally married to your ex? Nah, she don’t need to know that.
Maybe it’s just me, but the deal breakers should be dealt with first thing. The deal breakers are where you choose whether to continue getting to know one another. They are called deal breakers for a reason, because usually they are points where compromise can become very tricky, if even possible in the first place.
In a power exchange, it’s important to get these deal breakers out in the open. The deal breakers of a TPE centre around limits. Not just in the bedroom or in BDSM play scenarios, but throughout life: the limits of control. And this is why it’s so important to be yourself. It it ain’t casual role-play a Master is after, don’t play a role: simple. Present your true self for inspection. If you are rejected, maybe you haven’t found the right Master.
These concepts of dating being similar yet so at odds with a Master and Slave interviewing one another were the cause of a debate between me and a friend of mine. She has a very passing interest in BDSM but remains firmly ensconced in a more vanilla relationship.
She suggested that the whole Master/Slave interview thing seems like extreme dating. I disagree entirely. In face, I would suggest that what we do in those early stages of getting to know on another is a lot less extreme than the way wider society performs their mating rituals. Extreme is going in blind. Extreme is presenting a polished and untrue vision of yourself, only to wake up months later and find that the person you dated did exactly the same and isn’t anything like the person lying in bed next to you.
So, I ask, who is really wearing the masks?
Go out and grab that TPE. Just think about what that means for you
People mistake a power exchange for a simple sort of rules that are rigidly followed by all BDSMers. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Everyone approaches things differently. Every Dominant, every submissive, every switch shows up to an exchange with a unique set of needs.
Here is where to start applying those whys to discover what you want and need. If you’re a sub gingerly approaching a potential Master, you need to figure out if you’re on the same page and vice versa. Exchange ideas, be honest about what works for you, what doesn’t. Don’t hold back on limits. How far do you want to go down the rabbit hole is the most important trust-building question at the beginning.
Are you ready for a 24/7 TPE or just a casual exploration?
A potential slave and a Master should in many ways start out on an equal footing. Once training has been initiated, placing the sub on the road to ownership, then things can become a little less equal, albeit on the surface because underneath a slave shares hidden levels of equality with its Master. Before choosing to submit or dominate, you must take the time to interview your potential partner. Interview the fuck out of your dom/sub opposite. See what aligns and what doesn’t for both or all of you.
Build your CV. If the potential Master requires a physical application, you have already done the legwork. If the potential Dom requests a less formal interview process then you still have everything you need to share your truths.
All you need to make sure of is that you and your chosen dominant/submissive are holding the same stick at opposite (or at least complementary) ends.
What are your whys of a Total Power Exchange. Why are you submissive or dominant? Let us know in the comments below.
Good seeing you,
Boi slave (Mattie)