The total power exchange BDSM relationship is a journey (not a destination)

Advice, Anecdotal, bdsm, Studies , , , , , ,

There’s room for everyone (except those who don’t respect consent) in the BDSM world. No matter how hard (or soft) you play, how many people you play with, or how often you indulge, you’re as Dominant or submissive as you think you are.

Less than 12 percent of people who self-identify as being “into BDSM” engage in BDSM-related activities exclusively during sex. At least, according to a recent study conducted at St. Francis Xavier University.

The word “exclusively” makes that a pretty interesting statement. I’d submit that every sexual encounter my sub and I engage in is, even if only mentally, in some way a BDSM experience.

The same study also contained one of the best definitions of BDSM I’ve come across, I’ll quote it here for your benefit:

The acronym BDSM encompasses three subtypes of sexual variation. B/D stands for bondage and discipline, which refers to the act of using restraints, both physical and psychological.

D/S signifies domination and submission and describes one person taking control while another gives over control.

Finally, S/M includes two complementary categories: sadism, deriving pleasure from the pain or humiliation of others, and masochism, deriving pleasure from one’s own pain or humiliation.

Together these components create BDSM, a tremendously varied and often misunderstood form of consensual sexual/ relational expression. BDSM can be seen as anything from simply an occasional sexual practice to a sexual identity or orientation to a lifestyle.

To say BDSM is misunderstood is an understatement. I’d argue that the majority of people participating in it lack even a basic education in human sexuality and power-play dynamics.

This sucks for people in full-time monogamous BDSM relationships, because we make up one of the smallest subsets of the community. And that makes it very difficult to find information tailored to us.

Total power exchange (TPE), also called 24/7 D/s, relationships are among the least studied BDSM dynamics. Human sexuality researchers are still developing a lexicon to understand us, much less a syllabus to interview us from.

Of course you don’t have to be monogamous to be in a TPE relationship – nor do you have to “practice” 24/7. This isn’t a judgment on anyone who isn’t in a monogamous TPE relationship. But, like any good recipe, you’ll need to adjust my philosophy to suit your individual tastes.

That being said, trying to find information on BDSM that’s relevant to a loving couple with no interest in swapping or sharing is often an exercise in futility.

I think part of the reason for this is because 24/7 D/s is difficult to do, and thus there aren’t many of us. The individual components of every relationship will vary, life gets in the way, and BDSM relationships are hard.

Going full-on Dominant and submissive without a pause button or day off is a pretty good way to fuck up a relationship, unless you and your partner realize you won’t be completely happy together unless you do.

In that case, the most important thing to keep in mind is that TPE relationships aren’t about achieving things, but experiencing them.

Sure, you can playact BDSM. And, if you’re really committed, you can pull of a 24/7 D/s relationship without ever taking off your mask. And, that’s fine, if that’s your kink. But, for those willing to become emotionally naked and vulnerable, the rewards are (in my humble opinion) far greater.

My TPE relationship is the single biggest motivating factor in my journey towards achieving self-mastery. I want to be the best Dominant I can, so she’ll be inspired to be the best submissive she can. And that means being the best person I can be.

If you want my advice: work hard and be honest. The rest falls into place.

2 thoughts on “The total power exchange BDSM relationship is a journey (not a destination)

We would love to hear your thoughts!